USB flash drives are not accessible using user account with admin status

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by grobbit, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. grobbit

    grobbit Active Member

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    My friend has a fairly new stand-alone (not network or domain) Windows 7 Professional desktop PC with MS Security Essentials as protection.

    Using a Win7Pro User account which has administrative privileges, when attempting to access any USB flash drive (tried using a selection of flash drives), a "You Do Not Have Permission To Access..." message appears.

    I have rebooted the computer in Safe Mode and the USB flash drive is accessible from Safe Mode.

    Using a Win7Pro User account which has administrative privileges, the following occurs...

    Access (permission) is denied to all USB flash drives on all USB ports linked directly to the PC's motherboard.

    Access (permission) is denied to all USB flash drives even with manufacturers' drivers.

    Access (permission) is denied to all USB flash drives (with or without data) from an administrator's command prompt.

    The Auto play menu works when plugging in USB flash drive.

    The account is an Administrator account (not Standard).

    The "Everyone" group has Full Share permissions (there is no Security tab presumably because the USB flash drive is Fat not NTFS).

    Removing the USB hub does not have any effect on the built-in USB ports.

    Running DriveCleanup.exe has not corrected the issue with not being able to access the USB flash drive.

    Non-drive USB functions work in the User account with administrative privileges (but not USB drives).

    No group policy settings have ever been set, i.e...
    Everything is set to "Not configured" in...
    gpedit.msc -> administrative templates -> system -> removable storage access.

    Everything is "Not configured" in the User section of group policy.


    Can any throw some light on this issue please?


    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    All I can say right now is, right click the icon in Explorer, choose Properties, go to Security, and check that Full Control is granted.
     
  3. grobbit

    grobbit Active Member

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    Thanks Pauli. Did you see that I have posted the following in the OP?...

    "The "Everyone" group has Full Share permissions (there is no Security tab presumably because the USB flash drive is Fat not NTFS)." ?

    How shall I make the Security tab appear?
     
  4. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    Oh my, my bad. Sometimes one just misses something that's clearly said or written. Sorry.

    Windows 7 is highly paranoid about admin rights, lots of people including myself have had issues with it. One way to try to get around it is http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/add-take-ownership-to-explorer-right-click-menu-in-vista/

    It's a safe program, as I know, and as I have experience in using it.

    The FAT vs. NTFS shouldn't be an issue. But you can change a USB by simply formatting it, but you will loose all data. I don't, however, think this is the problem. I recommend trying Take Ownership.
     
  5. grobbit

    grobbit Active Member

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    Pauli,

    The "Take Ownership" entry (added via "InstallTakeOwnership.reg") in the right-click context menu only appears for Folders.

    It does not appear on drives whether FAT or NTFS presumably because they are not Folders..
     
  6. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Sorry that post was ignorant as I see you have already checked the things I was suggesting.

    Moving on with something hopefully not quite so bad.
    Have you checked the "Start" Value on this Registry Key
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR
    On my Win 10 machine it is set to 3
    Not sure but I think a setting of 4 causes problems.
     
    #6 Trouble, Feb 13, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
  7. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Not exactly clear on this but did you check both locations? There are similar settings in similar places under both "User Configuration" as well as "Computer Configuration".
    Additionally, since it works in Safe Mode, have you tried adding a second user account for testing purposes, also as a member of the local administrator's group (although I'm not sure a user actually has to be a local administrator to access removable drives)?
     
  8. grobbit

    grobbit Active Member

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    Thanks Trouble. Yes, I checked the similar settings in the User Configuration first and all is "Not Configured".

    It will be a while before I can check...
    1) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR
    2) Create a new User account
    but I'll keep you informed either way.
     
  9. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    OK... I'm interested in how things progress, so thanks in advance for any update.
    I noticed in my Registry that their are multiple keys both above an below the one referenced which have a USB prefix.
    Just for the heck of it I checked all of mine and they all had a Start Value of 3
    Additionally I spotted another post here or maybe on another forum, where someone was having USB problems and it turned out to be a corrupt user profile, so I thought I would throw that in as a potential place to look see.

    The fact that it works in Safe Mode but not in normal boot would suggest that there is a program, process or service that is running in normal boot that is not running in Safe Mode, so you might examine any security suites running on the system or perhaps even give a Clean Boot a whirl and see what that produces.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135
     
  10. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    My bad again. I'll resign from this topic until I have something relevant.
     
  11. greggb

    greggb New Member

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    I am having the same problem and have not yet found a solution. If anyone solves this, please let me know as I also cannot get my machine to start in safe mode (arrow keys do not move through fields, and I have to manually shut the machine down as I can't escape the screen... lots of problems for a brand new machine)
     
  12. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    If you have a brand new machine, take it to service, based on warranty. That's the best way to deal with the issue - you need not to guess, they will know.
     
  13. greggb

    greggb New Member

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    Thanks, Pauli. Unfortunately HP says this requires a 'software warranty', which I don't have and must purchase for them to assist. Seems to me a brand new machine ought to work or be covered, but apparently that's not the case.
     
  14. grobbit

    grobbit Active Member

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    OK, problem solved. HP Client Security

    However, the problem was some 'bloatware' that came with the HP machine. Actually, it might not be fair to call it bloatware because it does have a purpose.

    There is a program called HP Client Security and it is accessed from the taskbar. Among other things, under 'Devices', it prevents anyone walking up to the machine, plugging in a USB drive and hacking the data on the machine - if only the seller had told the buyer!

    This is simply disabled by drilling through the software to 'Devices' and disabling the feature - and USB drives will function normally again.
     
    #14 grobbit, May 18, 2015
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  15. grobbit

    grobbit Active Member

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    Problem solved:

    There is a program called HP Client Security and it is accessed from the taskbar. Among other things, under 'Devices', it prevents anyone walking up to the machine, plugging in a USB drive and hacking the data on the machine - if only the seller had told the buyer!

    This is simply disabled by drilling through the software to 'Devices' and disabling the feature - and USB drives will function normally again.
     

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