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gthutchens
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Disable USB port

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How do you disable the two USB ports on the front of a Dell Inspiron 3647? Or better yet, password protect them?

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7- Thorium

RE: Disable USB port

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The problem with software approaches, either editing the registry or using an app like IntelliAdmin, is they disable all USB storage devices for all users. So  you won't be able to connect a USB drive or USB stick either. Note: if you use them, only encrypted USB drives and encrypted USB sticks are HIPAA compliant.

You'll also need a password protected Admin account and only that account has the right to modify the registry or re-run IntelliAdmin to re-enable USB access.  

The manual shows two connectors on the motherboard for the front USB ports. If you disconnect the cables from those two connectors (be sure to tuck them out of the way and/or cover with electrical tape so they can't contact the motherboard, case, or other components), you could physically disable both front USB ports.

BUT, BUT... I don't know if that will generate an error message when the PC boots, or if the PC will even boot when those two cables are disconnected. Might be worth a try...

My other thought is to put the PC into a locked cabinet (with proper ventilation) and only the appropriate staff have the key.

Since this is a HIPAA issue, you can't be the first ones to encounter it, so maybe you can find acceptable solutions at HiPAAJournal.com or related resources.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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8 Replies
7- Thorium

RE: Disable USB port

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Always include the version of Windows in your posts.

Why do you want to turn off the front USB ports?

If it's even possible to turn only the front USB ports off, there'd probably be an option in BIOS setup. Reboot and immediately press F2 to open BIOS setup. Use the arrow keys to navigate around to see if you can find such an option.

If that option doesn't exist, there are ways to disable USB drives using the Windows Group Policy Editor, depending on the version of Windows. But Group Policy changes will affect all USB ports, not just the ones on the front. You'd have to see if that can be applied only to certain accounts such as those that log in without Administrator privileges, while not disabling them for log-ins to Administrator accounts.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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gthutchens
1 Copper

RE: Disable USB port

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Hi Ron. Thanks for your reply. I need to turn off the USB ports for security purposes. The computer is located in the receptionist's desk which is accessible to the public. This is for HIPAA security.

I am using Windows 10 Pro.

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gthutchens
1 Copper

RE: Disable USB port

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Hi Dan. Thanks for your reply. Do you know anything about the IntelliAdmin website? Is it safe?

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Dan-H
4 Tellurium

RE: Disable USB port

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No experience with IntelliAdmin.

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7- Thorium

RE: Disable USB port

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The problem with software approaches, either editing the registry or using an app like IntelliAdmin, is they disable all USB storage devices for all users. So  you won't be able to connect a USB drive or USB stick either. Note: if you use them, only encrypted USB drives and encrypted USB sticks are HIPAA compliant.

You'll also need a password protected Admin account and only that account has the right to modify the registry or re-run IntelliAdmin to re-enable USB access.  

The manual shows two connectors on the motherboard for the front USB ports. If you disconnect the cables from those two connectors (be sure to tuck them out of the way and/or cover with electrical tape so they can't contact the motherboard, case, or other components), you could physically disable both front USB ports.

BUT, BUT... I don't know if that will generate an error message when the PC boots, or if the PC will even boot when those two cables are disconnected. Might be worth a try...

My other thought is to put the PC into a locked cabinet (with proper ventilation) and only the appropriate staff have the key.

Since this is a HIPAA issue, you can't be the first ones to encounter it, so maybe you can find acceptable solutions at HiPAAJournal.com or related resources.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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gthutchens
1 Copper

RE: Disable USB port

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I tried to turn off the drives with device manager, but it would not allow me to simply disable those USB ports. Instead I would have to uninstall them. I didn't really want to do that. I also don't feel comfortable messing with the registry. So, I tried unplugging the ports. That worked without any problems. Thanks for the advice.

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7- Thorium

RE: Disable USB port

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You're welcome.

Surprised you were able to unplug those 2 ports without generating any error messages or a boot failure.

The HIPAA enforcers will be happy. emoticon.Stickouttongue.title

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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