How to Enable USB Storage


On Windows computers the USB mass storage drivers allow the computer to send and receive files from memory sticks, jump drives, mp3 players, cameras, and many other devices. If the USB mass storage driver is not installed or enabled on your computer you will be unable to copy files from any of these devices. You can install or enable the USB mass storage on your computer with a few steps. Make sure that you have permission from your system administrator before making changes to the computer. The following instructions will work on Windows XP and 2000.

  • Click on "Start" then click on "Run" then type "regedit" and press "Enter."

  • Find the registry key: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UsbStor" by clicking on the plus sign next to each term starting with "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE." Be sure to click on UsbStor.

  • Double-click "Start" in the right pane of the regedit window. In the "Value" field change the number to "3" and make sure that "Hexadecimal" is selected. Save and close the registry editor.

  • Download the Usbstor.inf file if it is not already present on your computer. If after completing the previous steps you still can't use your USB mass storage device, you will need to download the driver. A link to the download is found in the Resources section of this article.

  • Extract the file and copy the USBstor.inf file to the C:\Windows\System32\Inf\ directory on your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Making changes to the registry can harm your computer. Do so with caution.
  • Some companies have strict policies about changing computer settings and/or copying files to and from the systems. Understand any potential risk to your job before you attempt to alter any settings.

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  • Photo Credit Nick M Do/Photodisc/Getty Images
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