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How do I remove the USB storage device driver from Windows XP, such that the next time a USB storage device is plugged in the Plug-and-Play infrastructure will install the driver before mounting the device? I tried deleting USBSTOR.SYS, but Windows automagically restores it a few seconds later.


I want to use MS KB 823732 to temporarily USB storage devices by setting the HKLM\...\Services\UsbStor registry key to "4". However, this article states that this only works if a USB storage device is already installed on the PC.

If a USB storage device is NOT already installed then:

Windows' plug & play subsystem automatically resets the Start value to 3 (Manual) when it installs USBSTOR after a USB storage device is plugged in for the first time

I want to test my application's behavior in the case that a USB storage drive is not installed, but I don't know how what to remove to do that.

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You asked a really similar questions recently. What exactly are you trying to do? – geocar Feb 22 '10 at 15:51
@geocar: My other question was targeted at identifying different options for programmatically restricting access to USB storage devices. This question deals with one of those options in particular. In this question, I ask about to reproducing a system state in which a USB storage drive is not yet installed. Are my questions unclear? I haven't worn my sysadmin hat in over 6 years, so if I'm not making any sense please let me know... – Seth Petry-Johnson Feb 22 '10 at 16:05

I ask about to reproducing a system state in which a USB storage drive is not yet installed.

Then start by making a system like that.

If you can use a virtual machine, then make the system in the virtual machine. Most virtual machines support snapshotting, which can be used to "roll the whole system back".

Also: VMWare (for example) has an option to use the host's usb devices directly with the guest; Qemu has a -usbdevice disk:file.img for simulating a usb "disk".

If you cannot use a virtual machine, You can then use System Restore to checkpoint (and roll back) to your hardware configuration.

I don't recommend this if you're developing on the system that you're testing on. System Restore isn't very reliable. If you cannot afford a legitimate copy of Microsoft Windows, you can still download a copy of Windows PE for no-cost.

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