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Is there any way to configure an USB port on Windows to only act as a charger? I want to charge my MP3 player while I'm listening to music, but playback is not available when the device is connected as a removable disk. I would like to disable the "USB" part of the connection and only use it as a power source. Is this possible?

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5 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

KB823732 explains how you can disable USB device support by changing the Start value of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UsbStor to 4

That should disable the storage part of the USB connection.

Note: After doing this, you will not be able to use you USB-ports as normal. After charging has completed you should change the value back.

You could also try disabling the specific port you use to connect your device, by going to Device Manager, but I'm not sure this will work for you. (If it works, great, then it's easier than the registry editing)

Another way would be to disconnect the data-pins from an existing cable. Instructions here

enter image description here

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That prevented the drive from showing up, but it also prevented the device from charging. –  Anders Sandvig May 14 '09 at 11:11
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The outer power pins are slightly longer than the inner data pins. You can charge your player by carefully plugging in your device just far enough to connect the power pins.

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I had this problem with the Blackberry 8800. I fixed this simply by installing the correct drivers into XP and using the eject icon in the system tray. After ejecting the device it happily charged.

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I've done this as well with my iPod. –  squillman May 14 '09 at 13:51
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Because this limitation is probably on the player hardware site I doubt a software solution would work.

You could create/buy a custom cable which only connects the power wires in the USB connector.

Or create VGA-USB power only connector, this will leave your USB ports available.

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I am aware the limitation might be in the player, but unless I buy a regular charger with an USB adapter, there is no way to find out, so I thought I might give this a try first. It would also be useful for other devices, even if my current mp3 player is "broken" :) –  Anders Sandvig May 14 '09 at 11:17
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You can buy from Amazon and several other retailers a USB charger electrical socket. Usually used for MP3 players or phones etc.

The plug has a USB slot in it and just delivers power.

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