Ahhh love those new devices!  Have you ever walked around your office and notice new devices plugged into peoples systems via the handy dandy USB ports.  On one hand the plug and play functionality is fantastic on the other hand this should worry you as an IT administrator.  Imagine of you could control device installation at a very granular level. well with Windows Vista and Group Policy you can!

Specifically, in Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista you can apply computer policy to:

  • Prevent users from installing any device.
  • Allow users to install only devices that are on an "approved" list. If a device is not on the list, then the user cannot install it.
  • Prevent users from installing devices that are on a "prohibited" list. If a device is not on the list, then the user can install it.
  • Deny read or write access to users for devices that are themselves removable, or that use removable media, such as CD and DVD burners, floppy disk drives, external hard drives, and portable devices such as media players, smart phones, or Pocket PC devices.

In this screencast I demonstrate how to accomplish this and show you the settings to control the installation of devices with Group Policy! Enjoy!

Watch the screencast here:

Screencast: Windows Vista Flexible Device Control


There is a great resource with even more details on device control:

Step-By-Step Guide to Controlling Device Installation and Usage with Group Policy 

Please comment and let me know what you think!