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Windows 7: Device installation was prevented by policy.

30 Dec 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate
Device installation was prevented by policy.

I am having a problem trying to install a new external USB drive. It's a Seagate Backup Plus Slim Portable Drive 2TB. I don't think it has anything to do with the drive, though. This is the second one that won't install (the other was a WD 2TB drive).

I am on Windows 7 Pro. I have other external USB drives running on this machine just fine. The only difference is that they are 1TB drives.

Here's what's happening:

1) I plug in the new drive.

2) I get this message, "Device installation was prevented by policy."

3) When I look in the Device Manager, it is showing up as "Other devices". When I open it and check the properties, it says,

"The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)
The installation of this device is forbidden by system policy. Contact your system administrator.
To find a driver for this device, click Update Driver."

When I right click and select Update Drivers, I get the message:

Windows encountered a problem installing the driver software for yur device.

"USB Mass Storage Device:

This same USB drive works on my Win 8.1 and Win 10 machines. I saw this happen another time with a USB thumb drive I have but blew it off as a problem with the thumb drive because all my other TD work fine.

Any suggestions?


p.s. I tried running Microsoft "Launch Fix it.exe" but that stopped running telling me that there was an error running the script so I canceled it.
I also tried running something called "SeaTools for Windows" but that didn't solve anything, either.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2015   #2

Dual Boot: Windows 8.1 & Server 2012r2 VMs: Kali Linux, Backbox, Matriux, Windows 8.1

Is your PC part of a Domain by chance?

Check your group policy settings..

  1. To open Group Policy Object Editor, click the Start button, type mmc gpedit.msc in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  2. In the Group Policy Object Editor navigation pane, double-click Computer Configuration to open it. Then open Administrative Templates, open System, open Device Installation, and then open Device Installation Restrictions
Make sure the settings in that location are all set to Not Configured.

Here is a ton of information about Device Installation settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2015   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate

That was it! I have no idea how Device Installation Restrictions got enabled.
Thanks a lot!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Dec 2015   #4

Dual Boot: Windows 8.1 & Server 2012r2 VMs: Kali Linux, Backbox, Matriux, Windows 8.1

No problem, glad to help
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Device installation was prevented by policy.

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