Windows Browser Ballot System – A total waste of time

EU is pushing Microsoft to provide a browser ballot in the Windows versions shipped in European Union countries.Well it is definitely not going to help the consumer/ end user. The argument from EU and Microsoft’s rivals is that since windows comes pre-installed with Internet Explorer, the users are not given equal opportunity for using other browsers.

Browser Ballot Screenshot for Windows in EU
Browser Ballot Screenshot for Windows in EU

If the users are not tech savvy enough, how does EU expect them to make a wise or useful choice upfront ? So these decisions may be forced on them by their relatives or the people who help them set up a computer. Especially if a non techy user finds that he/she is missing their favorite Internet Explorer (or comfortable) and when they try to connect office network and get thrown out because they are using a non IE browser ?

One way or the other this ballot system will be a failure from the start just like Windows Editions launched without Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. Well no one bothered to buy these Windows Editions specifically launched in EU, after all why not have IE or Windows Media Player if they are not going to harm your computer?

Probably EU regulators should now look at other real issues like launching Phones like Iphone locked and limiting their use to only one network etc.

How to enable USB drives , USB ports and USB Mass storage devices ?

This post answers the below questions. If you want answers for these you are in the correct place. Else please leave a comment to editor for more information.

1.How to Enable USB Mass storage devices in Windows XP PC within corporate Networks or Public PCs ?
2.How to enable USB drives ?
3. How to enable USB Flash drives or Portable hard disks or Pen drives?
4. How to install USB flash drives in Windows ?
5. How to enable USB registry ?
6. How to download UsbStor.inf for Windows XP?

[ Warning: You can get fired from your company if you are caught doing this or caught stealing information from your company . This information is just for essential usage.]

Now if you are someone looking for enabling USB Mass storage devices in your corporate Network or public PC , You need to have access to your c:\Windows\System32\inf folder  or Your windows driver folder.

You also need USBStor.inf file in the folder or anywhere else in your PC. If you don’t have the file most likely your IS team would have deleted this file.

Download the file USBStor.inf  Download here

You can copy this file to your drivers folder C:\Windows\System32\Inf\ if you want others using PC to install USB mass storage devices or keep in your folders just for you alone.

If you don’t want copy to drivers folder your USB Mass storage devices wont be installed automatically, You will need to go to Device Manager and select device (the device with exclamation) And click update driver and point to the USBStor.inf file.

And you also need to change a registry entry to enable to USB Mass Storage devices – How to enable USB registry entry? 

Change value of the below key to 3 to enable USB Mass Storage device, if it already
3 no need to change this value. If your USB Mass storage device is not working even after installation using driver this will be the culprit, companies set this value to 4 to block the USB Mass storage devices.


When you do this, the USB storage device is detected and works automatically if it is installed already.
To set the Start value, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, and then click Run.

2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.

3. Locate and then click the following registry key:
4. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UsbStor

5. In the details pane, double-click Start.

6. In the Value data box, type 3, click Hexadecimal (if it is not already selected), and then
7. click OK.

8. Exit Registry Editor.

But many companies wont keep the drivers under C:\Windows\System32\Inf\ folder
So you might need to go to Folder options in and enable * show hidden files as below

And then do a search for *.inf and find your driver folder. Companies with smart Infrastructure teams do this so users wont copy drivers directly.