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Old 01-24-2009, 09:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Disabling USB port on printers?

Hi everyone,
My IT department is facing a tricky dilemma in a computer lab we run from afar, and I'm hoping this is the right place to look for a solution. We set up the printers via ethernet on our server, which charges users when they print from the lab computers. However, many users have discovered that they can steal prints by simply downloading the usb drivers to their laptops and plugging directly into the printers, bypassing the charging software on the server. Is there any way to disable the ports on the printers? We haven't been able to come up with any ideas short of physically desoldering the usb port away, which seems far too risky and extreme.

Thanks in advance for any tips!

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Old 01-25-2009, 08:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Disabling USB port on printers?

You probably would not need to unsolder it, sticking a screwdriver in and giving it a twist to break the plastic bit should do the trick. I would imagine that a "soft" solution would be preferable though in which case we would need to know the model of printer before looking into it further.


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Old 01-26-2009, 07:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Disabling USB port on printers?

There is one HP Color LaserJet 3700n, and one HP DesignJet 500 plotter.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Disabling USB port on printers?

Have you checked in the documentation to see if you can disable those inputs while the printers are on a network??? Honestly, if you guys have lost money to this, i would resolder them to destroy the USB controller on who ever trys to bypass this... Then again that can cause legal issues, just buy a piece of plastic and use some epoxy to glue it down so that it is incredibly difficult to get off, if they get it off, just fill the USB port with the epoxy so you don't have to worry about taking the machine apart and so they cant succesfully get to it.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Disabling USB port on printers?

I have looked around in HP's documentation with no luck. Filling the port with epoxy would be the best option, it seems. We had previously created cages that go over the ports, but users actually went so far as to break the cage off from the printer. Hopefully, actually filling in the port will have better results. Thanks a lot for your thoughts on this!
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Disabling USB port on printers?

Your just the man trying to keep the people down.

ps I would do the same thing
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Old 01-28-2009, 11:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Disabling USB port on printers?

I would go with the glue option, I have seen it done with USB ports on a few public computers.

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