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Using USB Devices on EUI Computers

USB ports add the facility to connect devices such as pendrives, external hard disks, etc. to your PC or laptop without having to re-boot your operating system. This feature is called "hot-swap".

All Computer Room and standard Windows-based Office PCs at the EUI feature two USB 2.0 [1] ports on the front panel and another six on the rear (of which two are normally already used by keyboard and mouse).

The pre-installed software configuration, whether Research or Staff, fully supports USB ports, allowing you to connect any device which doesn't need extra driver or software installation (see your device's instruction manual).

In addition, with the introduction of Windows 7, the bug of your G: (or any other) network drive being "overwritten" by a USB device's own drive letter has now been solved.




Connecting USB devices

Locate the USB port on the front or rear of the PC and insert your USB device (note that USB devices can only be inserted in one way due to the shape of the port).

  1. Once you have inserted the USB device, Windows will play a sound and a small message will pop up:



  2. If you inserted a self-installing device (e.g. pendrive, external hard disk, etc.), Windows will automatically install the correct drivers and configure the device for you. When it has finished, the following message will pop up:



    If the device needs extra driver or software installation you will be prompted accordingly. As per Software Standardisation Policy you are NOT allowed to install extra drivers and software [2]. Thus you may not be able to access the device at all.

  3. Once the device has been properly installed, it will usually be labelled as "Removable Disk" and assigned to drive letter D:, E: or any other drive letter not already used by a network drive (whichever is free).

    Such USB drives are accessible the same as any other drive, for example through Windows Explorer:




    After having installed a USB device (depending on the device) a new menu window may appear:




    Through this menu, Windows gives you the choice to quickly browse or open data stored on the device by choosing one of the available options.


Disconnecting USB devices

Before you can safely unplug (disconnect) any USB device, you need to instruct Windows to stop it, so that power supply to the device will be interrupted.

Please Note: removal of any device (above all, a self-powered storage device) without stopping it first, might cause loss of data!


To stop a device proceed as follows:

  1. Click once on the Safely Remove Hardware icon located in the System Tray. A small window will pop up showing all connected USB devices:




  2. Choose the device you want to disconnect by highlighting it. By clicking once on the highlighted device you will confirm its removal and stop it. A new window will confirm its safe removal: 




  3. You can now safely remove your USB device without the risk of losing any data; a tune will play to confirm the successful removal.

    Please note: if Windows prompts that the device cannot be stopped yet, it is because either a file on the device is still open or applications are currently accessing it (e.g. the Anti-Virus software). Ensure all files on the device and any software using the device are closed, wait a couple of seconds and try again to stop the device.






[1] = USB devices have backwards compatibility, which means you can use a device, for example, that is USB 3.0 with a USB 2.0 port. However the ports are only capable of supporting up to that standard, meaning that using a USB 3.0 device in a USB 2.0 port would only allow the transfer rates of a USB 2.0 device.

[2] = For digital cameras: if you are requested to install specific drivers after connecting a digital camera, try (if available) to turn on its PC connection feature (see instruction manual): this way the camera may be installed as a removable disk without need for specific drivers. On most cameras this is done by switching a specific button/lever marked PC on its control panel.



Page last updated on 20 June 2018

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