How do I get around Admin privileges in Win 2000 to install an external device?
March 1, 2009 4:22 PM   Subscribe

How do I get an external hard drive working with my Win 2000 work laptop and go back to successfully doing my job? I don't have admin privileges and won't be getting them, but basically need this drive to keep working.

Some background:

I work at home. I perform data analysis and often need to pull large files (gigs worth of data) from the company's main server to my company-provided laptop. I need to store them locally while I work on them.

Due to the current financial market, yadda-yadda-yadda, my company does not invest in technology. This was obvious from the beginning (we run Windows 2000). Now, I'm beginning to find myself unable to do as much work as I could be doing, simply because my drive isn't large enough to house all the data.

The company will not be giving me any additional local storage. IT constantly harasses me when I store data on the network drives. So, I went to my soon-to-be-defunct Circuit City and bought a 500 GB usb external drive. Problem solved, right?

Wrong. It won't run without installing a driver and I can't install the driver because I don't have admin privileges to do it. I found this previous thread on a similar topic, but methods described there didn't work for me.

I know whether I should be trying this hard is debatable, since my employer doesn't seem to care, but let's put that aside. How do I get it working?
posted by HenryGale to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Best answer: Installing a driver when you have no privileges to do so means you need to break the rules. You can do it easily by booting into another operating system and then cracking or replacing the Windows local admin password. I could be more specific, but I won't.

Straight up, I don't recommend keeping company data on storage that you bought yourself, especially if it could be considered confidential. If you agreed to an acceptable use policy, this is probably not cool. Also, if your IT people are that strange combination of inept and hyper vigilant that I think they are, this will definitely rub them the wrong way.

The best thing to do here is to ask them to install the driver for you (which implies they are okay with you using an external you own) or to make a business case for why you need a better laptop.
posted by tracert at 4:57 PM on March 1, 2009

There's something wrong with your situation if the company will not allow you to work because you don't have enough storage. Are you sure you're not holding on to too much? It just doesn't make sense.
posted by rhizome at 7:28 PM on March 1, 2009

I agree with the above that working around this will be non trivial and (depending on your IT policies at work) could land you in trouble.

There might be a way to make enough space on your local drives though - if they are formatted NTFS you can perform compression, clean out temporary files, uninstall programs not required etc. Running cleanmgr.exe (Start - Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Disk Cleanup) will show you how much space you can salvage.

You've probably tried all that, but just in case you hadn't :)

The other option is the drivers for another model of drive might already be installed. If you've seen the IT guys pop in a USB drive before, the drivers should already be intsalled and it won't need to reinstall.

My suggestion: Next time they hassle you about storing stuff on the network, ask them to install the drivers as a matter of recourse.
posted by Admira at 8:24 PM on March 1, 2009

Windows 2000 is unlikely to need an additional driver to mount an external USB drive so long as it is 120GB or smaller and formatted NTFS. I'm unable quickly to find a single web page that covers all the details about why this is so, but if you browse through results for [windows 2000 maximum hard disk size] you'll get the details.
posted by gum at 9:22 PM on March 1, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks all for your suggestions, looks like this just isn't going to work for me. For those of you who said it doesn't seem right, we are definitely on the same page. ;)
posted by HenryGale at 8:58 PM on March 8, 2009

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