Essential Software Tip: Deleting Device Drivers

I remember the times when I’ve been subjected to the spectre of faulty driver installations possessing Windows to ignore my attempts at updating my devices with undamaged versions.  What a nightmare!

Send those drivers into the abyss.. (well… yeah)

Step 1
First we, need to run the command console under Admin privileges.  In Vista, to do this we bring up the Start Menu search box and type cmd in the box and right-click on the resultant automatic recognition above of the cmd executable, selecting Run as administrator.

Step 2
We then type at the command prompt the following line:
SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1

Afterwards, type devmgmt.msc to bring up Device Manager. 

Step 3
Once in Device Manager, go to the [View] menu and select ‘Show hidden devices’.  Now locate your driver under it’s respective device category and right-click ‘Uninstall’.  That’s it!  This works for XP as well.

image
(click to enlarge)

As you can see from my Device Manager window, the mouse and keyboard nodes are expanded, showing that even though I have these devices plugged in, there are grayed out versions of these devices.  In this case the screen-shot indicates that there are drivers resident within the operating system that aren’t being used at the moment.  This is because they are identical drivers installed for other ports from when I had my devices plugged in those! 

I hope that people find this a useful and easy enough set of steps to follow through to successfully resolve their problem(s) – good luck!

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