Remove Drivers of Non-Present Devices

by joze 9. June 2009 15:15

Today I've learned something new and quite interesting also – I’ve found solution for a problem which was nagging me almost from the day I first saw Windows XP.
Often I was having problems with old drivers, which were still present somewhere in the system but not in use for a long time. I was trying to figure out how to remove those drivers and usually I ended up doing it manually with help from my good friend google (now This used to be long and unrewarding process - not anymore.
Solution I’ve found is also available to you at
What you have to do is to add new Environment Variable (it can be User or System) devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices with value 1.
Than you can go and open Device Manager. In the View menu select “Show hidden devices”. If you look around your Device Manager you will see some translucent devices – this devices are not present in your system at the moment. By right clicking on any of them and selecting Uninstall you can remove unused drivers for that device.
What's the best part of this trick is the fact that this also apply to Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003,…

You can also check my blog at for more tips like this.



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