Introduction: The purpose of this article is to provide the computer user a method of removing hidden device drivers from windows.
Problem: For whatever reasons windows accumulates ghosts, per se, of hardware device drivers. Sometimes the drivers are left behind due to a dirty un-installation of applications or left behind for malicious purposes and kept hidden from the computer user.
Further, the hidden device drivers can actually be in conflict with necessary drivers.
For example, my bios clock and windows clock seemed uncooperative and it also seemed that the usb kb and mouse connected to the laptop were occasionally stalling the machine during power on’s.
Subsequently, when i cleared out dozens of hidden usb devices, the laptop became proficient. Therefore, i am sharing my findings with you.
Solution: Remove hidden hardware devices for improved computer proficiency. The steps below can be used on Win7 windows but not sure on the older o.s.’s at this time. Its worth a try however. (Note: Win8 has removed the hiding of device drivers from the o.s.)
Before proceeding with the steps below first read through them to get a mental picture of the concepts I am proposing.
Step 1: For insurance, make a restore point before proceeding.
Step 2: Go to windows control panel > device manager control panel.
Step 3: Go the menu bar > View > Show Hidden Device
Step 4: Study all the sections that are listed before taking any actions at this time.
Step 5: Distinguish from the list which are active device’s and which are disabled and which are hidden. Microsoft did not make it too easy to tell the differences but they can be distinguishable from each other.
Next is to remove the easy ones first:
Step 6: Go to universal serial bus controllers and delete all entries that appear to be more than pairs. In other words, you will find entries that are duplicated, triplicated, etc…
So leave 1 active entry and 1 hidden entry that matches it. But remove all those that are triplicates or more of the active entry.
Step 7: Go to Non Plug and Play section and you will many devices that seem odd. Most of them are linked to the “Services” under admin tools. But as we know, there are third party applications that install themselves as a “Service” and then also add their “Device” drivers as well
So go down the list and only remove those entries that you know should of been uninstalled. One type are like anti virus software that you removed.
However, be mindful of leaving the others alone because while they have short funny names, they are entries from microsoft and needed by windows. You will probably recognize the names from the linked entries in “Services”
Step 8: You will probably find in other locations device drivers that should of be uninstalled, like for old printers, video cards, mice, etc… Again, remove without regret any device that you know you uninstalled from your system.
Conclusion: Since all computers o.s.’s are user customized via third party hardware and software installations, it is hard for me to say what all you can remove.
The ideal scenario that I recommend is to leave 1 active and 1 hidden, or 1 disabled and 1 hidden; because one never knows if the hidden device is needed but hidden for safety sake. This is especially true with your hard drives, processors, and other components that are vital for your machine. My suggestion is to stay away from the main components that are listed.