How do I get rid of unused drivers?

#1
You know how it is, you're the only person in the family who knows what's inside a PC, has a reasonable abilty to resuscitate a sick OS and the right tools to strip and rebuild a printer.

Hence along the way I've ended up with drivers files in the drivers folder, entries in the registry, but no trace of a device (not even hidden in Device Manager, I've checked every single device driver entry!).

The drivers in particular are for a Brother fax/modem seemingly, perhaps leftover from an install. I've never had one but I may have mended somebody's printer that did.

The drivers only load manually according to the start up info and are not active. Since I don't have the kit I assume they will never load or be active.

Without deleting anything, I've run Ccleaner but that doesn't spot any problems.

I assume that if I simply delete the drivers from the Sys32 driver folder that might leave something for Ccleaner to spot in the registry. That having been said there are other driver entries in the registry which though the drivers are long gone, still exist and windows will not allow deletion of the entries.

Wouldn't it be a joy if every time we plugged a device in, the drivers installed and when the device was removed they uninstalled.

Short of rolling up my sleeves and going through the registry with the delete key, is there any recommended way of obliterating the existance of redundant drivers and their registry entries?

The fact they are there probably doesn't matter but I like tidy. Bill Gates once said " think of your PC as a filing cabinet.." I am and I always hoover the crap out of the drawers when I have a tidy up.

Any thoughts welcomed

regards

Pete
 


#2
hi does the driver show up in device manager? while in device manager choose *show hidden devices* click on view at the the top of console if so uninstall driver in there.
 


#3
Nope.

Whatever device it was is long gone.

I've used the the definitive 'hidden device' routine and there is no trace of any device using those drivers.

regards

Pete
 


#4
Sysinternals Suite go here
Sysinternals Suite
download the suite
open Autoruns for Windows v10.04
this will show you all your auto runs you can disable/enable here
see if you can see the driver
open LoadOrder v1.0
this will show you your boot order
open Autologon for Windows v3.0
Autologon enables you to easily configure Windows’ built-in autologon mechanism
 


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#5
DriverView

DriverView: Loaded Windows Drivers List

DriverView utility displays the list of all device drivers currently loaded on your system. For each driver in the list, additional useful information is displayed: load address of the driver, description, version, product name, company that created the driver, and more.
 


#6
Brian,

Thank you for pointing me towards the useful utilities. It's quite interesting that the Brother drivers I want to get rid of as well as one or two others, don't actually load .

I can quite happily delete them but the tricky bit is removing all trace from the Registry.

I got shot of some Logitech drivers recently by manually deleting all trace but the registry refuses to ditch entries relating to those in a folder at

Hkeylocalmachine/software/microsoft/windows/setup/pnplockingfiles/%systempath%/system32/drivers/LVUSB

Ccleaner hasn't budged them.

Any further thoughts?

best wishes

Pete
 


#7
we all use this in the I T world to uninstall programs it finds all the left over junk have a read of the instructions but it is straight forward if you check the default settings it should do a back up for you before you use it to remove any program

Revo Uninstaller Freeware and Professional

Download Revo Uninstaller Freeware - Free and Full Download - Uninstall software, remove programs, solve uninstall problems
 


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#8
it wont hurt to leave unused keys in the hive if the driver does not load you should have no problems if you find the keys in the hive they should be obsolete anyhow.
 


#9
GhostBuster is an application which enumerates all the devices, detects ghosted devices and removes these if they match selectable devices types and/or devices classes with a single mouse-click.

Source: Remove ghosted, unused or hidden device drivers in Windows with GhostBusters | The Windows Club

not sure on this one its worth a look
 


#10
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#11
Brian

Many thanks again.

I tried Revo and it missed the ones I wanted to out.

I'll check out the other software.

I begin to think that if all they doing is taking up a minute amount of disk space and are out of harms way The task of removing them probably isn't worth the hassle.

kind regards

Pete
 


#12
best of luck hope the links come in useful for reference :D
 


#13
You know how it is, you're the only person in the family who knows what's inside a PC, has a reasonable abilty to resuscitate a sick OS and the right tools to strip and rebuild a printer.

Hence along the way I've ended up with drivers files in the drivers folder, entries in the registry, but no trace of a device (not even hidden in Device Manager, I've checked every single device driver entry!).

The drivers in particular are for a Brother fax/modem seemingly, perhaps leftover from an install. I've never had one but I may have mended somebody's printer that did.

The drivers only load manually according to the start up info and are not active. Since I don't have the kit I assume they will never load or be active.

Without deleting anything, I've run Ccleaner but that doesn't spot any problems.

I assume that if I simply delete the drivers from the Sys32 driver folder that might leave something for Ccleaner to spot in the registry. That having been said there are other driver entries in the registry which though the drivers are long gone, still exist and windows will not allow deletion of the entries.

Wouldn't it be a joy if every time we plugged a device in, the drivers installed and when the device was removed they uninstalled.

Short of rolling up my sleeves and going through the registry with the delete key, is there any recommended way of obliterating the existance of redundant drivers and their registry entries?

The fact they are there probably doesn't matter but I like tidy. Bill Gates once said " think of your PC as a filing cabinet.." I am and I always hoover the crap out of the drawers when I have a tidy up.

Any thoughts welcomed

regards

Pete
Hi Pete,

You can use a totally free driver manage and update tool called DriveTheLife to remove unused drivers completely and easily. Download DriveTheLife from official site. Google it, you can get it.
 


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