Non-Present Devices in XP / Vista

My boot up time was increasing on my XP desktop and I knew this was in part to lots of drivers for hardware that I no longer have. So how do you identify and remove such drivers then?

These instrcutions are sort of XP based but will work on Vista too.

If this is a one off activity, open Device Manager using the following command line:


Then from the View menu select “Show hidden devices”. Hardware that was connected to your computer but no longer is will appear with a faded icon. You can right click and select to uninstall it.

Device Manager (XP)

Another way to accomplish this is to add “DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES” with a value of 1 as a system or user environment variable. Any time Device Manager is run, you can just select “Show hidden devices”.

Environment Variable