Clean Out Unused Device Drivers
When you remove hardware from your computer, the listing for it simply disappears from the device manager, but often times the drivers are left behind to hang around.
Right-click “My Computer” > “Properties” > “Advanced” tab. Click on “Environment Variables” Below the bottom Environment Variables window pane (System Variables), click on “New ” For Variable Name, enter devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices and for the Variable Value, enter 1
Click OK to close “Environment Variables” and OK again to close “System Properties”
Now, open up the Device Manager and go to “View” and select “Show Hidden Devices”. The hidden devices will appear to be grayed-out. You will need to be careful about what it is you want to remove. If you’re familiar with your hardware, you can easily remove entries for PCI cards, extra drives, printers, and other USB/FireWire devices. Otherwise, it is suggested to leave everything else mostly alone unless you are completely sure of what you’re doing.
Once you’re done, you can delete the Environment Variable you created in the directions above.