Quick Tips

USB Device Driver Removal

When you plug a flash drive into your pc, you'll notice a quick installation prompt and then your drive starts to work.  If you plug enough usb drives into your system, eventually you'll have problems with some of them such as drives not coming up properly.  Your system will get slower as windows has to load more and more drivers upon boot.

There are tools out there that help clean out some of this driver glut.  But if you want to get your hands dirty or just don't have internet access to download those tools when you work on a pc - here's a way to do this without any additional software.

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This procedure has been performed and tested on several Windows 7 Pro computers.
These instructions work for other devices too, not just usb devices.

It sounds complicated from the steps below, but its really just a two step process.

  1. Show hidden devices and remove them
  2. Update the list of devices by removing the file and reboot.

Open a command prompt with Administrator access

  • Click Start - type cmd - Right click icon and run as administrator

Type the following at the command prompt:

  • set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
  • devmgmt.msc

In the device manager screen:

  • Click view - show hidden devices
  • right-click, and choose uninstall on any items to remove it from the system completely
  • I would do this for only devices in the following groups - if you just want to clean out usb flash drive related items:

  1. Universal Serial Bus Controllers - Remove anything greyed out
  2. Universal Serial Bus Devices - removed anything greyed out

Once you are done, we want windows to update the list of devices still available.  We'll need to delete the infcache.1 file.

Go back to the CMD screen.

  • type: cd c:\windows\system32\driverstore
  • type: start . (this should open up explorer in a new window.)

Delete the file infcache.1

  • Right click the file infcache.1 (do this so we can delete the file)
  • Click properties - security - edit - add - type Administrators - OK - Add full control for administrators - click apply
  • Now you can Delete the file infcache.1
  • Reboot pc

That's it!

Now if you do have internet access and want a simple tool to do this for you - and a little more.  Download drivecleanup.  Though Drive cleanup does not help you remove other old drivers such as old video cards, modems, etc...

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