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How Can I Deal with Errors Caused by Hardware Devices that I Uninstalled a Long Time Ago?

PC hardware components are constantly being replaced and upgraded, thanks to Windows Plug & Play this is easy: simply add the new device, start your PC and Windows will detect it and install the necessary drivers for it.

But what happens with the drivers from the old components? They remain on your system cluttering up your hard drive and potentially leading to conflicts because there is no uninstall routine for removing drivers.

Thankfully, there is a little trick you can use to remove these drivers and eliminate a potential source of problems.

The first thing you need to do is configure the Device Manager to show hidden devices, so that they can be removed:

1. Press [Windows Key] + [R] to open the Run dialogue, type CMD and click on OK to launch the Command Prompt.
2. Activate the hidden Device Manager parameter by typing: set DEVMGR_SHOW_DETAILS=1; then press Enter.
3. Launch the Device Manager from the Command Prompt by typing start devmgmt.msc, followed by Enter. In the properties of the individual devices you will now see the Details tab where you will find additional information about the device.

After you re-boot your computer, old drivers will be shown in the Device Manager and can be uninstalled.

If you click View > Show hidden devices, you will also see entries for devices that aren’t currently connected to your PC. Right-clicking on one of these devices gives you the option to uninstall the device.