Windows Vista holds keeps old drivers installed, even if you have long since upgraded your PC. Over time this could result in hardware conflicts or performance issues, so if you are experiencing any problems it may be worth uninstalling these unnecessary drivers.

To show your old drivers, start the command prompt by running cmd from the run box (press WINDOWS KEY + R to access this):


Once the command prompt has loaded, run the following commands (by typing them in, and pressing enter after each one):

set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

start devmgmt.msc


This will instruct Windows to show non-present devices and then start the device management window. You can safely close the command prompt window once this has loaded. In device manage, click View then Show Hidden Devices:


You will now notice that some hardware branches have been expanded, showing some icons that are faded. The devices with faded icons are the old hardware items which you can uninstall if you wish (you may wish to leave some items if they are removable devices you sometimes use). To do this, right click on a device and select Uninstall:

Ian, Apr 24, 2008