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Windows 7: How do I safely remove old USB drivers so I can start fresh?

14 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 x64 SP1
How do I safely remove old USB drivers so I can start fresh?

Hi folks, Allow me to elaborate on my question. I have a D-Link 7-port USB hub, and connected to the first port I have an Integral USB SD card reader that I always keep connected. Recently, I purchased another Integral USB SD card reader for use with my PS3. To check that it worked, I put it in my D-Link hub 2nd port, but while the device registered it would not recognise any SD cards I put into it. So I tried it in ports 3, 4, 5, etc to see if it would work but it didn't. I eventually blew inside the opening and it worked and wondered whether there was a bit of dust on the connection.

The thing is, I have heard that when you plug in a USB device it creates a driver but that driver remains connected even after you have removed the USB device.

I would be very interested in knowing if/how I can remove the unused drivers which were created when I tested the SD card reader on my USB hub safely, (without using system restore), to start fresh, as obviously I don't want a load of unused drivers clogging up. Does anyone have any methods or is there some USB driver management software that can do it?

Does Windows download a separate driver for each of the 7 USB ports I plugged the USB Card Reader into, or is there simply one driver? Example: Would I enter device manager, select Generic USB Hub and right-click uninstall or would I choose Generic USB SD Reader Device, and right-click uninstall?


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My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Apr 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit

This article offers a good analysis of how to uninstall drivers from Windows 7.

Uninstall Drivers from Vista & Windows 7

You might also want to go through this previous Forum thread to get some additional insight from other members.

Is it necessary to remove older drivers

Whatever you decide to do, I strongly recommend that, at a minimum, you create a restore point before modifying your machine. Even better, a system image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate Retail Box (64-bit installed) + Service Pack 1

I believe that driver is one of many available to 7 built in, added as needed, and nothing to worry about. [GENERIC] I think you could right click Uninstall that one without a problem.

There are some USB tools out there, but you really should be fine, just wait for storage devices to finish transfers before removing is the main rule to follow.

I still have a !'d Unknown device in Device Manager, and all the USB drives or devices (MP3 player) work fine, I know it was a MP3 player that did it, but I put 2 gigs on it and charge it via USB, it's probably hanging on and can't handle not having the device attached thus the ! and been a non-issue any way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Apr 2013   #4

Windows 7 x64 SP1

Okay, thanks guys!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I safely remove old USB drivers so I can start fresh?

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