Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: how to remove unused drivers?

20 Aug 2014   #1
jmm

7 Pro 32
 
 
how to remove unused drivers?

Hi, I posted the question in Autoruns forum but didnt get a satisfactory answer. Here's the thing:
After running Autoruns, several issues (yellow items) appear in the Drivers tab, which are related to sys files that cannot be found on startup. As these apparently are remnants of old apps that were not uninstalled properly, it would seem logical to try to remove them. The problem is that the sys file doesnt tell you which inf driver package it belongs to. There exists software that will tell you the match between inf and sys files present in your machine, but... since the sys files are actually missing, there is not much that software can help you with...
I was therefore wondering if anybody knows how to get rid of these old drivers running on startup (which incidentally generate astronomical numbers of errors in event viewer). As seen in another post in this forum, unchecking the item in Autoruns wont do anything as the sys file is absent anyway, so that the proper thing to do would be to uninstall the whole driver package...
Looking forward to hearing your suggestions...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
20 Aug 2014   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Do you have any reason to believe these unused drivers are affecting performance?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2014   #3
jmm

7 Pro 32
 
 

not really, except intuitively the fact that the system attempts to load/run something that doesnt exist, the error buildup in events viewer, and also some popups that occasionally tell me for instance that an unknown usb device (several of these old drivers ARE USB-related) is trying (and failing) to connect...
am i to understand that it's best to leave those drivers alone as there is no way to remove them?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

20 Aug 2014   #4
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Have you set-up Device Manager to "Show hidden devices"? That's where I'd start, and then Uninstall anything there that you can ID for sure as "missing" on your system. Here is just one link among many that discusses this technique. There's probably a tutorial here somewhere about this too.

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windo...-new-hardware/

I am running an old (now obsolete, but it still works) program called Comodo Programs Manager and it will uninstall drivers too, though honestly I have not used that feature much. If you do look for it, get the "latest stable" version 1.3 and not the newer 2.0beta. CPM tells me I'm running 448 Drivers and Services right now and then I can sort the list by Type and see just the Drivers listed. Right-click on any and CPM will Uninstall or "Open install location" might have some clues about it. I will edit the registry too if I have to but this is not for the uninitiated or faint-of-heart; you'd better have made a backup of your PC before fiddling with the registry in earnest.

I have no "file not found" items in Autoruns or Event Log errors of any kind and understand your concern--I root junk out at every opportunity myself. One argument for getting rid of stuff is that when you DO have a nasty REAL problem, all this junk can otherwise get in your way...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2014   #5
jmm

7 Pro 32
 
 
how to remove lavasoft ad-aware's DriverStore folder?

thanks much max - am pretty sure i already checked hidden devices in devmgr (right now my machine is busy downloading a huge file taking hours and i dont want to 'disturb') - i'll check the options you mentioned and and will post results...
meanwhile, i have another question that's somewhat related:
has anyone ever installed then uninstalled lavasoft's ad-aware 11? apparently this software creates a huge (~1.6 gb) folder called DriverStore in system32 that stays there after uninstall and cannot be removed due to lack of permission - does anyone know a way of getting rid of that? i think it also contains drivers, so even taking ownership to delete with explorer may not be a good idea... again, i dont think this alters performance but i hate to waste that much mem...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2014   #6
ComputerGeek

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64
 
 

Yikes!

STOP! And step away from your computer.... (j/k)

But, really, do NOT attempt to delete DriverStore. It's part of Windows (not Lavasoft). As name implies, it contains a "staged" copy of all the drivers on your machine. (Drivers are first "staged" then installed as needed). Driverstore contains all the Windows drivers that came with your OS plus all the drivers added after. You can see a list of all the drivers in the DriverStore that didn't come with your OS by opening an admin command prompt and typing pnputil -e. (see example output below). Check the params of the pnputil command to see how to delete individual driver packages.

Also
1) I'd view non-present devices in Device Manager BUT be aware: Some non-plug and play devices also appear as "ghost" devices (with semi-transparent icons). So, i wouldn't uninstall a device unless you know what it is and know it's plug and play
2) As to the "left overs" in autoruns, they may also sometimes be caused by malware not fully removed. In any case, if there's no matching file found, i'd use autoruns to just delete the entry

An example of DriverStore output from my machine (note only drivers that didn't come with the OS get listed)
Code:
Published name :            oem11.inf
Driver package provider :   Logitech
Class :                     Human Interface Devices
Driver date and version :   03/18/2014 5.80.3
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem20.inf
Driver package provider :   NVIDIA
Class :                     Universal Serial Bus controllers
Driver date and version :   11/11/2013 6.14.13.3182
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem12.inf
Driver package provider :   Logitech
Class :                     Human Interface Devices
Driver date and version :   03/18/2014 5.80.3
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem21.inf
Driver package provider :   NVIDIA
Class :                     Sound, video and game controllers
Driver date and version :   09/30/2013 1.2.9
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem30.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Network adapters
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem13.inf
Driver package provider :   Logitech
Class :                     Human Interface Devices
Driver date and version :   03/18/2014 5.80.3
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem22.inf
Driver package provider :   EPSON
Class :                     Imaging devices
Driver date and version :   07/12/2012 3.9.2.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem31.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Ports (COM & LPT)
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem40.inf
Driver package provider :   Oracle Corporation
Class :                     Network adapters
Driver date and version :   05/16/2014 4.3.12
Signer name :

Published name :            oem14.inf
Driver package provider :   Logitech
Class :                     Keyboards
Driver date and version :   03/18/2014 5.80.3
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem23.inf
Driver package provider :   Adobe
Class :                     Printers
Driver date and version :   03/20/2008 8.5.0000.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem32.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Network adapters
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem41.inf
Driver package provider :   Oracle Corporation
Class :                     Network Service
Driver date and version :   05/16/2014 4.3.12
Signer name :

Published name :            oem50.inf
Driver package provider :   Microsoft
Class :                     Printers
Driver date and version :   05/28/2012 15.0.4128.4000
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem15.inf
Driver package provider :   Logitech
Class :                     DriverInterface
Driver date and version :   03/18/2014 5.80.3
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem24.inf
Driver package provider :   Adobe
Class :                     Printers
Driver date and version :   07/22/2009 8.6.0000.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem33.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Ports (COM & LPT)
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem42.inf
Driver package provider :   Oracle Corporation
Class :                     Network adapters
Driver date and version :   02/25/2014 4.3.8
Signer name :

Published name :            oem51.inf
Driver package provider :   Oracle Corporation
Class :                     Network adapters
Driver date and version :   03/26/2014 4.3.10
Signer name :

Published name :            oem16.inf
Driver package provider :   Logitech
Class :                     Mice and other pointing devices
Driver date and version :   03/18/2014 5.80.3
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem25.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Unknown driver class
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem34.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Unknown driver class
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem43.inf
Driver package provider :   Oracle Corporation
Class :                     Network adapters
Driver date and version :   03/13/2014 4.2.24
Signer name :

Published name :            oem52.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Universal Serial Bus controllers
Driver date and version :   01/02/2014 2.11.7.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem17.inf
Driver package provider :   Logitech
Class :                     Universal Serial Bus controllers
Driver date and version :   12/14/2011 13.40.840.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem26.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Universal Serial Bus controllers
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem35.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Universal Serial Bus controllers
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem44.inf
Driver package provider :   NVIDIA
Class :                     Display adapters
Driver date and version :   03/04/2014 9.18.13.3523
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem53.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Modems
Driver date and version :   01/02/2014 2.11.7.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem18.inf
Driver package provider :   Logitech
Class :                     Sound, video and game controllers
Driver date and version :   01/17/2012 13.31.1044.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem27.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Ports (COM & LPT)
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem36.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Network adapters
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem45.inf
Driver package provider :   NVIDIA
Class :                     Universal Serial Bus controllers
Driver date and version :   03/02/2014 6.14.13.3521
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem54.inf
Driver package provider :   Oracle Corporation
Class :                     Network adapters
Driver date and version :   05/16/2014 4.3.12
Signer name :

Published name :            oem19.inf
Driver package provider :   NVIDIA Corporation
Class :                     Sound, video and game controllers
Driver date and version :   06/16/2013 1.3.26.4
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem28.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Modems
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem37.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Universal Serial Bus controllers
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem46.inf
Driver package provider :   NVIDIA Corporation
Class :                     Sound, video and game controllers
Driver date and version :   11/28/2013 1.3.30.1
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem55.inf
Driver package provider :   HP
Class :                     Printers
Driver date and version :   12/16/2012 11.21.00.1607
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem29.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Portable Devices
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem38.inf
Driver package provider :   SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd.
Class :                     Universal Serial Bus controllers
Driver date and version :   03/25/2013 2.9.508.0
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem47.inf
Driver package provider :   Hewlett-Packard
Class :                     Imaging devices
Driver date and version :   11/10/2006 08.00.00.01
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem56.inf
Driver package provider :   Hewlett-Packard
Class :                     Imaging devices
Driver date and version :   12/16/2012 30.0.1044.40289
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem39.inf
Driver package provider :   Oracle Corporation
Class :                     Universal Serial Bus controllers
Driver date and version :   05/16/2014 4.3.12
Signer name :

Published name :            oem48.inf
Driver package provider :   Hewlett-Packard
Class :                     IEEE 1284.4 compatible printer
Driver date and version :   11/10/2006 050.000.145.000
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem57.inf
Driver package provider :   Hewlett-Packard
Class :                     Universal Serial Bus controllers
Driver date and version :   12/16/2012 30.0.1044.40289
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem49.inf
Driver package provider :   Microsoft
Class :                     Printers
Driver date and version :   05/28/2012 15.0.4128.4000
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem58.inf
Driver package provider :    BASIS Science, Inc.
Class :                     Universal Serial Bus controllers
Driver date and version :   04/13/2012 2.08.24
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Published name :            oem59.inf
Driver package provider :    BASIS Science, Inc.
Class :                     Ports (COM & LPT)
Driver date and version :   04/13/2012 2.08.24
Signer name :               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2014   #7
jmm

7 Pro 32
 
 

i guess i'm confused - i was sure that before installing adaware 11 i only had a "drivers" and a "DRVSTORE" (blue caps as compressed) folders in sys32, and that the DriverStore folder only appeared after adaware 11 install - pure paranoia?... (but i'm sure the DRVSTORE folder is from an old (2009?) adaware install that didnt get removed)
wow, thanks!!
next, i'll look into that old drivers bizness and will let you know...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2014   #8
ComputerGeek

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64
 
 

Hmmm... i see I have a DRVSTORE folder as well, though mine only seems to contain drivers for Virtual Box (i also run a virtual machine under Win 7).

System32/DriverStore contains a copy of each "driver package". (This is the full set of files needed to do an install)

System32/Drivers contains run-time driver files. (The driver installation would place copies of the driver files in "DriverStore" to their run-time location. could be system32/drivers and / or other locations.

I can have a look at what ya got if you like. Run Autoruns, then Files->Save as a .arn file. Zip it up to attach to next post
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2014   #9
jmm

7 Pro 32
 
 

ok thanks -> here it is...


Attached Files
File Type: zip AutoRuns.zip (246.9 KB, 28 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2014   #10
joeandmarg0

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Could you install Nir Sofer's DriverView and run it? You can hide ALL Microsoft's drivers,using the appropriate check box and the programme allows you to find out about all the other drivers via the Internet,before deleting or not.It really is an excellent and safe utility because it leaves the registry well alone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 how to remove unused drivers?




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
vRAM Not in Use - Out of date drivers - Unused Graphic Card
Hi. I want to use 3D features in Photoshop but this message comes up: http://puu.sh/7X6us.png It seems as if I don't have enough vRAM. I went to my Advanced Display settings to check and found this:http://puu.sh/7X6Fw.png It looks as if I have more than enough. Are my drivers out of...
Graphic Cards
How to remove AMD drivers properly
Heya guys, I'm in the process of removing all AMD drivers from my system so I can install the 12.7 official beta version, and I noticed something when I was switching my display adapter to the 'Generic PnP Monitor'. In the picture you can see all these old and outdated AMD drivers, from when I was...
Drivers
Remove unused Visual C++ Runtimes?
How do I do this? I have like 8 of them in my add/remove programs list and want to get rid of the ones i no longer need.
Performance & Maintenance
How to clean-up unused COM# ports from old drivers?
Greetings, I seem to have some problem of being overbloated with old instances of COM ports from old drivers versions which evidently these drivers don't bother to free when updated/uninstalled. I'm using Atheros BT Suite which always after installation/update assigns to all BT devices a brand...
Hardware & Devices
How to Remove Drivers
How do I remove drivers left over from an uninstalled programme? Even with the UAC off (fully down) I cannot delete them.
Drivers
How do I remove Unused Partition in Windows 7
I have a HP Notebook and it has a 12 gb unused partition that I tried to delete that was used for "HP System Recovery" (Press F10) which reinstalled XP each time from the original installation . Now that is not needed because I am using Acronis Home 2010 Disk Imaging and can restore my computer...
General Discussion


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:12.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App