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Windows 7: Nothing shown on 'Device and Printers' screen

15 Nov 2014   #1
davidpsr

Windows 7 Ultimate, x64
 
 
Nothing shown on 'Device and Printers' screen

My 'Devices and Printers' screen shows absolutely NOTHING. I've included a screenshot. It doesn't matter how long I wait, not a single device populates the screen. It used to have most or all of my printers, external drives, USB devices, etc. Now, as you can see, it has nothing. I got it temporarily fixed one night, but I'm not sure exactly what I did to 'fix' it. Now it's back to its evil self.

Here's a screenshot of the Devices and Printers screen. Actually, it's been like this for a few weeks. It gives me no way to set printer settings, etc. For the most part, the printers and other devices that would populate this screen work okay in other environments. But they don't show up on the Devices and Printers screen. I've done everything I know to do to fix it to no avail. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate on an i7 Asus Computer with 32 Meg RAM, 4 TB total HD space, lots of stuff connected via USB, both USB 2 and USB 3, and a hard drive connected as an eSATA device. For Wi-Fi and LAN networking, I have a Trendnet AC router and internet service via Time Warner @50 Mbs.




Attached Thumbnails
Nothing shown on 'Device and Printers' screen-devices-printers.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Nov 2014   #2
Anak

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 

Hi davidpsr, welcome to 7F!

Have you tried a sfc /scannow? SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

This can also be a Bluetooth or .dll registration problem, there are many references to this online:
Devices and Printers is completely empty !!!
Devices and Printers blank - Microsoft Community

Check the Similar threads at the bottom of the page of your thread:
No devices or printers showing in Device and printers
Device and Printers does not see all printers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2014   #3
davidpsr

Windows 7 Ultimate, x64
 
 

I've already run sfc several times without success. I'll try it a few more time, but I fear the problem may be systemic, because other flaky things have started happening. I see a Clean Install sometime in the VERY near future.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

30 Nov 2014   #4
Anak

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 

You could try a Repair Install to see if that would help before trying the Clean Install

Check the Related tutorials at the end of the Clean Install tutorial, as there are many variations to doing a clean install and I don't know how yours was originally done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2014   #5
davidpsr

Windows 7 Ultimate, x64
 
 

A 'clean' install to me involves deleting all the partitions on the system drive and letting Windows repartition and format the drive. I used to do a Norton 'Wipe' of the drive, but since it doesn't really hold any sensitive information, I decided that's a waste of time.

I have a full install version of Windows 7 Ultimate, so I hope activation's not a problem. I've had several occasions where I had to contact Microsoft but they were pretty lenient about accepting what I told them as the truth and allowing me to validate my copy of Windows. This is the third time I've had to restart, mostly my own fault for using those crappy 'registry cleaners.' They may have a purpose, but all one really needs if he/she is going to mess with the registry is a solid knowledge of what they're doing and Window's native program, regedit.exe.

BTW.. I tried to do a repair install and it wouldn't finish. I forget what it said, but you know if repair install won't finish, there's something very wrong with the system.

Now I guess it's just a matter of gathering up all my Software Activation Codes and System Drivers and take the Fresh Install plunge. I'm thankful that at least those are still available. It seems like every time I use the computer, one more thing acts screwy or fails to work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2014   #6
Anak

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 

I never worried about doing an extra wipe of the drive as the installation process will take care of that. The only time you would, would be when you're giving or selling the machine away although, there are certain situations like saving the 100 MB System Reserved partition, that's explained in the third blue Note box in the Clean Install Tutorial.

If you're version of Windows came with the machine you should have an unlimited amount of times you can activate, the only time would be if you're installing to a different machine or if you've installed new hardware to the ASUS. That's when Microsoft may get leery, but even in those instances, as long as you're upfront and honest with them they'll allow the activation.
Windows 7 already has all the utilities it needs built-in, all I'm going to say about third-party cleaners is, lesson learned eh?

It's a shame the repair didn't go well, but it sounds like you have a plan, especially after doing the other re-installs, if something looks like its not going well or you're unsure of what or how to do anything don't hesitate to post back in one of the appropriate forums, there are a lot of knowledgeable members here that are willing to help. You can even send me a visitor message and I'll help you figure anything out, at the least I'll steer you in the right direction.

You have the Clean Install link, and I'll post two more about activation and one for the Tutorial Index, don't forget to check at the bottoms of the tutorials for Related Tutorials, and at the bottom of your threads sometimes there are other threads there that may have a bearing on your situation.

Activate Windows 7 Online

Activate Windows 7 by Phone

Windows 7 - Tutorial Index

Please let me know how your install went, okay?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2014   #7
davidpsr

Windows 7 Ultimate, x64
 
 

Thank you VERY much for helping me sort though this, Anak. I guess you could say my worst fears have been confirmed. But it's been worse. I have been stuck with no way to retrieve my data files and software Validation ID #'s and with no system backup. I guess I'm going to have to do a little more investigation into cloud storage. Seems like the wave of the future and I guess it's safer there than on my hard drive(s) at home.

The problem I have with many backup programs is that they store the files in a proprietary format, so without the program, you can't read the backup files, but since your computer crashed, you don't have the program. A vicious circle if ever there were one.

I've grown fond of the Seven (and Eight) forums and look forward to joining the community and maybe helping out in any way I can. These forums endeared themselves to me with the tutorial on how to relocate Windows Data files to a secondary HD without putting everything on the system drive via the little-known Audit mode. I did it the last time I had to re-start Windows and it has caused ZERO problems since. As long as Windows knows where it's defaults are assigned, Windows could care less if they're on the C: drive or anywhere else.

Thanks again for your assistance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2014   #8
Anak

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 

When you state:
Quote:
But it's been worse. I have been stuck with no way to retrieve my data files and software Validation ID #'s and with no system backup.
Do you mean you can't even get the machine to boot or are you having problems navigating around, how serious is it?

See this tutorial for ways to enter the operating system (OS) and retrieve files, especially steps #'s 9 - Partition Wizard, 10 - Startup Repair Infinite Loop, and 11 - Using your own copy of installation media. I would try #11 first since you already have the disk and the other methods would require you to download (D/L) and burn disks: Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot

Be sure to brush up on the tutorial shown in step 11 you'll be using that: Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console

For the software Validation ID #'s if you mean product key there should be stickers on the machine, I hope the stickers didn't wear off.
For different ways to find and see: Product Key Number for Windows 7 - Find and See
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2014   #9
davidpsr

Windows 7 Ultimate, x64
 
 

Sorry if I confused you. When I said it's been worse, I was talking about previous unrelated incidents that I've encountered with various Windows OS versions, up to and including Windows 7. That said, I hate Windows 8's new interface. On my new laptop with Windows 8 installed, I immediately installed Start8 from Stardock Software. It makes Windows 8 perform and look almost exactly like Windows 7. I had to do a little backtracking with the advent of Win 8.1, but I still use Start8 rather than Windows 8.1's revised Windows 7 lookalike.

Kind of getting off-track here. Sorry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2014   #10
davidpsr

Windows 7 Ultimate, x64
 
 

My version of Windows 7 Ultimate is a standalone version, not OEM. I use the terms Product Key, CD Key, Validation ID, etc. interchangeably.

Belarc Advisor is one of the best programs that I know of to investigate the innards of a computer and the software that's installed on it, including quite about of information about the current Windows version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Nothing shown on 'Device and Printers' screen




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