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Windows 7: How to remove old sound drivers?

11 Oct 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit
 
 
How to remove old sound drivers?

Hey all - do you know how I can remove old versions of sound drivers? I updated to the newest (beta) driver for my Audigy and now have two older versions left on the list. One is the driver Windows originally installed and the other is an older driver from Creative.

I know there's no harm in leaving these if a device is functioning properly, but in the interest of keeping a tidy system, is there a way I can easily remove old drivers from Windows 7? Would this involve digging into the folders via Windows Explorer?

Thanks for your help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Oct 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

While in the Device Manager there if you see more then one item listed under sound, video, and game controllers that you know is an older driver set you can right click on it and select the uninstall option along with checking off the delete drivers box. There also 3rd party tools for driver cleaning available as well.

If you know the exact driver file names there's also the manual track down and remove from the system32 folder provided none are still being loaded into memory. That would indicate remaining registry values instructing Windows to still load them up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2009   #3
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
While in the Device Manager there if you see more then one item listed under sound, video, and game controllers that you know is an older driver set you can right click on it and select the uninstall option along with checking off the delete drivers box. There also 3rd party tools for driver cleaning available as well.

If you know the exact driver file names there's also the manual track down and remove from the system32 folder provided none are still being loaded into memory. That would indicate remaining registry values instructing Windows to still load them up.
And then hope you don't break anything when you're done. Better off to just leave the old drivers if things are working as expected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Oct 2009   #4

 

Stormy13 is correct. Of what value is the task?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2009   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

When those Creative drivers crash it often helps to dig around in Windows Explorer and remove the remnants of those drivers because they often will come back to haunt you. Been there done that with Creative but never again.

There can be great value in removing those old Creative driver files from your system completely as often times just reinstalling the drivers won't fix the problem. With Creative drivers those bits and pieces will cause you problems, I've seen it happen enough times to know it's true.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2009   #6

 

Value substantiated.

Here is a free tool.
Guru3D - Driver Sweeper
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2009   #7
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Antman View Post
Value substantiated.

Here is a free tool.
Guru3D - Driver Sweeper
And have to uninstall the current driver before using and then re-install, as that will remove everything Creative driver related previous as well as current.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2009   #8

 

Man, this is getting old -
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Antman View Post
Stormy13 is correct...
Good call.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2009   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Generally the uninstall option in Programs&Features tends to clean most Creative drivers off followed by a reboot to insure nothing is still being loaded. Once that's taken care of as well as a good sweep the newer ones shouldn't run into any major headaches.

The problem most have is simply trying to rush ahead with something newer before taking the time needed to see this done. chev65 knows what I was mentioning before from running into problems with the C.Labs drivers.

For awhile Creative made a mess on their support right after Vista's release where if you went for an XP update you ended up with the Vista version instead!

Even when going through the MS update site you would see the exact same problem until finally they reorganized their support pages! Took long enough!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2009   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
Generally the uninstall option in Programs&Features tends to clean most Creative drivers off followed by a reboot to insure nothing is still being loaded. Once that's taken care of as well as a good sweep the newer ones shouldn't run into any major headaches.

The problem most have is simply trying to rush ahead with something newer before taking the time needed to see this done. chev65 knows what I was mentioning before from running into problems with the C.Labs drivers.

For awhile Creative made a mess on their support right after Vista's release where if you went for an XP update you ended up with the Vista version instead!

Even when going through the MS update site you would see the exact same problem until finally they reorganized their support pages! Took long enough!
Yes I agree, there are many problems in general with Creative drivers.

Another reason is that it's very easy to "break" their drivers which can be done with a single errant button push.

I won't get into the Daniel K debockle where they removed all his posts from their forums and made it very difficult to find his drivers after that. For the longest time Creative refused to make Vista drivers for the older Audigy cards until Daniel K stepped in and did it for them. Lets just say I've been there done that as far as Creative goes.

Once the file corruption occurs "driver broken" simply reinstalling the driver won't fix the problem. It ends up turning into a very long process of finding the driver pieces "sometimes driver sweeper doesn't get them all out" and then the usual long installation process that Creative is famous for.

After that you can break them again in five seconds which will require you to go through the entire process all over again. is right.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to remove old sound drivers?





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