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This has the added bonus of removing device drivers from your computer, for hardware that you may or may not even have anymore. The bottom line is if the hardware has been superceeded, replaced etc, by eliminating the device from Device Manager, your computer will no longer load, or attempt to load the driver at startup. Potentially decreasing the time require for Windows to boot up.

Automatically: Edit

  1. Click on your start button
  2. Right click on the My Computer link and choose Properties
  3. Click on Advanced System Settings in the panel to the far left
  4. Make sure you are in the Advanced tab
  5. Click the Environment Variables button
  6. Under "System variables", click New
  7. In the "Variable Name" field, type "DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES" without the " marks
  8. In the "Variable Value" field, typ the number 1, then press OK
  9. Reboot your computer
  10. Open your Device Manager using whichever method you desire
  11. Click on "View" in the toolbar at the top and select "Show Hidden Devices"

Device Manager will now show all devices, including those not currently connected to the computer.

Manually (Each time you wish to open Device Manager) Edit

  1. Click on your start button
  2. Type "CMD" without the " marks
  3. Right click on the Command Prompt search result, choose Run as Administrator
  4. When the command prompt opens, type "SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1" without the " marks and press enter
  5. Now type "mmc devmgmt.msc" without the " marks and press enter
  6. When Device Manager loads, click View in the toolbar at the top and choose Show Hidden Devices

Device Manager will now show all devices, including those not currently connected to the computer.

Semi-Automatic Edit

Simply create yourself a BAT file containing the two commands from the Manual approach

SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1
MMC DEVMGMT.MSC

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