How to hide a disabled device from Device Manager.

Under Windows XP at least, you use the Windows Driver Kit utility, Device Console Utility (Devcon.exe)

C:\>C:\WDK\devcon remove *SMS_DISPLAY
ROOT\*SMS_DISPLAY\0000                                      : Removed on reboot
Not all of 1 device(s) removed, at least one requires reboot to complete the operation.


(in the above example, I’m removing a Disabled SMS Mirror Device)

The DevCon remove command:

Remove devices that match the specific hardware or instance ID.
This command will only work for local machine.
Specify -r to reboot automatically if needed.
Examples of <id> are:
*                  – All devices (not recommended)
ISAPNP\PNP0501     – Hardware ID
*PNP*              – Hardware ID with wildcards (* matches anything)
@ISAPNP\*\*        – Instance ID with wildcards (@ prefixes instance ID)
<class> is a setup class name as obtained from the classes command.

You can download a copy of DevCon via here:
Microsoft Technet Wiki: How to Obtain the Current Version of Device Console Utility (DevCon.exe)

How to extract device drivers from your PC.

Driver Magician Lite Use Driver Magician.

Why?  Well sometimes you’ll get a laptop from a manufacturer, and to remove all the crapware, you’ll want to reformat the laptop.

Reformatting is normally the best option.  Quickest way to get rid of the crapware I know.
Or, if you work in a Corporate IT shop, you are probably going to want to install your own customised Windows operating system install.*

BUT.  Sometimes manufacturers don’t place their laptop drivers on their website, which makes it hard to install your own copy of Windows successfully.  What with not being able to find all those required device drivers.

Driver Magician will backup all those device drivers for you.  And if you’re not a skinflint who uses the Driver Magician Lite version, it’ll even restore them for you.  From the screenshot, you can see I’m a skinflint…

And the driver backup went very well.

On a test Dell e4200 series laptop, I backed up the Intel Ethernet and Wireless Network drivers.  It backed all the required DLLs/INFs/CAB files it needed to.  Then I reformatted the laptop, and installed Windows XP.  Loaded the backed up drivers, and they worked perfectly.

I’m very happy.

Why the Dell e4200?

A standard Windows XP build does not have the required (e4200) Intel Network drivers included.  Meaning you have to install them yourself.  So it made a good test machine.

Thanks to…

Terry McDonald (School Network Manager).  This is where I first saw mention of Driver Magician.

* if you are a large enough Corporate IT shop, you’ll get into discussions with laptop hardware vendors like:

Wisefaq, your customised image fails to load at our laptop manufacturing plant.  It’s your device driver choice.  We use different drivers in our laptop Windows install, and they work …

Driver Magician will allow me to extract those very same drivers, and use them in my customised Windows build.

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