How to remove orphaned hardware devices

  1. Open a command prompt
    If you are on an OS with User Account Control enabled, you need to run the command prompt as an Administrator.
  2. Type the following:
    set DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1
  3. In the same command prompt window, type:
    devmgmt.msc
  4. Device Manager opens.
  5. Select View, Show Hidden Devices
  6. Expand the various categories to display orphaned devices. They will be grayed out:
    032509_2212_Howtoremove1
  7. Right-click and select Uninstall to remove the device completely from the system.
  8. A reboot may be necessary after your have removed the devices. Sometimes Device Manager will inform you of this, sometimes not.

I find this extremely useful on virtual machines that have moved from one virtualization platform to another. In this situation old Network Interface Cards (NICs) can sometimes be problematic.

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