Files related to particular hardware usually are:
- An .INF file under c:\windows\inf
- Several .SYS files under c:\windows\system32\drivers
When a new Plug-n-Play device is detected, Windows scans INF files to find
one with matching Plug-n-Play identifier inside. Then it uses information
found in INF file to install appropriate driver files and set up device. If
more than one INF found for device, AFAIK
newer drivers are preferred over
older and signed/WHQL over unsigned.
All that said, it becomes obvious that to remove a driver from the system,
you need to:
1. Uninstall device from Device Manager
2. Delete corresponding INF file fro, %windir%\inf
3. Delete driver files from %windir%\system32\drivers
Lats one is optional.
1. TO UNINSTALL DEVICE USING DEVICE MANAGER:
- Open elevated Device Manager (click Start, right-click Computer,
- Navigate to Device Manager node on the left pane, find your device in
- Write down device name EXACTLy as it appears on the right pane. You
will need that later.
- If you intend to delete driver files:
-- Double click device, open Driver tab, click Driver Details
-- Write down driver files and paths
- Close all device properties, right-click device, select Uninstall
2. TO FIND AND REMOVE INF FILE:
Maybe there are better ways to find out which INF file corresponds to which
device but I was using following command issued at command prompt (can be
find /c "Device_Name_As_It_Appears_In_Device_Manager" c:\windows\inf\*.inf |
find ":" | find /v ": 0"
find /c "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller" c:\windows\inf\*.inf |
find ":" | find /v ": 0"
You will see an output like following:
C:\>find /c "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial" c:\windows\inf\*.inf | find ":" |
find /v ": 0"
---------- C:\WINDOWS\INF\MSHDC.INF: 2
Now you know INF file that Windows uses to install drivers for device in
question (in example above it is C:\WINDOWS\INF\MSHDC.INF). If you delete
this file, corresponding driver will not be installed automatically anymore.
3. CLEANUP (OPTIONAL)
If you wish you can delete driver files using information you obtained in
"DonV" <email@example.com> wrote in message
>I mistakenly installed an update driver for my Mass Storage Controller,
>Silicon Image SiI 680 ATA 133 Controller. The update was listed as a
>recommended update from microsoft for Vista. This update has caused the
>controller card to malfunction and each time I try to Roll Back the driver,
>Vista re-installs the downloaded driver.
> Is there a way to completely remove the downloaded driver or stop Vista
> from using it. I remove the controller drivers, have to reboot and as soon
> as I login, Vista installs the errent driver preventing me from selcting
> the earlier driver.
> I have tried the normal ways to remove this driver but it does not work.