Friday 14 September 2018

How to remove unwanted drivers from Windows 10

Remove unwanted USB device drivers (Win7 to Win10)

Why would you want to remove drivers from the Windows driver store?

I need to remove drivers on two occasions:

  • When I screwed up designing my own USB devices with v-usb
  • When experimenting with SDR (software defined radio) receivers

Locate the offending driver

Microsoft documents the process here. You need an elevated shell (admin shell). Both CMS and PowerShell are ok.
pnputil -e
This will list the drivers in the driver store.
The output should look like this:

Excerpt of pnputil's output.

Remove the driver from the Windows driver store

If (for argument's sake), this was the offending driver:

Veröffentlichter Name:            oem123.inf

Treiberpaketanbieter:   SDRplay Ltd
Klasse:                     Audio, Video und Gamecontroller
Treiberversion und -datum:   08/26/2017
Name des Signaturgebers:               Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

The driver can be removed, using it's oemXYZ.inf identifier:

pnputil -d oem123.inf

This will remove the driver package from the driver store. If the device is busy, you can try the -f option to force the removal.

Reinstall driver

When you re-connect the device, it will prompt for a driver.

This procedure always worked for me when I need to start over with odd USB devices.

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