How to Delete a Hardware Device Controller From the Registry in Windows XP

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Device drivers provide the instructional code to interface between your hardware and the operating system. Device drivers are provided by your hardware manufacturer. The Windows registry contains all the settings and configurations for your machine, including the device drivers used for each hardware component installed. During device driver installation, the settings are stored in the Windows registry. You can manually remove the driver by deleting the registry key associated with the hardware device.

  • Click the Windows "Start" button and select "Run." Enter "regedit32" into the text box. Click "OK" to open your Windows registry.

  • Navigate to the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services" key in the Windows registry. This key lists all the device drivers in alphabetical order by hardware name.

  • Scroll down to the device driver you want to remove. Right-click the key and select "Delete." Click "Yes" at the confirmation window to delete the device driver.

  • Reboot your machine. Changes to the Windows registry do not take effect until you reboot the machine. If an alternate driver is not available, Windows prompts you for a new device driver for the hardware component.

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