Unable to remove hidden device in device manager

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by Guest, May 9, 2007.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I tried to install a Netgear wpn111 wireless USB adapter. The installation
    failed. I ran the Netgear uninstallation routine and tried to re-install the
    wpn111. XP will not detect the device. I called Netgear - no help. I
    noticed that the adapter still appears in the device manager as a hidden
    device. When I try to remove it using the device manager, I get the error
    message: "Failed to uninstall the device. The device may be required to boot
    up the computer." I removed the USB device from the boot list in the BIOS
    but the device manager still won't let me delete the Netgear device. I tried
    to remove it from the registry and got an error when I tried to delete the
    key. I tried this on two machines with the same results.
    Is there a way to remove the device so I can try to reinstall it?
    Guest, May 9, 2007
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  2. Guest

    Lem Guest

    You can try uninstalling in Safe Mode, or you can try going into your
    BIOS and making sure that any "boot from network" option is disabled.

    Neither of these suggestions worked for me when I had a similar problem.

    You can also try the following KB article, although my notes say that it
    "may be not entirely accurate for XP". If you do try this, be sure to
    back up your registry first. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/147797/EN-US/

    The only way I was able to deal with this issue was to do a System
    Restore to a point before the problem arose.
    Lem, May 9, 2007
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  3. Guest

    Lem Guest

    Sorry, I didn't fully read your post. I see you have already tried to
    deal with the boot list as well as removing the device from the
    registry. Try removing it from the registry while in Safe Mode, and see
    if that works. Otherwise, System Restore (or restore from a disk image)
    may be your best options.
    Lem, May 9, 2007
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I tried to remove it in safe mode using both regedit and the device manager.
    I get the same errors.

    Guest, May 9, 2007
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Yes, failed driver installation can leave an unremovable "phantom".
    It isn't in any way related to bios settings, network boot and so on.
    But it is strange that this happens to you on WinXP - this was usual
    on win2k, but in XP they fixed this so that phantoms can be easily deleted
    in dev. manager (you can't do this with regedit... sorry )

    Anyway, if the device is plugged again, a phantom usually does
    not prevent XP from detecting it.
    IMHO your case is pretty unusual, no wonder that Netgear support
    can't help.
    Have you tried system restore as Lem advised?
    Are you sure that this driver is really for XP and not for win98 or win2k?

    Guest, May 9, 2007
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    According to Netgear it was an XP driver. The OS did not detect it when it
    was plugged back in. This same thing happened on two different computers.
    The only thing that Netgear could offer was that the adapter was defective.
    I returned it for a replacement which I haven't received yet.

    Guest, May 9, 2007
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Another post suggested opening up the permissions on the keys I wanted to
    delete with regdt32. That solved the problem. I was then able to delete the
    Netgear keys.

    Guest, May 9, 2007
  8. Hi
    Another trick is to rename the Hidden Devices, then they are easly removed
    from the Registry and the system.
    Jack (MVP-Networking).
    Jack \(MVP-Networking\)., May 10, 2007
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Another post suggested opening up the permissions on the keys I wanted to
    Yes, the install failure can happen because of defective hardware.
    Of course you can change permission on the enum registry branch and
    delete the keys, but these keys are not what causes the problem,
    and they are specially protected by purpose. Be very sure you know
    what you do there.

    Guest, May 10, 2007
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks for the hint. I hope I never have to use it though.

    Guest, May 10, 2007
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