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Windows Driver Uninstall: "Failed to uninstall the device. The device may be required to boot up the computer."

11 January 2008 61 Comments

Solution for receiving the following error message:

“Failed to uninstall the device. The device may be required to boot up the computer.”
When trying to uninstall devices…

(Click on certain images, if they are hard to read.)
—- Solution 1 —-
(Will Remove Driver For Good!)
(More Advanced, if you are not sure, please comment!, screwing up the registry is sometimes irreversible)
Open device manager (either from control panel or type ‘devmgmt.msc’ in Run…)
Right click on the device that you are tying to uninstall
Choose ‘Properties’
Goto ‘Details’ Tab

Make Note of the Boxed Region In the Following Image (the “code”)
(Format, if no image, ???\??????????\?????????)
(Note: the whole phrase will need to be noted, you can just leave this window in the background)

Open Regedit (Start -> Run -> regedit)
Goto “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum”

Now the noted “Code” comes into use…
Within Enum, goto the “folder” that first appears in the “code”
For the above example I would expand/goto the folder HID
Then from within that folder expand/choose the next part (after first ‘\’) of the “code”
Then, if applicable, choose the sub-folder (following the 2nd ‘\’) of the “code”

For the example above (HID\VID_413C&PID_2003\6&348914A4&0&000), I would choose

Right click on the “folder” and choose delete.
(Note: If there is only one sub-folder, go one folder up! (VID_413C&PID_2003)
If you get a security access error, please continue, if not then congrats, your driver is successfully deleted.

– Security Access Fix –

Right click on the “folder” that you tried to delete
Select “Permissions…”
Choose ‘Everyone’
Check “Full Control” under “Allow”

Click “Apply”
Now try to delete the “folder” again and should successfully delete!

If you are having trouble with any of the above steps, please comment!
If this successfully fixed you problem, feel free to comment also!

—- Solution 2 —-
(Quick and Dirty, Not Recommended!)
Open device manager (either from control panel or type ‘devmgmt.msc’ in Run…)
Right click on the device that you are tying to uninstall
Choose ‘Update Driver’

Then choose:
Install From Specific Location

Click Next
Choose “Don’t Search, I will choose the driver to install.”
Click Next
Choose a Random Driver from the category of your current device.

The second solution, was mainly for advanced users, with an alternate idea of how to do it, it was not intended to be a step-by-step instruction.

Thanks For Reading! Hope It Helps!
-James Hartig

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  • Shastarian said:

    First step worked perfrectly. Thanks heaps, I was losing a fair bit of hair because of this :P

    • Softronix said:

      Thanks James it worked very well. You have put it in very detail, first option worked well. many thanks.


      • mouseclone said:

        This worked great. I have been a system admin for a while. you learn new things all of the time and forget them as soon as they are fixed. I’m glad you wrote it down. Thanks again.

        • kevinaj said:

          I agree, this was definitely useful information!


          • Mihai said:

            Very much appreciated, all the best!

            • Mihai said:

              Very much appreciated, all the best!

              • Hoan said:

                Thank you, Thank you, Thank you so much. The first step worked great. I took it to a Acer service shop and the people told me to reformat my ACER Aspire 4710 laptop. Thank god i did not do that. This has been a super helpful thread.

                • Jarai Csaba said:

                  Useful info, thanks a lot! First option worked great!

                  • Sereivuth said:

                    Many Thanks !, This can help me. (@_@)

                    • Bef said:

                      Excellent instructions.  Got me half way to fixing my wireless adapter issues.  I only wish the manufacturer sites could be half as helpful as your page.

                      • Yehhanyos said:

                        The detailed instructions you did was GREAT, Thank you, thank you, thank you :)

                        • RB said:

                          These instructions saved me from great headache when I tryed to reinstall Realtek HDAudio drivers for laptop. :P

                          • Choke said:

                            Thank for all of your help.
                            I can’t sleep all night to solve this problems.

                            Now I will get good sleep….

                            • mike said:

                              That was the best explanation of how to remove a misbehaving windows driver!
                              Thank you for taking the time to explain!

                              • Dave said:

                                Option one worked great, thanks a ton!  I installed a USB network adapter driver for one time use at a friend’s house and the driver screwed up all of my other network drivers.  I was considering reformatting until I found this post!

                                    • mac said:

                                      thank you very much!!! great.. really great..god bless you more..

                                      • kathy said:

                                        thank you so much.  it worked a treat getting rid of some unidentified “NET” hardware that was probably associated with a virtual machine I was trying to install.  It was driving me nuts.  Much appreciated.

                                        • [radu] said:

                                          Thank you. This solved my problem with my sound card. One happy man here :)

                                          • jc jones said:

                                            Your instructions worked to get rid of the drivers, … but .. there always seems to be a “but” with me — upon restart, winxp re-installs the devices and they are still unusable.
                                            Thanks for your help

                                            • Ron said:

                                              Thank you, Step 1 instructions were clear and accurate. I used them to get rid of many unused Nortel IPSECSHM Adapters.

                                              • Maxim said:

                                                Thanks a lot!
                                                I’ve got a problem with sound codec that was installed inproperly… so I just deleted folder “HDAUDIO” in Enum folder, rebooted and that’s it! New drivers installed insted of broken ones…

                                                • Regoldo said:

                                                  Works! Simple and fast! Thanks!

                                                  • gobinath said:

                                                    Thx. Saved my time to fix my sound issue !!

                                                    • Kaveet said:

                                                      Thank you so much! Been having trouble with some stupid “Net” issue…but it’s all fixed!
                                                      Thanks again!

                                                      • sundar said:

                                                        Thanks a lot,
                                                        It helped me fix the HD Audio Drive Issue

                                                        • raja jagadeesh kanna said:

                                                          i had a problem with my audio driver.it seems the wrong driver was installed and afterwards the device refuses to get uninstalled giving an error message “unable to uninstalled.the device may be required to boot the system ” but this method of cleaning it in the registry worked out for me and i was able to install the correct driver after reboot. thanks

                                                          • ITcOoLnErD said:

                                                            Awesome!!!! 1st one worked!!! 100%!!! Thank you!

                                                            • sweeet said:

                                                              The first ption worked flawlessly! Thanks, this really helped a lot!

                                                              • Laura said:

                                                                Thank you so much! Worked great on a problem we couldnt figure out. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

                                                                • Carl said:

                                                                  Thanks for this. a old virtual machine nic install was interfering with a different virtual machine drivers (old = vmware, new = oracle virtualbax)

                                                                  • Mark Bentley said:

                                                                    Thanks James

                                                                    Your instructions were very clear, many of us are (rightly) very wary of making registry changes but I was having a difficult time getting rid of a Nortel IPSECSHM Adapter.

                                                                    Step 1 worked a treat, it is nice to see clear (illustrated) notes that make the job easy.

                                                                    well done

                                                                    • Joel Bawe said:

                                                                      Thanks James
                                                                      Your instructions was very clear and effective. I thought I need to re-install my windows, cause I have so many websites I have visits but no one works.
                                                                      Good Luck & God Bless

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