How do I delete Microsoft wireless keyboard/mouse drivers?

Microsoft Wireless desktop 3000 keyboard...
April 22, 2012 at 11:29:49
Specs: Windows 2000 Pro
In configuring my new notebook running W7 Pro, I discovered all sorts of things I could do to improve my desktop running W2K. (Yes. Really. A new desktop is at least six months away.)

One of these was deleting drivers for abandoned or not-in-current-use hardware. I yanked out tons of these without problems, 'cause I paid attention to what I was removing. (There are still lots of dangling USB drivers, which I'm reluctant to touch at the moment. Next weekend, perhaps.)

There's a driver problem I've had for some time, that did not respond to the tender ministrations of direct driver dumping. Perhaps you can point me in the right direction.

My first wireless keyboard/mouse was a Microsoft system using a 27MHz transceiver. When the keyboard failed, I had no choice but to buy a new system, this time a 3000 keyboard + 5000 Explorer mouse. It uses a 2.4GHz USB transceiver dongle, v6. It works fine, except...

Running Device Manager reveals three unsigned, unnamed interface drivers under Human Interface Devices, all marked with yellow triangles. If I restart the computer with these installed, the mouse refuses to work. I have to delete the drivers, then run the Install New Hardware wizard, which restores those drivers -- and the mouse's operation. Incredibly, if I then uninstall them, the mouse keeps working! On the next restart, Windows automatically installs them again, and I again have to remove them.

This is immensely annoying. I suspect the drivers are left over from the 27MHz wireless installation, but I'm not sure. What's surprising is that I can't get rid of them -- they're like blackberries or mint, which, no matter how often you yank out the roots, insist on coming back. (I have nothing personal against either plant, but they tend to take over.)

The next obvious step is to rip everything out of the driver cache directory. I just want to confirm that this is safe. As these are simply backups, the worst that could happen is that something might stop working, and I'd have to reinstall it. Right?

Thanks in advance.

See More: How do I delete Microsoft wireless keyboard/mouse drivers?

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April 22, 2012 at 15:23:53
Windows will only load drivers for hardware which is installed internally or plugged in externally. For devices which are not installed or plugged, the driver will not be loaded and will not appear in Device Manager.

The fact that Windows always re-installs and loads drivers which you've just uninstalled means that the hardware devices related to those drivers are still being detected by Windows - those devices are still present.

The only way to stop Windows automatically re-installing a driver you don't want because it causes problems is to physically remove or unplug the device related to that driver.

Or, if the device cannot be removed, disable it instead. That will stop it's driver being loaded.
To disable a device, right-click it in Device Manager and choose "Disable". It will stay disabled until it's manually enabled again.

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April 22, 2012 at 15:47:57
"Phil, I'm in the middle of the desert, and am dying of thirst. What would you recommend?"

"Find some water and drink it."

You've told me nothing I didn't already know. These drivers have no publisher, version number, or name. The finagling I have to go through to get the mouse to work (please reread what I wrote) is contrary to the way PnP is supposed to operate. It appears the PnP process isn't working correctly.

Once I've determined whether it's absolutely safe to wipe out the driver cache, I'll try to permanently "kill" these drivers. If not, I'll uninstall the wireless components and reinstall them. (I have a PS/2 trackball and keyboard, so I can still use the interface easily.)

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April 23, 2012 at 03:02:33
This software will give you a better idea of devices which have drivers installed or not installed:

Googling is quicker than waiting for an answer....

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April 23, 2012 at 04:31:38
Agreed, but I'd already done that. I added the environment variable that forces Device Manager to reveal the PnP drivers for devices that are not currently installed/attached. I was able to remove dozens of unneeded or duplicate drivers, while leaving drivers for devices I might use again (eg, game controllers). (I've left the USB drivers alone for the time being, because I'm not sure how to evaluate them.)

I will give the software you recommend a look-see. Thank you. (I checked before downloading. It appears Mr Hunter may have stolen this program from a French developer.)

Just in case it wasn't clear... The problem is that three drivers show up that don't seem to belong. (They might be leftovers from the previous 27MHz wireless installation.) And it's not just my opinion... Device Manager marks them with The Yellow Triangle of Dubiety.

If the OS is restarted when they're "installed", the mouse doesn't work. They have to be "uninstalled", then Find New Hardware has to be called to "reinstall" the wireless components for the mouse to work again. I can then "uninstall" these drivers, and the mouse continues to work! At the next startup, Windows "finds" the wireless system and reinstalls these useless drivers. Which I then uninstall, in an endless round...

Clearly, something is... well, it's great Yiddish word I can't use in public.

PS: I'm starting to understand that there is a difference between the INF cache and the driver cache.

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April 23, 2012 at 06:15:20
I pointed you towards the software, so you may be able to ascertain what Windows is showing as missing device drivers. I am not interested in reading diatribes, thank you.

As an aside CCleaner has a good registry cleaner as well as good cleanup utility, though not directly related to your issue, I have come across instances in Windows of false positives when booting up...

Googling is quicker than waiting for an answer....

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April 24, 2012 at 05:47:07
I am not interested in writing diatribes, either. But when people don't read postings carefully, diatribes are needed. Believe me, I misread or misunderstand more often than I'd care to admit. At least once a week I start writing a response, then discard it, because I realize I misread someone's posting.

One of the postings about UD[I] claims that it carries a trojan. This is probably not true, but I don't want to take the chance.

As for CCleaner (which I use regularly), I've never used it or any other product to clean up the Registry. But your point is well-taken -- this could be a Registry problem.

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