Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works

Ghost USB Devices

  • Please log in to reply




  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 225 posts
OK, this is an interesting / helpful piece of info. :)
I know it works in WinXP, not sure about other versions.

Sometimes, if you remove USB devices incorrectly, or with certain USB devices (those that don't have a USB serial number), you'll be left with "ghost" devices in your device manager. Well, here's how to see them. (Even if you don't think you have any ghost devices, this is a neat trick to see what else shows up.)

1. Bring up System Properties. (Right-click on My Computer and click Properties.
2. Click Advanced, then Environment Variables.
3. Under System Variables, click New.
4. In name type: devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices
5. In value type: 1

Click OK 3 times to get back to your desktop.

Now, the thing is, it won't show the ghost devices if you go to the Device Manager the normal way.

You actually have to go to START -> RUN and type in: devmgmt.msc

That'll open the Device Manager, now, click VIEW and SHOW HIDDEN DEVICES

You may be suprised by what you see. (Stuff that wasn't safely removed, and alot of stuff that doesn't have a USB Serial Number, so everytime you plug it in, it shows another instance of it.)

Just some useless / neat stuff we learned at work because the USB -> Serial cables would change to another COM port everytime you plugged it in again. :tazz:
  • 0




    Retired Staff

  • Retired Staff
  • 2,089 posts
Thanks for posting the info. Perhaps it may be of value to someone.
  • 0

Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP