How to display Phantom drivers in Device Manager on Windows XP/Server 2003 (I)

Difficulty level (I)

This video demonstrates how to show phantom (i.e “disconnected”) hardware in the device manager Microsoft Managment snapin.

Phantom drivers have a faded icon in device manager which dinstrunguishes them from connected hardware.

To allow device manager to list phantom drivers you must create a system variable which configured device manager to do so.

Here is how to do that.

click ‘start’, then right click ‘my computer’
click ‘properties’
click on the advanced tab
click ‘environment variables’
click ‘new’ under ‘system variables’
in the ‘Variable name’ field type: ‘DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES’
in the variable value field type in ‘1’
next click ‘ok’
click ok to close the environment variables dialog
click ok to close the system properties dialog

Now hit ‘start’ and click ‘run’
type in ‘devmgmr.msc’

click ‘view’
then click ‘show hidden devices’

Thats it, This will display hidden devices as well as phantom devices.

If this did not work or for other questions, leave a comment


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