GhostBuster enumerates all devices, detects ghosted. It is a small tool which enumerates all devices, detects ghosted devices and removes these if they match selectable devices types and / or devices classes with a single mouse-click.
By default Windows does not show ghosted devices. Windows will show Ghosted devices only if two criteria are met:
- An environment variabe DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES with a value of 1 is added
- In Device Manager (StartMenu & Run compmgmt.msc ) if you check the View|Hidden Devices menuitem.
Because Windows has to detect if a devices is ghosted by trying to start it, a large number of ghosted devices will add to the startup time of Windows. The regular way of removing these devices is right clicking each of them, select the uninstall menuitem and wait for the Device Manager to uninstall the device and rebuild its tree of devices.
Ghostbuster does this all in one click and removes all the ghosted devices matching your own selection criteria with a single click!
You can select and deselect classes or devices through the right-click contect menu of the devices listview. Only ghosted devices (grayed text) AND devices that match the selection criteria (light yellow background) will be uninstalled when the Remove Ghosts button is pressed. All other devices remain untouched.
Beware that windows has a fair number of devices that are ghosted but should not be ununistalled (like devices in the sound, video and game controller class or system and non plug-n-play devices). Ghostbuster marks most of these as services.
So use it with care and only if you know what you are doing!
NOTE: For Vista and Windows 7 edit the properties of the shortcut so GhostBuster runs in WinXP compatibility mode.
NOTE: For Windows Home Server (and probably Windows 2003 Server too), I encountered registry access problems during a Remote Desktop Session and will look into it.
* NET Framework
The license of this software is Free, you can free download and free use this diagnostic software.