"Failed to uninstall the device. The device may be required to boot up the computer"

This happened to me today on an Acronis restored Small Business Server box (to different hardware using universal restore).

The issue is that the HP server that the image came from had HP drivers that ended up blocking the broadcom drivers on the Dell server I was moving to.   The way to fix the issue is as follows:

1.  Go into a command prompt.
2.  type “set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
3.  Hit return.
4.  Type “devmgmt.msc”
5.  Hit return.

Once device manager has loaded, go to View, Show Hidden Devices.

You will then see “greyed out” old devices and network cards that you can remove.

 Once you reboot all should be well.

  26 Replies to “"Failed to uninstall the device. The device may be required to boot up the computer"”

  1. December 5, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    Nice tip Nick, thank!


  2. December 22, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    I received the same message and this fix worked for me. Thanks

  3. Martin
    January 16, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Hello i tried this and it did not work, i cant or don’t see any greyed out one at all. is there anything else i can try to fix this?

  4. Chameleon
    March 6, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Works for me! THX !

  5. Steven
    April 7, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Ok, this solution works wonders if you have a driver conflict or race condition. However if the device you are trying to remove, is the only device, even with the environment variable set, This is about as useless as saying throw the PC out the window. On my system there is no hidden device, Just the device, and in safe mode, with the environment var set, with show hidden devices, I STILL CAN’T REMOVE THE NIC

  6. April 16, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    nice tip. I’m fighting with power management on a Dell latitude that won’t turn E-net back on for anything. This is a step toward the fix.

  7. Zak
    April 29, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Remove bindings from the network cards you are trying to delete and also remove QoS – it shouldn’t be needed and you can always reinstall it when the unnecessary devices are deleted…

  8. May 19, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    TQ. finally i can solve my problem..

  9. Salik
    May 31, 2008 at 1:57 am

    I am facing same kind of problem with my gprs modem but this tip doesn’t work for it. I just can’t remove it from the system. First time windows installed its own driver for it now when i try to install manufacturer driver it just does do it. and also don’t remove the device. Any one can help me out?


  10. Salik
    May 31, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Try this link, it will surely solve your problem.



  11. Keith
    June 6, 2008 at 10:41 am

    This link worked for me at first……but then the devices came back into the device managers list. I am also working from a Acronis Universal Restore and having issues with some hardware.

  12. July 18, 2008 at 3:09 am

    Thanks Friend … . . . It saved my lots of time……….Thank you so much

  13. Dave
    July 19, 2008 at 5:46 am

    Thanks mate saved me blowing my top over this stupid issue 🙂

  14. sam
    September 12, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    THANK YOU! that stupid nintendo wifi adapter was doing this to a customer and the drivers wouldn’t delete, your trick worked where others didn’t, THANKS!

  15. Tom
    October 4, 2008 at 11:05 am

    I have the same issue with my Realtek audio card. I did what you said and saw the old devices on the list. But I don’t know which ones I should delete. Could you give me some more tips please? Thanks a lot.

  16. Sandeep
    November 4, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks Man, It worked like a Charm !!!!!!!!

  17. Anon
    December 17, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Absolutely top fix.

  18. Angela
    February 9, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Thanks for this. I was able to uninstall a rogue Dlink device that was interferring with my laptop’s internal network card, which works great now.

  19. Rob
    February 16, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Updated Link.
    This worked great for me after I changed rights on the registry.

  20. Asko
    February 17, 2009 at 5:02 am

    Didn’t succeed to uninstall a NIC in safe mode, but your trick did the job. Thanks!

  21. Giedrius
    February 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks! Help a lot!

  22. umtp
    July 8, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    it doesnt work on my laptop. the name of the stubborn device is High Definition Audio Driver.any idea?from my taskbar i can only see speaker icon which are belongs to bluetooth audio…weird..

  23. Ryan
    September 18, 2009 at 6:36 am

    Oh you’re good, you’re very good!
    Thanks mate!!!

  24. Maaz
    September 23, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Superb mate!!!

    This worked wonders for me…THANKS!!!

    Tried it in safe mode, didn’t work, restarted and went in normal Windows it worked like a charm.

  25. mortal
    June 2, 2010 at 7:59 am

    wow… you rock !!!
    thanks a lot !!!

  26. Angel
    November 25, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    it ways work on my dell notebook which causing my IP hardcoded on the packet scheduler mini port #2 and i can’t apply new IP address.

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