Windows Server

Rolling back device driver updates in Windows Server 2003's Device Manager

When updating a device driver to solve a problem or improve the performance of a device, there may be other things included with the new driver that produce unexpected results in your Windows Server 2003 system. Fortunately, there is a safeguard: You can roll back the updates.

When updating a device driver to solve a problem or improve the performance of a device, there may be other things included with the new driver that produce unexpected results or cause other aspects of your Windows Server 2003 system to function differently than you expect.

Fortunately, there is a safeguard for situations where you have updated driver files that aren't performing as needed: You can roll back the updates.

In this tip, we'll take a look at the process for rolling back driver updates.

Note: You will only be able to roll back the driver file if the driver has been updated. If it has not yet been updated, there will be no driver available to revert back to.

Rolling back driver updates is simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Computer Management Console by right-clicking the My Computer icon on the Start menu and selecting Manage.
  2. In the left pane of the console, select Device Manager.
  3. Once loaded in the right pane, expand the category for the device whose drivers you wish to roll back.
  4. Right-click the device in the list and select Properties.
  5. On the device's Property sheet, select the Driver tab.
  6. Click the Rollback Driver button.

Note: If the Rollback Driver button is grayed out, the driver has not been updated and cannot be rolled back.

The driver will roll back to the previously installed version. You should also keep in mind that some drivers from Windows Update may need rolling back due to conflicts within a system. This may not happen often, but is a great tool for correcting problems with driver updates.

Next week, we'll take a look at updating and uninstalling extant drivers.

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About

Derek Schauland has been tinkering with Windows systems since 1997. He has supported Windows NT 4, worked phone support for an ISP, and is currently the IT Manager for a manufacturing company in Wisconsin.

4 comments
#1 Kenster
#1 Kenster

Rolling back the driver in Device Manager works in XP Pro also.

omitsn
omitsn

i really appriciate your simple explanation. but can you please in your next lesson explain how to fix a system that was checked disk n yet is not loading start up how can it be repair

JCitizen
JCitizen

It turned out to be the UPS driver/software. More than likely an update broke one of your drivers or programs. It takes a little looking at the event viewer or sometimes guesswork to figure it out. I went to Macecraft and downloaded their RegSupreme and solved the problem that way. I think the same uninterruptable power supply software broke my .NET Framework 2.0 update from Microsoft also.