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Blank Device Manager in XP Home edition

By Roger ·
I have a computer with a blank device manager window. If the computer is started in SAFE mode all the devices are listed. However, if the computer is started normally, the device manager window is blank. All users defined on this computer are administrators. Is there any way to get device manager to show the devices in normal mode? Note: Plug and play IS enabled on this system.

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by ctrservices In reply to Blank Device Manager in X ...

This happened to me once. Boot into Safe Mode, go into Services.msc and stop PnP and then reboot into normal mode. Return to Services.msc and restart PnP. Check Device Manager. If still blank, reboot and try it again. Hope this works for you.

If the above doesn't work, suspect spyware. These can break parts of the OS (like spyware and virus scanners), so take the HD and scan it on a clean computer which is up-to-date for all OS, spyware, virus scanners.

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by Roger In reply to

This solution has been posted in many places, though it didn't reslove this particular system problem, it did resolve a similar problem on another system.

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by dragon.reese In reply to Blank Device Manager in X ...

Going by the date that this happened to you I am going with the assumption that it is the same case as mine and many others on forums that I have noticed.

I didn't think it was spyware because we run Webroot Spy Sweeper on the system and also NAV 2005, but neither of those security tools nor any of the other top name spyware tools could find and remove it.

The problem for myself and others was spyware named Apropos and it seems it may have been triggered by some other software update considering the fact that so many others at the same time. It seemed to cause problems like a blank Device Manger, missing Network Connections icons, overall slowness with Windows Explorer, and some having to reactivate Windows. I found the fix on and take no credit for it, but I have since uploaded the AproposFix.exe file onto my server so that it stays available.

Start up in Safe Mode and execute Run This.bat and follow the on screen instructions.

AproposFix.exe can be obtained here:

GL and HTH.

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by Roger In reply to

This is the correct solution for this problem. However, I have marked another solution as correct since it resolved a similar problem on a different computer.

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by flabdablet In reply to Blank Device Manager in X ...


I got rid of these exact symptoms on a customer's laptop by using Add/Remove Programs to uninstall "contextplus" (thanks to pugman2 elsewhere on this forum for the advice).

There's more about this on the Spybot Search & Destroy forums at

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by Roger In reply to

contextplus was not installed on the computer.

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by Roger In reply to Blank Device Manager in X ...

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