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Clean register for hardware changed

By aaron_ferra ·
It's possible to clean Windows 2000 register for the entries with harware changed?
I have a PC for hardw aretrial purposes, with Windows 2000 Pro. Often I connect new hardware, try It and then remove It (graphics displays, LAN adaptors, hard discs, ...) Windows 2000 detect the hardware and install It.
Now I have a problem: the register becomes big and big with all these entries, and I'm afraid about the 16 MB limit when Windows 2000 starts
I need a tool or a solution for clean all the entries on register that point to a piece of hardware not existent yet.
It's possible to do that?
Any idea?


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by aaron_ferra In reply to Clean register for hardwa ...

Point value changed by question poster.

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by stroke311 In reply to Clean register for hardwa ...

Two softwares come to mind, 1, Norton SystemWorks pro edition 2004 and 2,V-com SystemSuite 5. Both works very well. Nortons you do not have to install on your hard drive, V-com you do.You can buy either one from many computer parts places including Walmart. There is one other called system mechanic, I have not used it enough to say that it works as good as the others. Hope this helps, Frank

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by aaron_ferra In reply to

I tried Norton SystemWorks PRO 2004 and V-Com SystemSuite 5. They can't delete the hardware entries on the registry.
I look at the registry and find on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM:
In this 3 keys there is an Enum subkey with a lot of harwdare components (for example on IDE, a lot of CD ROMs) But I don't know If i can delete manually all the entries, or only a subgroup of them.
And there are some entries that I can't understand:
PCI/VEN_1039&DEV008&SUBSYS_0000... etc
Is there an automatically system for delete the keys that point to a hardware device that is not present yet?

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by TheChas In reply to Clean register for hardwa ...


Start by ALWAYS opening Device Manager and removing the device before shutting the PC down to remove the hardware.

Next, check Add/Remove Programs, and remove any software installed for the device.

Next, Registry cleaners such as Norton Win Doctor and V-Com Fix-It do a fairly decent job of cleaning up the registry.
V-Com System Suite also has a registry compaction / defragment tool that can be useful.

Still, I have found neither tool to be the answer to clearing all traces of removed hardware.

It's time to learn to use regedit.

CAUTION: Improper use of regedit can disable your PC.
It is "best" practice to make a backup copy of the registry files before editing the registry.

A good guide to the registry is posted at

Expand the branch and locate the ENUM key.
(I'm on a W98 box right now, and I know that the ENUM key is at least 2 levels below on a W2K system.)

Expand the branches and look for any hardware that is no longer part of the system. (and that you plan to leave out)
Note the labels of the keys and data for the device.
Delete the key(s).
Now search for other occurrences of the device name and terms. (Edit, Find)
Delete keys as appropriate.
Search for any new terms that you find for the device. (I've done as many as 5 levels of searches.)

After you exit regedit, it may be worth it to run a registry cleaner again.

Then, search the hard drive for driver file remnants.

For sound cards in particular, don't forget to search through the 'legacy' system files.

You can do this by running sysedit.


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by aaron_ferra In reply to

Poster rated this answer.

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by Oz_Media In reply to Clean register for hardwa ...

I use two products for tracking and reverting registry changes.

Iolo's System Mechanic, very resourceful and robust. It will track all registry changes and show you exactly what was changed in detail including the values changed.

I also use ConfigSafe which offer a snapshot ans rollback system, tracks registry changes and reverts back as well.

Great registry tracking and restore tools!

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by aaron_ferra In reply to

The registry is full of inutil keys yet! I want to delete the keys that point to a hardware piece that is not present on the PC

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by Curacao_Dejavu In reply to Clean register for hardwa ...

if you go device manager. you can select to view hidden devices also, and remove them.

Also not related to solve the registry problem; why dont you make a image from the machine and when you want to start from scratch you can restore that image ?


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by aaron_ferra In reply to

I want conserve all the programs installed. And I have not any image from the machine!

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by wlbowers In reply to Clean register for hardwa ...

There is no tool that will remove all the junk that is scattered through your machine after it is orphaned, not totally.

We have tried some of the rollback software but they had their own problems.

I do the same thing. I have a machine setup just for that.

You are right after a while it will consume itself.

When I started up the test machine I set it up to a base configuration. Where I want it to be under normal operation.

Using partition magic 8 I reduced the partition size to 13 gig. I had several spare drives that would hold this size partition.

I copied the base configuration to the spare drive and removed it from the system.

I resize the partition on the main to full size and let the techs loose on it.

Now my techs can play to their hearts content on the testbed. When it gets bloated or we actually kill it, we've done that a few times, we just install the spare drive as the master and reimage the partition to the main drive.

The spare drive actually stays in the machine we just disconnect it.

This actually takes less time that doing a manual removal of most software.

Hope this helps.

Good Luck Lee

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