Please help me make my computer forget that I ever plugged my phone into it!
October 10, 2007 11:05 AM   Subscribe

How can I uninstall a driver, and keep it uninstalled? I don't want Windows to keep installing it every time I plug my phone into the computer. I want it to be like the very first time I plugged it in -- when Windows had no idea what driver to install.

I plugged in my Pocket PC (UT Starcom PP6700 running Windows Mobile 5) with a USB cable to my WinXP SP2 laptop. When it came time to find drivers, it didn't find any automatically. This was because I made the mistake of not having ActiveSync installed already. In fact, I completely forgot about ActiveSync until much later. Confused at that moment as to why this computer was not finding the drivers, I googled for the driver myself, downloaded it from some website, and installed it. The driver installed fine, but examining the device in Control Panel, I see that the computer says "cannot start the device - Code 10". Of course, ActiveSync, now installed, doesn't see the device.

I have tried many things to get this driver uninstalled, and to use the drivers that come with ActiveSync, and the tech support people at work have spent hours on it as well, but I cannot get the phone to sync over USB. I use IR now for that reason. I would like to be able to use USB though, so that it can charge the battery.

I believe that the problem lies in the fact that I can't get the old driver uninstalled. My phone works on every other computer I have plugged it into since then. Just not mine. Because, as soon as I plug it in, the "Add New Hardware" icon in the system tray appears, and it finds the original driver I installed and uses that.

I tried deleting the files from the System32\drivers directory, and the \i386\drivers, but when I plug the phone in again, the driver re-appears from somewhere. (rndismp.sys and rndismpx.sys). Where is the computer finding the files from? How do I get Windows to stop its automatic install of the drivers for my phone, and just stay on the first page of the Add New Hardware wizard? (Or better yet, to try and use the ActiveSync directory's drivers).

Other stuff that didn't work:
Uninstall the drivers in the control panel, and click 'scan for hardware changes' (just reinstalls the same drivers)
Click on "update drivers" in the properties and choose the ActiveSync drivers (says that the ones I have installed currently are the latest and best ones)
Removing the drivers while computer is in Safe Mode.

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated, even if they might not make sense. I am just running low on different things I can try to get this to work. So whatever you can think of, please! Thank you for all your help.
posted by omair to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I remember having a similar problem with a wifi usb stick. I solved it by removing the relevant item in the registry.

The closest instructions I could find now to do it are here (pdf). Substitute your phone with their product as necessary.
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 11:21 AM on October 10, 2007

Driver info is often copied during the first install to files RENAMED as oem... in the %windows%\inf directory, so you might want to check the files there. The oem....inf files are text, and the name matches the associated driver sys file, so look inside the .inf files to see if one matches your driver.

Registry hacking probably also needed, and/or uninstall of the driver from the Device Manager. You can end up bricking it, of course ... make backups, or preferably a ghost image.
posted by anadem at 11:29 AM on October 10, 2007

Connect the phone, let it do its thing. Then, open up the Hardware Manager. Find your phone, right-click, and select "uninstall..." The next time you connect your phone, it should be good as new.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 11:32 AM on October 10, 2007

I've been through this, though I don't remember exactly what I had to do. Anadem is on the right track, I think. This KB article might help.

It was not as simple as uninstalling in the hardware manager.
posted by Good Brain at 12:45 PM on October 10, 2007

Its easy.

Right click "My Computer" -> Properties -> Hardware tab -> Device Manager

In device manager, find the item, Right click -> Properties -> Driver tab -> "Uninstall".

posted by mphuie at 2:34 PM on October 10, 2007

To clarify, TheNewWazoo's method (Right click->uninstall) only removes the device (not the drivers). Follow my steps to remove the driver.
posted by mphuie at 2:35 PM on October 10, 2007

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