Windows 7: How to stop "New Hardware Wizard" from installing drivers at boot?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Zarathustra[H], Apr 8, 2011.

  1. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Oct 29, 2000
    Is there a way to do this?

    I recently swapped video cards. My method was as follows:

    1.) Uninstall video card drivers (reboot)
    (windows tries to install generic drivers and wants me to reboot)
    2.) Run driver sweeper to get rid of any remaining configurations or files. (reboot)
    (Windows tries to install generic drivers again and wants me to reboot)
    3.)Install new drivers (reboot)

    I'd rather Windows just chilled out and let me do my thing without trying to install new drivers.

    Is there a way I can configure it so that it only installs drivers when I tell it to?

  2. gimp

    gimp [H]ardForum Junkie

    Jul 25, 2008
    I don't believe it will try to install drivers in safe mode.
    not sure of any other ways.
  3. Joe Average

    Joe Average Ad Blocker - Banned

    Apr 6, 2008
    In all my years of swapping hardware on thousands of machines, I have never bothered with any of those "driver cleaner" or sweeper apps - I uninstall the older hardware in Device Manager, shut down, pull it out, put the new hardware in, fire it up, let Windows detect it and install a Windows Update driver if one exists (or it might use the drivers from the previous device, especially in the case of video cards), and then manually install the latest driver.

    Never been an issue for me... but as for stopping Windows from doing it, the only option is Safe Mode which disables the hardware detection routines and falls back to the safe hardware config - that's your only chance to install a driver "clean" because once you reboot back into Windows normally, the hardware detection will kick in and you'll end up right back where you started from or should have been in the first place.
  4. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Oct 29, 2000
    This was the case for me too until I did an update a while back and nothing worked properly. The video card would not detect fan speeds properly, things would overheat and it was a mess.

    I was skeptical, but I uninstalled all the drivers, ran driver sweeper (and it got rid of some registry entries and old files) and then reinstalled the same drivers, and after that the card worked just fine.

    Then, more recently, I looked in my task manager and found that I had some odd program running that I didn't recognize. After googling it it turned out it was a remnant of ATI drivers from back when I had my Radeon 5750 installed a long time ago. The drivers were uninstalled a long time go, but somehow this one program had survived and was being started at launch. I ran driver sweeper, and it cleaned it right up.

    Ever since I run driver sweeper whenever I replace supported hardware (the latest rev has support for AMD drivers (Video and Chipset), Nvidia drivers (Video and chipset), Realtek sound, creative sound, ASUS sound, Microsoft keyboard and mouse drivers and a few more I've forgotten...
  5. grss1982cvg

    grss1982cvg Limp Gawd

    Feb 10, 2010
    Could this be what you're looking for?

  6. Starcrossed

    Starcrossed 2[H]4U

    Sep 27, 2008
    With video drivers you can boot into safe mode and then install Standard VGA drivers, if you want a quick way to prevent Nvidia/ATi video card drivers from installing upon boot. Win7 Home Premium, the version I have, doesn't have the Group Policy Editor, gpedit.exe, and I haven't found another way to disable automatic installation if the drivers sit on the computer. Disabling them from being installed off the net is a bit more simplistic.