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Clean out your DriverStore

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For those that find themselves installing and testing drivers, you may notice that your Windows Vista/7 installation is growing larger and larger. Thats because Windows is storing previous installs in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore even when you do a driver uninstall. Many of us now use SSD's, and cleaning out MBs or even GBs of space would greatly help...... I know theres other tools that people use like ccleaner etc, but I thought I would just post a quick reg tweak that allows you to add "Take Ownership" to the context menu. This way while browsing thru DriverStore, you can just right-click a file, take-ownership, and delete the file. ( Note: Deleting the wrong file may cause uninstall and rollback problems, but just make sure you know what it is you are deleting )

To add "Take Ownership" to context menu, copy and paste the following into notepad and save as .reg ( then double click the .reg file )

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


@="Take Ownership"



@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"

"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"


@="Take Ownership"



@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"

"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"

To Remove "Take Ownership" from context menu, copy and paste the following into notepad and save as .reg ( then double click the .reg file )

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



This may have been posted before, I am not sure, but I thought I would finally add something that I have learned :) .... considering I have only been a member for 4 1/2 years :) Good luck and Good Computing!!!

Edited by GodfreyOuwens
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Better to use pnputil (if you truly want the driver uninstalled)

Microsoft PnP Utility
pnputil.exe [-f | -i] [ -? | -a | -d | -e ] <INF name> 
pnputil.exe -a a:\usbcam\USBCAM.INF      -> Add package specified by USBCAM.INF
pnputil.exe -a c:\drivers\*.inf          -> Add all packages in c:\drivers\
pnputil.exe -i -a a:\usbcam\USBCAM.INF   -> Add and install driver package
pnputil.exe -e                           -> Enumerate all 3rd party packages
pnputil.exe -d oem0.inf                  -> Delete package oem0.inf
pnputil.exe -f -d oem0.inf               -> Force delete package oem0.inf
pnputil.exe -?                           -> This usage screen

- First create a list of installed 3rd party drivers with this command (creates a file on the desktop)

pnputil -e >%userprofile%\desktop\pnputil.txt

- Now sort thrue the list and see what drivers you wan to remove and use this command

pnputil -d oem#.inf

Note: most times its necessary to use -f switch to force delete the driver

pnputil -f -d oem#.inf

Edited by ricktendo64
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thanks to this thread. I have been able to recover about 1.5 gigs of space back.

Awesome! :) glad it helped, whichever method you used :)

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