View Devices That Are Not Currently Present

Updated: August 31, 2007

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

You can use this procedure to view details about devices that are installed (that is, their device drivers are started) but are not currently attached to the computer.

By default, Device Manager does not display devices that are installed but not currently attached to the computer.

To see devices that are not present, you must do two things. First, you must change settings so that you can view hidden devices. You must also set the environment variable DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES. This procedure shows you how to do both.

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure.

  1. To create the environment variable, click Start, then right-click Computer, and then click Properties.

  2. In the Tasks list, click Advanced system settings.

  3. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

  4. On the Advanced tab, click Environment Variables.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • If you want the variable to affect only the currently logged on user, in the User variables for username section, click New.

    • If you want the variable to affect all users of the computer, in the System variables section, click New.

  6. In Variable name, type DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES.

  7. In Variable value, type 1.

  8. Click OK three times to save your changes.

  9. In the Tasks list, click Device Manager.

  10. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

  11. Click View, and then click Show hidden devices.

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