Installing and Managing Hardware
You can reconnect the device later simply by plugging the device back in or connect-
ing its cable to the appropriate port on your computer.
You can remove other devices that you no longer need as well. For printer devices
connected via a serial or parallel port, you can simply disconnect the cable and then
disable or remove the software printer associated with the hardware printer device,
as discussed in Chapter 12.
For internal devices, you will need to shut down and unplug your computer, and
then remove the device from the computer. When you restart the computer, Win-
dows Vista should detect the configuration change and uninstall the drivers for the
In some cases, when you remove a device you’ll need to tell Windows Vista this by
uninstalling the device in the operating system. When you uninstall a device, Win-
dows Vista removes the driver association for the device but doesn’t prevent the
device from being detected if it isn’t physically removed.
If you want to prevent a device from being used but don’t want to physically remove
it, as may be the case for internal devices, you can disable the device. When you dis-
able a device, Windows Vista prevents the device’s drivers from loading and in this
way blocks access to the device. Since a disabled device has no associated drivers,
you can be sure that the disabled device isn’t causing problems with your computer.
You can uninstall a device through the operating system by completing the follow-
1. In Device Manager, right-click the device you want to work with and then select
2. In the Confirm Device Uninstall dialog box, shown in Figure 5-23, select “Delete
the driver software for this device” if you want to prevent Windows Vista from
automatically reinstalling the device.
3. Click OK.
Figure 5-23. Confirming that you are uninstalling the device