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Empty Device Manager

Last response: in Windows XP
July 20, 2005 9:14:04 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)


I have a problem with a workstation. It is not showing anything in the
Device Manager at all. I have checked the Plug and Play in the BIOS and it is
turned on.

Where else can I check? This is strange. I have never come across anything
like this before.

Please help.


More about : empty device manager

July 21, 2005 12:22:12 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Milena wrote:

> Hi,
> I have a problem with a workstation. It is not showing anything in the
> Device Manager at all. I have checked the Plug and Play in the BIOS
> and it is turned on.
> Where else can I check? This is strange. I have never come across
> anything like this before.
> Please help.
> Mil

Do hardware testing. Start with the RAM and the hard drive.

1) Test the RAM - I like Memtest86+ from Obviously, you
have to get the program from a working machine. You will either
download the precompiled Windows binary to make a bootable floppy or
the .iso to make a bootable cd. If you want to use the latter, you'll
need to have third-party burning software on the machine where you
download the file - XP's built-in burning capability won't do the job.
In either case, boot with the media you made. The test will run
immediately. Let the test run for an extended period of time - unless
errors are seen immediately. If you get any errors, replace the RAM.

2) Test the hard drive with a diagnostic utility from the mftr. Usually
you will download the file and make a bootable floppy with it. Boot
with the media and do a thorough test. If the drive has physical
errors, replace it.

If the hardware is healthy, do a Repair Install:

Elephant Boy Computers
"Don't Panic!"
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User
July 22, 2005 3:30:50 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Milena try this
make sure checkbox NOT selected in "hide all ms services" at bottom of
dialog box
check the rest of the services in dialogbox

"Milena" <> wrote in message
> Hi,
> I have a problem with a workstation. It is not showing anything in the
> Device Manager at all. I have checked the Plug and Play in the BIOS and it
> is
> turned on.
> Where else can I check? This is strange. I have never come across anything
> like this before.
> Please help.
> Mil
Related resources
January 11, 2006 4:16:10 PM

I have a partial resolution to my problem!

Thanks to everyone who offered help.

First option was check that PuNP was started - OK. Later I discovered that Universal PuNP must NOT be started!

Second option was Aproposfix which I assume is to get rid of some specific spyware/adware/malware.

Third was I tried editing some permissions in the registry but I didn't really understand what I was doing.

Fourth was I ran sfc/scannow - whatever that is!

Also system was hanging on startups and shutdowns, sometimes needing the big switch to get out of it. Now you can click on IE or My Computer or Control Panel and it takes ages for them to load. Usually I find myself with about five instances of each all loading at once.

Frequently web links won't work. The only thing I can do is avoid a left click - use right clicks to save shortcut and then paste it into address bar. I have tpo switch back and forth betwen web browsers using teh Task Manager. OIften the Task Manager itself freezes with the button still "pressed down".

I've also been using my SpeedUpMyPC utility which allows you to give CPU priority to a particular window. A combination of this, Task Manager and a hell of a lot of patience just about keeps me going

Oh, and I updated all my chipset drivers along the way.


Oh joy! The printer is working too. The solution? It was to do with permissions. I had to spend a lot more time and give a lot more thought to it. (I still don't understand it properly). It's in HKEY Local Machine "Enum"
whatever that means?

So many thanks to the forum which first gave me the idea for that fix.


Some things are better like loading IE or My Computer or Control Panel. They're still slow though and I can still find myself with loads more browser windows open that I need. On IE though browsing still suffers froim the same problem. Links won't work. I have to copy shortcut and paste into another window.

Java linlks often don't wprk eiuther. I uninstalled and re-installed Java. Maybe there's some slightimprovement but browsing is still a pain.

So now it comes down to a performance problem, mainly in IE.

Shall I uninstall and reinstall IE?

Why has this happened. Could Malware/spyware viruses be reponsible?

Any help gratefully received and because it's only fair, I'll make sure every forum gets a full report when it's all fixed (It will be won't it?)

System Description

INTEL P4 3.4GHz, socket 775
ASUS P5GD1-VM motherboard, onboard LAN (Intel Pro 100), onboard graphics and audio disabled
American Megatrends BIOS version 1010.005
2 x 512MB PC3200 400MHz DDR
200GB Maxtor serial ATA drive - C
500GB Seagate serial ATA drive - D
Samsung/Toshiba DVD writer - E
Sony Q28A DVD writer - F
Sony DRX-810UL external DVD writer on USB - G
ATI All in Wonder X800XL graphics card
Creative Soundblaster XFi Xtreme Music sound card
Logitech Dinovo Media keyboard, seperate keyboard and numeric panel/remote with mouse on powered USB hub
Logitech Communicate STX webcam

I run Windows XP Home Service Pack, fully updated. I defragment with Perfect Disk at least once per week.

I use the following security software:

Norton Internet Security 2006
Ad-Aware SE
Spyware Doctor
Spy Bot
Microsoft Antispyware
Spyware Blaster
Spy Sweeper

All are updated regularly and full scans performed at least every other day.

I also use Registry Mechanic at least once per day. And this episode has added about a dozen other utilities to my amoury.
January 12, 2006 5:23:15 PM

You have so much, too much stuff running to protect yourself, that you are short on resources.

You are way overboard on your spyware apps. Get "Pest Patrol" from Computer Associates. It will be all you need. It is BY FAR THE BEST spyware program of all, and the only one you'll need. After you buy it, and before you install it - delete all the others; Microsoft Anti-Spyware first. Be sure to reboot between each. Run Registry Mechanic; then install Pest Patrol.

Norton, although a very capable app, is exremely ponderous and a tremendous resource hog and intrusive. There are other anti-virus apps that will serve you well & are much smaller & quieter. I use Zone Alarm, and have never been hurt. It also sets up its' own firewall.

Another piece of advice; go up into your BIOS, and to the page that has the question of OS pnp? and answer it NO. Your hardware will be set up much cleaner this way.

You should also be behind a hardware firewall (router) as well. A Linksys Cable/DSL router will be fine.

If you still have operating issues after these improvements, contact the HiJackThis people and send them a report.
February 1, 2006 12:57:44 AM

Yeah, I would have to agree and have you post a log from hijakthis. My sister had a virusmalware that made it so I could not see the device manager. What I did since it was XP was logged on as admin, did all the spyware removal progs I could (in safe mode too). Then in the end I created a new profile for her. For some reason her porblem only affected that user profile. Good luck.
February 25, 2009 4:58:05 AM

Hi all, I had the same problem and now it is fixed, I found the solution thanks to Jazz in the Forum:

Bellow you can find the solution, I copy/paste the post since I know that this could help more people:

"The issue is security permissions in the registry. I cannot tell how they are lost
but I can tell you how to fix it short of having to re-install Windows!

You must use regedt32.exe in Windows 2000/XP (as I have not seen this problem posted
for any other operating system). Be very carefull making changes in the regisrty!

You must be logged on as a local administrator to perform this task:

1. Go to "Start", "Run", and enter "regedt32"
2. Maximize the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" window.
3. Scroll down to "SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum"
4. With "Enum" selected click the "Security", "Permissions" menu.

Note: At this point you will probably notice there are no permissions on this key.

5. Click "Add".
6. Add the group "Everyone" and the user "SYSTEM".
7. Select "Everyone" and check "Read" ONLY!
8. Select "SYSTEM" and check "Full Control".
9. Click the "Advanced" button at the bottom of the window.
10. On the Advanced window check "Reset permissions on all child objects..."
11. Click "OK"
12. On the warning window click "Yes"
13. Close REGEDT32

You should now be able to see everything in Device Manager, Network Places Properties,
and Printers."

Good luck.......................
February 26, 2009 10:16:27 AM

yes changing the permissions works