David from the U.K. wrote a followup commment to the article in last week’s email newsletter:
Message: Hi Terry.
Re. your article ‘ Stopping the Windows XP "Found New Hardware" Wizard’ and the piece about showing hidden devices, that method doesn’t actually give the whole picture.
If you right-click My Computer and go to properties>advanced>environment variables and under "System variables" change or add the variable "devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices" (without quotes) and a value of 1 and then go back to device manager and view hidden devices, chances are there will be all manner of wondrous greyed-out items on there that will get you wondering where the devil they have come from.
In my case, I had a second, unrelated greyed-out processor (amongst several other things that had never had so much as a sniff at my computer!). I’m told that this is due to different machines being set-up in the factory using a common image for them all.
The article I extracted this info. from suggested uninstalling these "surplus" non-existent items by right-clicking and "uninstall", as they can cause instability in some cases but it might be a case of "if it ain’t broke…." as you gotta be careful.
Thanks for the tip, David.