Ghostbuster is a program that lets you filter devices/device classes of which you want to remove the ghosted ones. Ghostbuster does exactly the same when you right click a device in the Windows Device Manager and choose uninstall. The ony difference is that GhostBuster does it in bulk for all filtered devices that are ghosted and thus saves a lot of time. Ghostbuster removes devices by name, class or wildcard so cannot be used to remove only one of two ghosted devices that share the same name, it will always try to remove all matching ghosted devices. Ghostbuster will NOT remove drives or inf files so most drivers (like for flash drives) will re-install when the hardware is re-attached to the computer.

About Ghosted Devices:
By default Windows does not show ghosted devices. Windows will show Ghosted devices only if two criteria are met:

  • An environment variable DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES with a value of 1 is added
  • In Device Manager (Start Menu & Run 'compmgmt.msc' ) if you check the View|Hidden Devices menu item.

Because Windows has to detect if a devices is ghosted by trying to start it, a large number of ghosted devices will add to the startup time of Windows. The 'regular' way of removing these devices is right clicking each of them, select the uninstall menu item and wait for the Device Manager to uninstall the device and rebuild it's tree of devices. Ghostbuster does this all in one click and removes all the ghosted devices matching your own selection criteria with a single click!

Changes in Ghostbuster

  • I have some issues syncing sources with TFS (last changeset lacks).
  • Re-uploaded downloads after fixing a small but sometimes show stopping command-line issue
  • (the command-line help message box shows when going elevated). Please update if you encounter this issue.
  • Removed default event log creation to make GhostBuster more portable and solve a policy/access issue.
  • An existing GhostBuster event log can be removed with a PowerShell command:
  • remove-eventlog -LogName "GhostBuster”
  • A new command-line option /EVENTLOG has been added to manually create a GhostBuster event log.
  • Set version to 1.0.7

Download: Ghostbuster | 786 KB (Open Source)
View: Ghostbuster Home Page

Report a problem with article
Next Article


Previous Article

Betternet 3.5.1

9 Comments - Add comment