- Category: Guides
- Last Updated: 12 February 2018
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How To Clean Install Any Driver
Note: This guide is written for Windows 10, but will also work for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 with only minor variation. You alone are responsible for any issues caused by manipulating your Device Manager.
Before you begin this process, you need to know where the driver installer stores its temporary files. Recent Killer installers store all of their temporary files in the TEMP folder, which can be accessed by pressing Win Key + R to bring up the Run command, then type %TEMP% and press Enter. Other driver packages may use other locations, but you will need to know this information to clear these files, or Windows may attempt to install old drivers from this location.
- Make sure you have the latest driver installer for the driver you will be installing. Killer Drivers can be found here - http://www.killernetworking.com/driver-downloads. The Killer Control Center includes the latest performance suite, as well as the latest drivers for current Ethernet and Wi-Fi adapters. Bluetooth drivers are separate.
- Right-click Start and click Apps and Features and uninstall any applications associated with the drivers that you will be reinstalling. For Killer Drivers, this would include any Killer applications, such as the Killer Control Center and Killer Network Manager, as well as "Killer Drivers" or any variations of these applications. If the old version of the suite will not uninstall, please see this KB article - http://www.killernetworking.com/driver-downloads/kb/faq/6-troubleshooting-killer-ethernet-wireless-drivers-software
- Restart your machine using Start > Power > Restart. Do not use your machine's power button. This button is often mapped to the "sleep" function, and does not serve the same purpose. Restarting your machine clears any running processes that may be tied to files in the temporary folders.
- Delete all temporary installation files for the device driver. For Killer Drivers, you can accomplish this by deleting the entire contents of the TEMP folder. Some elements may not be removable, but they are not likely to be related to the Killer application or drivers.
- Right-click Start and click Device Manager.
- Click View and click Show hidden devices (Note: this will reveal many devices that are no longer attached to your machine, as well as devices that should not be touched. If in doubt, leave it alone. You alone are responsible for any issues caused by manipulating drivers in your Device Manager.)
- Find the device whose driver you are uninstalling or reinstalling.
- Right-click the device and click Uninstall.
- Check the box for Remove the driver software for this device, if the option exists.
- Click the Uninstall button.
- Uninstall any duplicates of this device, even if they are grayed out.
- Once the Device Manager has completed uninstalling the drivers, click the light-blue Scan for hardware changes icon at the top of Device Manager. The device will probably reappear. If there were multiples, only one should reappear.
- Repeat steps 8 thru 12 until you no longer see the option to Remove the driver software for this device. At this point, you have removed all installed drivers from the driver store. If Windows has a default driver, it will still reinstall that driver, but you can generally leave that driver in place as it ships with Windows.
- Restart your machine once more.
- Run the installer for the latest drivers.