DevManView: Windows Device Manager Free Alternative
DevManView is a very good free alternative to the standard Device Manager of Windows.
DevManView is a freeware program from the popular NirSoft developers. The program takes a different approach in displaying all devices and their properties. Instead of displaying the devices in a tree viewer like in the standard Windows Device Manager, it displays them in a flat table view. In addition to displaying the devices of your local computer, DevManView is an advanced device troubleshooting program that also allows you to view the devices list of another computer on your network, as long as you have administrator access rights to this computer. The program is also capable of loading the devices list from external instance of Windows and lets you disable unwanted devices. This feature is very useful if you have a Windows operating system which is not booting, and you want to disable the problematic device to boot into the operating system.
DevManView is completely portable and doesn’t need any installation process or additional dll files. In order to start using it, simply download and run the executable file, “DevManView.exe”. After running DevManView, the main window displays the list of all devices found in your system. By default, the program doesn’t display non-plug and play drivers (LegacyDriver) are not displayed. If you want to show them, you can select the “Show Non-Plug And Play Drivers” in the Options menu. One of the advantages the program offers upon the standard Windows Device Manager is, you can select one or more devices from the list, and then save their details into text/html/xml/csv file (Ctrl+S) or copy them to the clipboard (Ctrl+C) and then paste the data to Excel or other spreadsheet application. Which you can use later for advanced troubleshooting.
DevManView allows you to easily disable, enable, and uninstall the selected devices. However, always be cautioned while using these system utilities. You must be very careful when using the disable/uninstall options, because disabling or uninstalling an essential device might cause troubles to your operating system.
As mentioned earlier, DevManView allows you to connect another computer on your LAN, and view the devices list in the remote computer. But, to successfully connect the remote computer, you must have full administrator access to this computer. The program allows you to view the devices list stored in the Registry of another instance of Windows operating system. In order to use this feature, simply go to Advanced Options (or Press F9 key), choose “External Windows Directory,” and then type or choose the right Windows directory.
Using this feature, you can disable/enable the selected devices. The program will write the disabled/enabled information into the SYSTEM Registry file of the selected Windows operating system. The next time when you start this Windows, the device will be disabled/enabled according to what you’ve set.
Warning: Use this feature only in emergency cases (for instance, when a system cannot boot properly). You should also backup the SYSTEM registry file before making any change on the external Windows system.
Another advanced feature offered by DevManView, the program by default loads the devices from the default ControlSet, which is loaded by Windows. However, through “Advanced Options” window of the program, you can choose to view the devices of “Last Known Good” ControlSet or any other ControlSet by its number. When you use non-default ControlSet, disabling/enabling a device, and save the changes in the Registry. The next time that Windows is loaded with the selected ControlSet.
DevManView works on any version of Windows, starting from Windows 2000 and up to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. It is compatible with both x86 (32-bit) and x64 (64-bit) version of Windows. You should download the x64 version of DevManView for 64-bit Windows, because the 32-bit version of DevManView cannot disable/enable devices on x64 operating system.