Software installations on Windows 2000 Professional and Server editions inevitably install one or more devices, but these sometimes are never uninstalled when the software is uninstalled. Windows 2000 has a facility to view a list of all devices installed and uninstall them that are no longer in use or required.
Right click My_Computer, select Properties, click on the Hardware tab, click Device_Manager, click View on the menu bar, Check Show_Hidden_Devices, select Devices_by_Connection or Type to view all those devices that have been installed.
You probably will find some devices that were left behind by uninstalled software installations.
Right clicking on a device will bring up a menu, [Disable, Uninstall, Scan for Hardware Changes, Properties], opening the Properties page will verify if the device is in use or not.
Typically, devices that are left behind by uninstalled software will have a status of "not working properly" and only the [Uninstall, Scan for Hardware Changes, Properties] items will be visible.
Devices no longer in use or required can safely be uninstalled.
This was first published in October 2001