Programmer Nir Sofer seems to know exactly what systems administrators need. Nearly every utility he has written has found a place in my own personal toolkit. With the release of USBDeview, he's cemented his reputation with me all the more.
USBDeview: Why it's a cool tool
USBDeview lists all USB devices currently connected to a PC, as well as any USB devices that have been connected and enumerated in the past but are not currently plugged in. It lists each USB device with its name, description, device type (if available) and other data such as which drive letter is assigned, if any; device serial number, if any; when the device was first or most recently attached to the system or enumerated; and USB hub/port data.
To have all information about a given USB device displayed in a single view, just double-click on the device name. If a device is plugged in and running, it will show up with a green icon, and you can sort by any column by clicking on a column header. With USBDeview, you can enumerate any computer that can be connected to via RPC, as well as have its manifest dumped to a file. Individual devices can be stopped from the command line, so the program can be used in a script or other automated procedure. Plus, as with almost all of Sofer's other programs, results can be exported into an HTML-formatted report.
The program also lets you manage USB devices more effectively than usual. If you want to forcibly disconnect a given device, you can select it and hit F9, which is easier than wading through the system's hardware tree to find the device in question.
You can also delist a device entirely from the USB device manifest. Just select the device and from the File menu choose Uninstall Selected Devices. This removes the device entry entirely from the system, which comes in handy if you have a stale entry to a device that's preventing it from working properly when you plug it in. Note: Plugging the device back in will cause it to be re-enumerated.
About the author:
Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter, which is devoted to hints, tips, tricks, news and goodies for Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP users and administrators. He has more than 10 years of Windows experience under his belt, and contributes regularly to SearchWinComputing.com and SearchSQLServer.com.
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