I got a new laptop today and rather than reinstall Windows, I just took the hard drive out of my old laptop and put it in the new one. I was able to download all the necessary drivers for the new laptop through Windows Update, but I am not sure what kind of system files (drivers, etc) are hanging around on the hard drive wasting space or even if Windows is still trying to use them somehow.

How can I clean up whatever system files are no longer needed from the old hardware?

2 Answers 2


Solution from How-to Geek

Remove Old Drivers After Upgrading to New Hardware


Hope this help. Let us know. :)

  • i did this and sure enough, all the hardware devices from my old laptop were listed. i deleted at least 50 unused items. i always wondered how Windows handled this scenario, i'm glad i finally asked :D
    – kenwarner
    Feb 10, 2012 at 4:44
  • Great! Thank you for your feed-back. :)
    – climenole
    Feb 10, 2012 at 4:57

I don't really think that is a problem to have extra drivers on your system.

I would check the event viewer to make sure that when you boot the OS is not looking for devices that do not exist (causing it to wait) if it is taking a while for your OS to boot, but other than that, there is nothing to worry about.

  • Problem nothing; I purposely don’t bother to uninstall all the old, no-longer-present hardware from Device Manager. It is a nice log of the parts I used to have. ;-) (The actual files, services, filters, etc. on the other hand… not likely to be a problem unless they are actually loaded and using up memory and CPU.)
    – Synetech
    Feb 10, 2012 at 3:08
  • @Synetech, the very fact that the PC booted means that the hardware is very similar already
    – soandos
    Feb 10, 2012 at 3:09
  • Um, okay. o.O I never said it didn’t or wans’t.
    – Synetech
    Feb 10, 2012 at 3:19

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