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Main Question: Is there a way to prevent Windows 7 from searching for drivers for a device with a particular (known) vendor and product ID?

Secondary Question: If the answer to the above question is no, is there a way to have a program turn off the Windows driver auto update, run some process, and then turn it back on, all automatically without user input?

Background: I, and others at my company, often have to update the firmware on transmitters via USB. There is no driver for the transmitter that Windows has access too, but that doesn't prevent it from trying to find and update it. This tends to slow down the process as it happens anytime the device is plugged into a new USB and also just whenever Windows decides it's time to look for an updated driver for it. I would like to either prevent this from happening by essentially blacklisting the device so that Windows no longer searches for drivers for it in particular, or write a program that, when running, disables the auto update feature and re enables it afterwards.

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  • You can prevent Windows from detecting the device through a group policy, but I know of no way, to prevent Windows from not trying to install a device driver for a device. Here is a related question about how PnP devices work and detected.
    – Ramhound
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 18:13

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As far as I know no such blacklisting is possible. What you can do is update the following registry value as required:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DriverSearching]
"SearchOrderConfig"=dword:00000000

where:

0 = "No, let me choose what to do - Never install driver software from Windows Update"
1 = "Yes, do this automatically (recommended)"
2 = "No, let me choose what to do - Install driver software from Windows Update if it is not found on my computer"

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  • Or use the hardware tab of system properties, click "device installation settings" button.
    – Moab
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 4:16
  • Sure, but automating that as the OP requires will necessitate the use of something like AutoHotkey, and why go down that route?
    – Karan
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 4:33
  • I always turn off driver updating. Auto updating has always done more harm than good.
    – Moab
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 4:50
  • Perhaps, but can't argue with the OP not wanting to turn it off permanently.
    – Karan
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 4:54

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