Why can’t I view devices in Windows 7?

Huy November 21, 2011
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Why can’t I view devices in Windows 7? I can’t see my printer, mouse, or other connected devices.

  1. Anonymous
    November 22, 2011 at 9:06 am

    1. Go to "Start", "Run", and enter "regedt32"

    2. Maximize the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" window.
    3. Scroll down to "SYSTEMCurrentControlSetEnum"
    4. With "Enum" selected click the "Security", "Permissions" menu.

    Note: At this point you will probably notice there are no permissions on this key.

    5. Click "Add". Add the group "Everyone" and the user "SYSTEM".
    6. Select "Everyone" and check "Read" ONLY! Select "SYSTEM" and check "Full Control".
    7. Click the "Advanced" button at the bottom of the window.
    8. On the Advanced window check "Reset permissions on all child objects..."
    9. Click "OK". On the warning window click "Yes"
    10. Close REGEDT32, reboot windows

    November 22, 2011 at 3:15 am

    Hello, do you by any chance have any norton program/programs installed?  I remember something like this in XP... it was caused by a component of Norton that was preventing changes to the registry.  Is this a new windows installation?

    Have you checked if the devices show when you are in safemod?  To access safemode, restart your computer, keep pressing F8 until the advanced mode page appears.  Click on safe mode and open device manager.  Do they show there?

    You can also check if there is an option for plug and play in your BIOS.  Enter BIOS and make sure that option is enabled.

    Microsoft Answer:

  3. Jeff
    November 22, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Hi Huy,

    Where exactly are you looking? Go to Start -> Search and type "devmgmt.msc" and press enter. This should show you a list of connected devices, you must expand the device type in order to see the drivers. You must also be sure that Plug and Play is enabled, by going to Start -> Search and type "services.msc". Find "Plug and Play" and right click on it, chose "start". Then double click on the service and set its startup type to "automatic".It's possible that malware is the culprit of hiding the devices as well. If the two suggested methods above don't help, we can proceed with scanning for malware.- Jeff