Cleaning up Device Manager after P2V

The following tip was submitted to our WServerNews newsletter by reader Quentin Gurney who is an enterprise IT architect currently working for a Fortune 100 company:

How to clean up device manager after a P2V Migration

We all have done a Physical to Virtual Migration (P2V) and noticed that there are some things that just do not translate well. What if you had a physical server, say a Dell, and you had the Dell open manage software installed, it is not going to do anything for you anymore so that is easy to find and remove. There are some other things though that you might not notice.

When you do a P2V migration, you are essentially doing a move from one hardware platform onto a software platform that emulates hardware. This emulated hardware requires drivers just like the physical platform. When you move the O/S, the old system drivers are not uninstalled. Neither is any vendor specific software. All the new drivers you need are added to your existing driver store and the device manager keeps both the old and the new, but you may not find the old ones without a bit more digging.

Here is a networking tip. Prior to migration, break all teaming done on the server via any vendor software (e.g. Broadcom or Intel). The teaming software will not function properly after the P2V, and you may not be able to uninstall it. If you do not take this step, you might have to restart your P2V again.

After migration, uninstall all hardware specific software – HP management agents, Dell OpenManage, Broadcom Advanced Control Suite, etc. None of these will be of any use in the virtual environment as the hardware will be gone. This will help clean things up from the O/S application perspective, but might not clean up everything in the device manager.

An additional step that you can take if you like is to remove all the non-present device drivers that are no longer required from the old hardware. These do get loaded, but not used. This is easily done, but you need to follow these steps to be able to find them.

Type devmgmt.msc at a command prompt on the server to launch device manager. In the device manager view menu, select ‘show hidden devices’…

You can read the rest of this tip at

The above tip was previously published in an issue of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to WServerNews today by going to and join almost 100,000 other IT professionals around the world who read our newsletter!

Mitch Tulloch is an eleven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud computing technologies.  Mitch is also Senior Editor of WServerNews. For more information about him see


About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Scroll to Top