Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Just did something really stupid along the lines of an rm rf but with my hardware devices on a Windows Server 2008 Standard box. The damage was 25 devices either removed or given the status 'remove on reboot' before I caught what I did and killed the process.

I quickly opened device manager and did a 'scan for hardware changes' which seems to have brought back the hardware I removed, however still all the devices with a 'remove on reboot' status (including my processor) are scheduled to be removed on reboot. If I look at the status of these devices I see the message "The drivers for this device will be uninstalled when the machine is restarted. Any changes you make to this device will not be preserved."

Is there anyway I can cancel these pending uninstalls??

share|improve this question
My sympathies. Good luck! – Mark Henderson Aug 17 '10 at 1:42

Even if you are able to cancel the uninstalls the drivers would be in an indeterminate state at best, giving you ongoing problems. It would be best at this point to perform a reboot, followed by either a System Restore or restore from backup. Failing that, you'll need to reinstall the drivers.

share|improve this answer

There is no way to un-ring that bell short of restoring from backup. You will have to reboot, allow the system to complete it's pending operations and see where you stand. I would still do another reboot (#2) after that to see where you stand driver-wise. After that second one, I recommend that you attempt to discover hardware, and then reinstall drivers as necessary.

I don't know if I would attempt restoring from backup or doing the driver fix first. I would most likely base my decision on how much (and what kinds) of data changed on that server since the last backup.

Good Luck

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.