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Improved device manager

Display your system's devices with far more options using this portable freeware.

NirSoft's DevManView is a tiny, free app that improves on the built-in Device Manager with a customizable, rotatable, and extremely comprehensive view. It can display the devices of any networked computer that you can access as an administrator, load devices from remote instances of Windows, disable devices, display properties sheets, and search devices in Google from the interface. It's available in 32-bit and 64-bit downloads and works in all versions of Windows from 2000 to 7.

At just under 53KB, DevManView loads fast--noticeably faster than the Device Manager--with our system's devices displayed under no fewer than 19 draggable column headings, from Device Name to Driver Registry Time. We could select columns to display as well as move the entries up and down via a small pop-up. Clicking any column rotated the entire view to its orientation, giving us a lot of options for finding devices based on specific criteria; for instance, clicking Driver Date alternately ordered the list by newest or oldest driver versions. This is DevManView's chief advantage over the Device Manager, and what makes it such a valuable troubleshooting tool: its flexible data presentation. The program's toolbar offers fairly basic entries like search, copy, and save, but you can open items in RegEdit directly via a control icon, which is a useful addition. Clicking Properties displayed the properties sheet of any selected item, including blank fields for entering additional information. The Options menu gave us the choice of filtering the view to show only connected devices, non-Plug-and-Play drivers, showing the time in Greenwich Mean Time, and a few other selections, while the Advanced Options offered three selections: a remote computer option; an external Windows directory list; and a Control Set option that let us choose to load the default Windows Control Set, the last known good entry, or one of nine optional Control Sets--a useful troubleshooting and recovery feature.

DevManView proved just as capable of disabling, enabling, and removing devices as the built-in Device Manager, with far more options for viewing and troubleshooting your system's devices or those of any networked computer you manage. It's totally portable and small enough to go on just about any kind of storage device, so it's not only great to keep in your system but also on your USB drive.

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