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[Solved]How to remove Device Manager Drivers signalling Error Code 31.

August 12th, 2012 by Andrea Matesi 3771 Views

(NEVER FORCE INSTALL NON-EXISTANT DRIVERS IN DEVICE MANAGER!).

From the CAPITALIZED subtitle, this post may seem more of a rant (against myself more than everything...).

Recently I was messing with the Microsoft Loopback adapter.

I needed it because I wished to extract VLAN IDs from Hyper-V Virtual network and manage those VLAN IDs internally.

So I successfully installed the Microsoft Loopback adapter and, as soon as I tried to configure an External Virtual Network based on the loopback adapter with Hyper-V (and the VLAN IDs enabled), I got the following error:

I thought about this issue and how to circumvent such a problem.

- The first thing I did was to search for an alternative (i.e.: non-Microsoft), Loopback adapter, but unfortunately I didn’t find any.

- The second (and the worst) thing I did, was to forcefully install a wrong (i.e.: bogus) driver inside Device Manager. What a PITA!

In the name of “documenting everything”, I will report the stupid steps I did while trying to do what I wanted to do (don’t do this, it’s just “plain wrong documentation published”, the only chance it could be useful to you is if:

  1. You independently screwed up like I did and now you don’t know how to come back!
  2. Learn from my experience.

Wrong Documentation, don’t do this!

I opened Device Manager, I did “Add Network Adapter Wizard” and selected “Intel® 82599 Virtual Function” (whatever that is…).

My Device Manager ended with a bogus driver signalling Error Code 31 and no way of removing it (I tried Right Click -> Uninstall; Open it and “uninstall”; Disable and “uninstall”, booting to Safe Mode and uninstall – no way!).

So I kept this exclamation mark on my Device Manager for some days until it started to become very annoying.

[Solved] How to remove an "Error Code 31" driver.

One day I got a GREAT idea: "Why try and remove it: Let’s just update it!".

I booted into Safe Mode and I simply updated the darn thing with the MS Loopback Adapter (this time it was useful!).

I received a dialog message telling me something like "the driver is not correct, etc.".

I told Windows to proceed anyway, so I ended up with a MS Loopback adapter with a yellow exclamation mark on it!

I then uninstalled this MS Loopback adapter and it disappeared as butter on hot toast!

I know, I know, this way you don't have to reinstall Windows, you're welcome!

Would you buy me a Coopers Stout now? Much appreciated!

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