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

August 12th, 2012 by Andrea Matesi 3864 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!

Senior Professional Network and Computer Systems Engineer during work hours and father when home.

Andrea strives to deliver outstanding customer service and heaps of love towards his family.

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