Remove Unconnected Storage Device Information From Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 5, 2009
Updated • Jan 5, 2017
Software, Windows software

Drive Cleanup is a free portable program for Microsoft Windows devices that removes information on non-present storage devices such as disks, floppy drives, CDRoms, USB Storage devices and other devices types from the machine it is run on.

The Windows operating system keeps records of storage devices that have been connected to the system in the past.

This is usually not a huge problem in most cases but some users might want to remove those storage device information from Windows for a variety of reasons.

It can be useful if you are encountering issues with device so that you can start over again next time you connect them to the machine. It may also improve privacy as you can prevent that others can find out about devices that were connected to the PC in the past.

While the latter may not make much sense on single user systems, it may prove useful for PCs at work, school or other public locations.

The easiest way to perform this operation is by using Drive Cleanup for Windows. The command line application comes as a 32-bit and 64-bit edition which should be compatible with most Windows operating systems including Windows 7 but also newer versions of Windows.

Here is what the software program will do when run by the user:

Removes from the device tree non present

  • USB mass storage devices
  • Disk devices
  • CDROM devices
  • Floppy devices
  • Storage Volumes

and their linked registry items under


The software comes with several switches. Adding -t to the program will for instance simulate the removal and display all the items that would be removed if the program would be executed by the user without the -t parameter.

This can be quite useful to make sure that no issues are experienced after the program is run.

-t test mode
-n no wait when finished
-u only USB mass storage devices
-d only Disk devices
-c only CDROM devices
-f only Floppy devices
-v only Storage Volume devices
-r only registry items

The switches can be used to remove all or only certain storage devices from the list of previously but not currently connected devices.

The program requires administrative privileges to run (except for test mode). The portable tool has a size of only 19 Kilobytes making it an ideal additional for an USB repair stick. It can be downloaded from the developer's website over at

Closing Words

Drive Cleanup is a handy program. While it is specialized in what it does, it can be useful in the scenarios mentioned previously.

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Drive Cleanup
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  1. Diego said on December 6, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks Martin!
    Really useful tools.

  2. Anonymous said on December 6, 2009 at 12:36 pm
  3. paul(us) said on December 5, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Great find martin. No super find thanks a lot i really like this.

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