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How to uninstall driver from recovery environment on Windows 10

If your computer won't boot after installing a device driver, you can use these steps to remove it and fix the problem using the Windows Recovery Environment and a few command lines.

Uninstall driver won't Windows 10 won't boot

On Windows 10, sometimes, a third-party driver can prevent your device from starting correctly because of compatibility issues or other problems. When this happens, usually, you can simply restart the device in Safe mode to remove the problematic driver or use a System Restore Point to return to the last good known state.

However, there will be times that your computer won’t even start in Safe mode and the restore point will fail (trust me, it happened to me, that’s the reason I’m writing this guide).

If Windows 10 can’t start after installing a device driver, and Safe mode and System Restore Point won’t work, you can use the Windows Recovery Environment to uninstall third-party drivers manually using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) command-line tool to resolve the issue.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to uninstall an incompatible driver from the recovery environment that’s causing Windows 10 not to start correctly.

How to uninstall driver when Windows 10 won’t start

To remove an incompatible driver that won’t let Windows 10 to boot correctly, use these steps:

  1. Create a Windows 10 USB bootable media.

  2. Change your device Basic Input Output System (BIOS) settings to start from the bootable media. (This process usually requires to press one of the function keys (F1, F2, F3, F10, or F12), the ESC or Delete key. For more accurate instructions, visit your PC manufacturer’s support website.)

  3. Start computer with USB bootable media.

  4. Click the Next button.

  5. Click the Repair your computer option in the bottom-left corner.

    Windows 10 Setup repair your computer option
    Windows 10 Setup repair your computer option
  6. Click on Troubleshoot.

    Windows 10 Recovery Environment troubleshoot option
    Windows 10 Recovery Environment troubleshoot option
  7. Click on Command Prompt.

    Windows 10 Recovery Environment Command Prompt option
    Windows 10 Recovery Environment Command Prompt option
  8. When your device starts in Command Prompt, it’ll start on X:\Sources. Now you need to move to the drive letter where Windows 10 is installed. While the operating system is installed on C:\, when you boot your computer on recovery mode, this drive letter changes to something else. However, in most cases the drive letter is D: or E:. Type the following command to enter into the correct drive where Windows is installed, and press Enter:

    e:
  9. Type the following command to verify you’re in the correct drive and press Enter: dir If you see the Windows folder, you’re in the correct drive letter, if not, go back to step 5 and try another letter.

    dir
    Check Windows 10 installation drive
    Check Windows 10 installation drive

    If you see the Windows folder, you’re in the correct drive letter, if not, go back to step 5 and try another letter.

  10. Type the following command to generate a list of all the installed drivers and press Enter:

    dism /image:e:\ /get-drivers
    DISM Get-Drivers command
    DISM Get-Drivers command

    In the command, make sure to change e: for the driver of your installation of Windows 10

  11. Note the “Publisher Name” of the problematic driver. The “Original File Name” and “Provider Name” will help you indent the driver too. (Installed third-party drivers will usually carry the oem0.inf, oem1.inf, and so on. The number is the order of installation, which means that the last driver you installed will have the highest number.)

    DISM list of drivers
    DISM list of drivers
  12. (Optional) Type the following command to view more information about the driver and press Enter:

    dism /image:e:\ /get-driverinfo /driver:oem1.inf

    In the command, make sure to change e: for the drive of your Windows 10 installation, and change the oem1.inf for the name of the driver that you’re trying to remove.

  13. Type the following command to remove the problematic driver to make your device bootable again and press Enter:

    dism /image:e:\ /remove-driver /driver:oem1.inf
    DISM Remove-Driver command
    DISM Remove-Driver command

    In the command, make sure to change e: for the drive of your Windows 10 installation, and change the oem1.inf for the name of the driver that you’re trying to remove.

  14. Click the X to close the console.

  15. Click on Continue.

Once you complete the steps, the device will reboot and Windows 10 should start normally.