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Identifying Unknown Devices in the Device Manager - Originally Posted by SteveAllison


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Before reading this tutorial, please, understand that this is NOT my work. I will not, and have not, attempted to take credit for any other user's hard work. I am, as a forum moderator, reposting work that was previously COMPLIED BY THE USER STATED IN THE TITLE. This was done for several reasons, and if you take the time to read the stickies in this forum, you'll understand why. Thank you.

Identifying an unknown device in the device manager (XP/Vista)

Written by JohnDough

Here's a good way to identify uninstalled devices in the devicemanager. This works on Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista. In this example the device is already installed as you can see, but it still works.

Open the devicemanager (I assume we all know how...) and right-click on the unidentified/uninstalled device and open properties. In my example it will not be an unknown device, but you'll get the idea.

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In the properties, click the tab details.

Select the device instance ID or hardware ID. In the example you'll see a long line with alot of gibberish. What we are looking for are the codes for VEN and DEV. These stand for vendor and device. As you can see in the example, the vendor is 11D4 and the device is 1981.

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Next, open the following website: http://www.pcidatabase.com/

In the Vendor Search bar, enter the vendor ID, so in this case 11D4, and hit search. You'll get a searchresult, click it. Next, hit Ctrl + F (or whatever triggers the searchfunction in the browser you use) and put in the device ID. Search for the device.

Once identified, it should be easy to find a working driver for XP or Vista. This is especialy helpfull when you want to downgrade your Vista notebook or PC to Windows XP.

There are some exceptions though, which might be worth mentioning. Quick-keys on notebooks usually do not have a standard device ID. Also some power-saving CPU functions will not show a vendor and device code. These will usually show up as ACPI device. Google will help you out though. If the device is listed as an ACPI\AWY0001, stop looking, there is no driver for that. Fortunately it is also not a critical component and your system will not explode if you don't install it.

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