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Windows 7: Driver selection for your Hardware devices.



Driver selection for your Hardware devices.

Short tutorial for getting the correct device driver.
Published by aem
25 Dec 2009
Default Driver selection for your Hardware devices.

Note   Note

What's this tutorial about ...
This is an intermediate-high level troubleshooting and selection of drivers for your hardware devices. If you are not sure of the correct drivers to installed for your devices or one that have been installed but does not seem to work too well, then read the following.


Identifying your hardware devices in Device Manager

1) Start > (right click) on Computer > Manage > Device Manager.
  • Here you will find a category listing of your machine's devices. Each category will list particular hardware names pertaining to you machine's devices.
  • Should you have a device which does not have a driver installed (or one which has but is not correct) you may be presented with a yellow exclamation mark. NOTE: the yellow exclamation mark may also be due to a device been disabled.
Here i am using the wireless network adapter.

2) Select the 11/a/b/g Wireless LAN Mini PCI Express Adapter, right-click, Properties

3) In the Properties box, go to Details tab, and under the property drop down menu, select Hardware Ids.

4) Note down the PCI ID as shown in the Value box. In this example it's PCI\VEN_168C&DEV_1014. This is the info that you will need to located in the driver file, which is for most people in the .inf file to accurately determine if you have the correct driver or not.
  • At this stage you are only concerned with finding the driver which includes this PCI ID.
  • You may also need to make sure that the driver is what matches your system interms of architecture eg. x86 or x64. (refer to further down on how to know this).
The .inf file

5) From your downloaded driver, if it comes in an .exe or .msi you will need to extract this file so you can locate the .inf file for the driver. A popular program to do this is 7-zip (free last time i downloaded it). Go through the extracted folders and search for the .inf file.
  • You may have more than one .inf sitting together in one folder. The best way to pick out the correct .inf file (and hence make sure the driver is correct for your device) is the do a search of the PCI ID string, in the example PCI\VEN_168C&DEV_1014.
6) Once your search returns the .inf file. Open it by right click and Edit or Open.

7) In the opened .inf file, do a search on the PCI ID string of interest.
  • If the search return is position this means the driver you've downloaded is a matching driver for your device, however you will also need to make sure which architecture this driver is compatible with.
  • The way to tell is to search in the opened file for
    [Manufacturer]
    %Intel% = Intel, NTx86.6.0, NTx86.6.0.1
    In this example, it's x86 which is a 32Bit, the 6.6 or 6.0.1 refer to Vista OS
    (you can find indepth details on what these means from Microsoft website INF Manufacturer Section)
8) When your search for the PCI ID string in the .inf file returns positive, and you find that it matches your OS specifics, you can be assured that you have the correct driver. Note: installing the driver can either be from the original .exe or .msi file or a setup.exe file found after extracting.

Note   Note
This is a simple tutorial for troubleshooting a device driver from an .inf file perspective. There are other ways but at this level i feel it's sufficient to get you over the line.


Hope this tutorial is easy to follow.


Published by
aem's Avatar


25 Dec 2009   #1
Orpheous

XP Pro/Vista Ultimate (64)/Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition(64)
 
 

Nice work
I'll be sure to redirect a few others here in future!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2009   #2
alamiku

win 7 x86
 
 

thank you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2009   #3
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alamiku View Post
thank you
no problems at all, there are more that i can add to this tut, but i feel it might be best through answering people's questions, cos not all situations are the same.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


29 Dec 2009   #4
WeAreNotAlone

XP Pro 32, Win7 Pro 64, Windows 7 Ultimate 32/64
 
 

aem,


2 things:

1: I found this method myself thru a need to find out what devices were not installing properly, nice to see a write up on the process.

I'm trying to work up a guide on upgrading 32 bit systems to x64, I'd like your permission to include your write-up, and link to this thread. Is that ok with you? Would save me some time, and help allot of people.

2: You mentioned other (advanced) ways to obtain info... If you could expand on that I'm sure it would prove helpful, Please do if you find the time.

.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2009   #5
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

Hi WeAreNotAlone,

By all means, reference this tut in your guide if you like.
The other way i was thinking of is what my company use, a script is run to gather all your hardware IDs (there are many scripts out there that does this too) into a file. Depending on which script, it can even tell you who made your device (ie manufacturer). Knowing these infos, it elimates some of the guess works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2009   #6
WeAreNotAlone

XP Pro 32, Win7 Pro 64, Windows 7 Ultimate 32/64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by aem View Post
Hi WeAreNotAlone,

By all means, reference this tut in your guide if you like.
The other way i was thinking of is what my company use, a script is run to gather all your hardware IDs (there are many scripts out there that does this too) into a file. Depending on which script, it can even tell you who made your device (ie manufacturer). Knowing these infos, it eliminates some of the guess works.
Thanks!

Q: It seems to me there should be a listing somewhere on the net that lists manufacturers by device ID..

For example 046 is Logitech, USB=USB, Vid=Video "0840" is the device id...
USB\VID_046D&PID_0840

(Seems to me this would have to be listed somewhere, maybe the FCC?)

Run across any sites that have such a list?

.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2010   #7
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

Have you seen this PCI Vendor and Device Lists?

And this might explain a litle more. http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-...dor-device-id/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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