Device Manager - Finding Unknown Devices

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    Device Manager - Finding Unknown Devices

    Device Manager - Finding Unknown Devices

    How to Find and Identify Unknown Devices through Device Manager
    Published by
    Designer Media Ltd


    Find and Identify Unknown Devices through Device Manager



       Information
    This guide will show you how to locate the unidentified hardware in your device manager by using Hardware Identification. The goal of this tutorial is to help identify an unidentified device.
       Note
    Prerequisite knowledge includes opening windows device manager, surfing the internet, data entry and basic windows navigation skills
       Warning

    • Installing the wrong driver can crash your system, this technique revolves around the use of a 3rd party online hardware ID database.
    • Some devices (such as legacy devices) may not have hardware ID's. See the "But what if there's no Hardware ID in the drop down box?" for tips on finding out what these devices are.





    Here's how
    1. Open Device Manager and find the device. It most likely has a yellow exclamation mark on it like the one in this screenshot below.
      Device Manager - Finding Unknown Devices-device.png
         Tip
      You can open Device Manager quickly by typing devmgmt.msc into RUN or SEARCH and pressing ENTER.

    2. Now that you've found your device, right click on it and select properties.
    3. Click on the Details Tab.
    4. Drop the 'Property' box until you find 'Hardware Id's".
      This picture shows my webcam, but unknown devices have hardware ID's too
      Device Manager - Finding Unknown Devices-property-box.png
    5. You'll find some number-letter combinations, here's what they mean:
      HID = Hardware ID
      PID = Product ID
      VID = Vendor ID
         Note
      The Vendor ID may also be called VEN, so look out for this too. If you're having trouble locating these then please take a look at this great Hardware Identification tutorial by Dwarf
         Tip
      If you need a driver for this unknown device, then you could do this below by Kari:

      Copy the Hardware IDs value.

      Device Manager - Finding Unknown Devices-2012-11-17_193110.png

      Go directly to a driver database site, for instance Drivers Lookup and search there with the hardware id.

      Device Manager - Finding Unknown Devices-2012-11-17_193306.png

    6. In my screen print I've looked up my Webcam again. My PID=0804, My VID = 046D.
    7. We need to reference these, so open your browser of choice and navigate to the www.pcidatabase.com website.
    8. There are other websites, but I think that the PCIdatabase.com team has put together a great site with a lot of information should you need to know more about devices and drivers.
      Device Manager - Finding Unknown Devices-pcidatabase.png
    9. Type your PID where it says Device Search and press SEARCH (e.g. for my example I type in 0804 and click on the Search button to the right of the Device Search box).
    10. All Devices with that PID show. This is usually enough; but sometimes multiple devices will show.
      Device Manager - Finding Unknown Devices-deviceid-search.png
    11. If you have multiple Devices, then you need your VID, so look back to your details column under Hardware ID's and reference it against the Vendor ID column with your VID. Mine was 046D and you can see 0x46d in the Vendor column. That's a match.
    12. You've now identified your device and can now search for the correct drivers for it.

    But what if there's no Hardware ID in the drop down box?

    With older legacy devices, some virtual devices, non-plug and play devices, and some viruses there may not be a hardware ID, however there there are other things you can do to find your unrecognized device.



    Have a look at these entries in the drop down, there are others, but these are the most common that you will find when the Hardware ID is missing.
    • DevNode status - This will tell us the current status of the device and differentiate between a driver existing and a driver loading. If the driver exists you can look at it's *.inf file (the inf file name is in the Inf Name drop down)
    • Device Instance path - Often contains Vendor and hardware information, if not than it may contain an ACPI linking it to a processor group.
    • Class Long Name - It's group name (e.g. Processors)
    • Class Short Name - It's short (actual) name (e.g. Processor)
    • Class icon path - The path to a dll that houses this devices icons. Although this is likely to be windows generic, it;s worthwhile taking a look at the icons in the *.dll, the easiest way to do this is to change an icon on any shortcut or folder and navigate to that *.dll to browse the icons.
    • siblings - Any related siblings
    • parent - any related parents
    If you are trying to find a Legacy item, it will likely be at this registry address
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Enum\Root\. It should begin with the LEGACY_ (e.g. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Enum\Root\LEGACY_CPUZ132)

    The Windows Registry Editor can be opened by typing REGEDIT into RUN or SEARCH.
    Some other locations that you may find this information (with thanks to WindowsStar)are:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\Root
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Enum\Root\
       Warning
    Edit the registry can crash your machine, use this as a research tool only, unless you know what you are doing


    Enjoy!

    TimStitt

    REFERENCES







    These References have been added after additional information was provided. The added dates refer to when this tutorial was updated with the additional information.






  1. Posts : 76
    windows 7
       #1

    Hey

    thank you but I don't understand how can I get VID and PID ?

      My Computer


  2. Posts : 9,582
    Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
       #2

    Hi dew1,

    To find this information, please see my post on this topic (link at bottom of above Tutorial).
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 1,020
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Dwarf said:
    Hi dew1,

    To find this information, please see my post on this topic (link at bottom of above Tutorial).
    Hi Dwarf,

    I feel like I've tried to reinvented the wheel and didn't know that you'd already written one of these. I searched but didn't find.

    I like your use on RED and BLUE to show the VENDER and DEVICE ID's and it points out that Vender ID's can be called VEN as well. I'll make a few edits in regards to the later and link to yours in regards to colors.

    Good Post mate.

    -Timo

    EDIT: Updated with some new info that you provided and referenced.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 1,020
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #4

    dew1 said:
    Hey

    thank you but I don't understand how can I get VID and PID ?
    Hi Dew1,

    I've updated the tutorial today with a little new info from Dwarf, if after looking at this and his tutorial you're still lost, then please let me know at which step you lose you way and please post a screen shot of what your looking at. I'm quite happy to help.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 1,158
    Win7 HP (x64)/Win7 Ultimate (x64)
       #5

    Thanks for the tutorial :)
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 1,020
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Lomai said:
    Thanks for the tutorial :)
    Bula Lomai!

    You're welcome mate.




    EDIT: To meet the forum regulations I need to translate Bula into Hello for other readers
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 4,772
    Windows 7 Ultimate - 64-bit | Windows 8 Pro - 64-bit
       #7

    Great work Timo ! Just found this one now.
      My Computer


  8. NoN
    Posts : 4,167
    Windows 7 Professional SP1 - x64 [Non-UEFI Boot]
       #8

    Thanks TimStitt, knew some of the registry edit for hardware legacy, you made it as a tutorial to refer.:)
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 1,020
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #9

    NoN said:
    Thanks TimStitt, knew some of the registry edit for hardware legacy, you made it as a tutorial to refer.:)
    Thanks Non
      My Computer


 
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