Can’t find the right drivers? How to identify unknown devices in Windows

Unknown devices in Device Manager can be really annoying especially if you have lost the driver disc and can’t identify the device at all to download the drivers from the internet.


If you have ever had to reinstall Windows on a PC before then you probably would have encountered this issue.

Unknown devices in Device Manager can be really annoying especially if you have lost the driver disc and can’t identify the device at all to download the drivers from the internet.

Fortunately I have a trick to make identifying those pesky devices much easier without the use of fancy or expensive software. Whether is be audio drivers, video drivers, printer drivers, any kind of drivers!

Simply open ‘Control Panel’ and go to ‘Device Manager’. Right click on the device you want to identify and select ‘Properties’.

In the device properties window select the ‘Details’ tab. There will be a ‘Property’ drop-down box from which you need to select ‘Hardware Ids’.

In my example I have the value ‘PCIVEN_8086&DEV_109A‘. (See image).

This is the information you will need to identify your device. (The device in this example has already been identified and drivers installed as I didn’t have any Unknown Devices to use as in my screenshot.)

A simple Google search of ‘VEN_8086&DEV_109A’ reveals that my device is an Intel PRO Network card and also a few websites where I can download drivers. Please know that this method doesn’t always neccessarily pin-point your device 100% of the time and some trial and error may be required but it will at least point you in the right direction.

I hope this was helpful and if you have any questions please leave me a comment.


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