18 February, 2014

How to identify unknown devices to install drivers in Windows

   This post will show you how to identify unknown devices and install drivers in a Windows operating system without installing any additional software or tools in just a few simple steps.

1. Open Device Manager in Control Panel or type device manager in the Start Search box.

2. Select the device which you don't know what it is and double click to open it.
In this example, it is name Universal Serial Bus (USB) Controller:

3. Click Details tab, choose Hardware IDs from the drop down menu:

4. Now we will see the Device ID of the device which we want to install driver:

To identify the device, we need "Vendor ID (VEN_xxxx)" and the "Device ID (DEV_xxxx)".
In this example, the Vendor ID (VEN_xxxx) is "8086" and the Device ID (DEV_xxxx) is "1E31"
5. Now go to
On the homepage of pcidatabase, you can find two search fields. One for the Vendor Search and one for the Device Search.
First we try the search for the Vendor. In our example, we found out before, that the Vendor ID is "8086".
Input "8086" into the Vendor Search field, then press Search button.
Now should get the result with the name of your vendor. In our example, this is "Intel Corporation":
6. Go back to the Start page of and then do the same with the Device ID Search. In our example, this is "1E31".
Result for that device ID:
The same device ID can be used by different Vendors, but for this case, you will see the Vendor ID for the device, too.
In our example, the unknown device is the "Intel USB 3.0". (Device ID = 1e31 and Vendor ID = 8086).

7. Now you know the name and vendor of that device, you can easily search driver for it through manufacturer's website.
As an alternative, you can find the link to download driver for the device inside pcidatabse website.
From the results of device ID, click on the link of the vendor, in this example is Intel Corporation. You will be take to the device lists of the company:
Just use find function of the browser (CTR+F) to find the device with that ID, you will see its name in front of it together with the link to download driver.

Go to that link, download and install driver.


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