How to identify unknown hardware devices in device manager

How to identify unknown hardware devices in device managerA lot of times when you are installing Windows or installing a new piece of hardware, Windows is not able to provide native driver support for the device and the device shows up as a big question mark in device manager. The easy fix will be to install the appropriate drivers and fix the error, however, to start you need to guess what device it is that you are looking the drivers for, for example, is it a modem, a network card, a video card etc. In this article we will show you step by step, how you can identify these unknown hardware devices often shown in Windows Device Manager with a yellow question mark, without installing any third party software on your machine.

In our example, we will try to pretend that the video card is the unknown device showing in device manager with the yellow question mark and try and hunt the drivers for it.

1. Open up Device Manager from Control Panel

Open up Device Manager from Control Panel

2. Expand Display Adapters and then ATI RADEON

Expand Display Adapters and then ATI RADEON

3. Right click the ATI RADEON adapter and choose properties

Right click the ATI RADEON adapter and choose properties

4. On Details tab, under property choose Hardware IDs from the dropdown and note the hardware id for the device called VEN_1002&DEV_9589, in here the last digits 9589 are the ID we are looking for the device

On Details tab, under property choose Hardware IDs from the dropdown

5. Go to PCIDatabase.com website and punch in the hardware id of 9589 and hit search

Go to PCIDatabase.com website and punch in the hardware id of 9589 and hit search

6. Search results show its an ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro card, manufactured by ATI Technologies INC. Once you have found the manufacturer and the device, you can easily download its drivers from the manufacturer's support website.

Search results show its an ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro card