How to find drivers for Unknown Devices

Usually, when you buy any hardware the drivers come along with it on a disc. If you lose the driver disc you can always download the necessary drivers from the manufacturer’s website. But what do you do when you are not sure of the manufacturer of the hardware? This is quite a possible situation and blogger Vinod Chandramouli provides an excellent trick to deal with it.

Every device has a Vendor and Device id associated with it. If you can find this ID, you can find the manufacturer. In Windows it’s easy to find the vendor and device id.

  1. Open Device Manager (Control Panel>System>Hardware>Device Manager)
  2. The hardware whose drivers are missing will appear as Unknown device, so it’s easier to locate the device.
  3. Right click on the unknown device and click on Properties.
  4. Under the Properties window click on Details tab and select Device Instance Id from the drop down box.
  5. You should see a code similar to this


  6. The portion of the code highlighted in RED is the Vendor ID and the portion highlighted in GREEN is the Device ID. In this example:

    Vendor ID = 8086
    Device ID = 27DC

  7. Once you have obtained both the IDs, proceed to PCI Database. There you can either search for the vendor from the vendor ID or directly get information about the device along with the vendor name by searching with the device ID.

Great isn’t it? Now you will never have to go hunting for correct drivers.

This Article Has 51 Comments
  1. Anonymous Reply

    the internet is full of them – benjamin

  2. Anonymous Reply

    google is also a good tool – Michael

  3. Anonymous Reply

    Zombie news

  4. Anonymous Reply

    That’s how you find the Vendor ID and Driver ID, but that doesn’t guarantee you will get a driver for your device. I didn’t have much succes with this strategy, so I advise you not to get your hopes too high…

  5. Kaushik Patowary Reply

    After you get the manfacturer’s name you have to go to their website to download the drivers. If you can’t get the drivers even from the manufacturer’s site, which is unlikely, nobody can help you.

  6. Pieter Reply

    Never ever lose a disc. NEVER!!!
    It’s just so much easier. Anyway, if you have old devices like that you probably could use something shiny and new – remembering to keep the disc safe. DON’T lose it.

    (from a computer illiterate idiot)

  7. Anonymous Reply

    does the work for you

  8. Speedy Reply



  9. Unknown Reply

    I’m guessing you’re colorblind, not that thats an excuse when you can write code. #FF0000 or red is red.

    #EA5412 is orange.

  10. Kaushik Patowary Reply

    @Tomas: Ah, a real geek! 🙂
    Just to clarify, #FF0000 and #00FF00 didn’t look great and so I used a different shade. But it’s still RED and GREEN for the normal human eye.

  11. Anonymous Reply

    AWESOME POST – I accidentally deleted my CD ROM driver and need to replace it, will use this post over the weekend, thanks!

    Keith Johnson
    Hallandale, Florida

  12. Anonymous Reply

    Yes, hardware ID is a great way to find out the device. You can also just use a program like radarsync, which relies on HWID and other internal file ID information to find the device and driver for you.

  13. Anonymous Reply

    yeah you could do all that.
    or you could:
    1. run a linux live cd (makes no change to your system).
    2. at the command prompt type:
    press enter.

  14. Anonymous Reply

    but i did not find any color.
    plz find below what i got.

  15. Kaushik Patowary Reply

    Show me a screenshot.

  16. Anonymous Reply

    Just use the freeware program “Unknown Devices”. This is the quickest easiest way.

  17. Anonymous Reply

    you are great.

  18. Mark Lester A. Iragana Reply

    This site is a very informative site. You’ll like the content of this site. If you have some time, please feel free to visit and read the content of this site. Thank you for your time and good day.

  19. Unknown Reply

    in device instance id it show USBVID_0000&PID_00005&200B6B02&0&2
    mean both 0 so what to do?

  20. Anonymous Reply

    Thanks, I didnt know. Very usefull

  21. Anonymous Reply

    or you could get vista so it finds its own drivers….

  22. Anonymous Reply

    The problem is I have an quest to find a driver that isnt supported on the original computer manf. page… So wtf should I do?

  23. Viral Reply

    Thanks…its a good write & very useful for me…

  24. Pramod Reply

    Ya, its good man. Some laptops have same devices of different vendors.For ex:for ethernet there are realtek or atheros and so on. So we cant think which manufacturers drivers we have to download. For me its a good idea and thanks a lot

  25. Anonymous Reply

    hi thanks for the help

  26. Anonymous Reply

    Much easier to use DriverAgent.

  27. Anonymous Reply

    Awesome resource, was helpful

  28. Unknown Reply

    LOSE THE DISK? INSTALL LINUX! now all driver problems will be solved…

  29. Unknown Reply

    Leopard is Deep

  30. Rahul Reply

    This site is good and they gives good informations

  31. Anonymous Reply

    i had problem finding drivers for win XP and i found this it was very helpful.

  32. Anonymous Reply

    The easiest, and by far most reliable, as crowd-sourced, is DriverMax. It gives two drivers per day for free.

  33. Anonymous Reply

    Searching only by Vendor and Device ID is *not* the way to go. It will fail miserably on laptop modems; older AC'97 Audio; and some laptop graphics.

    Better than DriverMax, is => it is all free. No 2-drivers-per day limitation

    And you can chat with real DriverZone staff in real time to get even the trickiest problem solved

  34. diwakarrulzz Reply

    u rock man……..
    really happy

  35. mishasin Reply

    Thanks for the great tip.

  36. Anonymous Reply

    Hi can someone please tell me if there is a driver for: Device Id 0000 Vendor Id 0000 ??

  37. Anonymous Reply

    I have a cd for the driver but it can only be installed with windows 98 it wont let me do it on xp or 7 help please?

  38. Kaushik Patowary Reply

    Device and Vendor ID cannot be 0000

    Drivers for Win98 and WinXP won't work with Win7. Download supported drivers from the manufacturer's website.

  39. lavesh Reply

    that was really helpful
    thnx a lot

  40. Anonymous Reply


  41. Anonymous Reply

    Great job, always wanted to know how to id missing drivers for hardware

  42. Anonymous Reply is good, but I found more helpful website with drivers for free:

  43. Sambhav Reply

    Thanks! This helped me.

  44. Anonymous Reply

    Thanks a Lot.It is a Great help to locate the appropriate device driver 🙂 Thanks Man

  45. Anonymous Reply

    please tell me a device without a device driver in linux.. or how can i find the list of such devices?

  46. Satya Mahesh Kallakuru Reply

    Thanks a Ton for this Great Tip.

  47. James Reply

    A very simple way (and time saver for busy PC techs) is Driver Robot!

    YT vid here:

  48. Anonymous Reply

    excellent info, I was breaking my head on missing drivers…

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