How to identify an unknown device on Windows

Microsoft Windows 10 is used for this how to identify an unknown device on Windows article. However, this article is not limited to Microsoft Windows 10 only and by following the instruction given in this article, our users will be able to identify an unknown device on any Microsoft Windows client side editions like Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows Millennium, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1 and off-course this how to identify an unknown device on Windows is using Windows 10 as it's featured Windows for images you are going to see below.

Identify an unknown device in Device Manager on Windows PC

1. On Any of you Microsoft Windows PC, Press Windows Logo Key Windows Logo Key + R. Type devmgmt.msc in Run Dialoge Box and press OK or Simply Enter to Open Device Manager.

Device Management shortcut devmgmt.msc

2. Alternatively, you can also search Device Manager or using the shortcut devmgmt.msc in the Start Menu search section and click to open Device Manager

Device Manager Search in Start Menu

3. This will open Device Manager same as below and Once your Device Manager is open, now you need to locate Unknown Device or Other Device with a warning symbol having exclamation mark. Just Right click on such unknown device and select properties.

Device Manager devmgmt.msc

4. Once you click on Properties, as highlited above, this will trigger a dialog box and you need to select the "Details" Tab and select the "Hardware Ids" under the 'Property' dropdown section.

Select Details Tab And Chose Hardware Ids Under The Property Dropdown

5. Once Hardware Ids is selected under Property dropdown menu, you will notice that are few lines under Value section for your unknown device. Generally, Hardware Ids starts with Device Type like PCI Device, USB device and there are devices which does not contain such starting points under Hardware Ids. Under this How to identify an unknown device on Windows tutorial, you will see that Hardware Ids contains enough information to search the device driver, lets pick up the example visible in below image.

PCI Device Example: PCI\VEN_197B&DEV_2392&SUBSYS_17F6103C&REV_30

This PCI device example starts with Information that this is a PCI Device, its Vendor ID is 197B (VEN_197B), its Device ID is 2392 (DEV_2392) and its SUBSYS id is 17F6103C (SUBSYS_17F6103C) while this device revision is 30 (REV_30).

USB Device Example: USB\VID_1A86&PID_7523

This USB Device example contains information like it is a USB Device, Vendor ID is 1A86 (VID_1A86) and Device ID is 7523 (PID_7523).

All the examples mentioned above combines the information to identify unknown device with vendor id and device id. Device KB give the option to search Hardware ID along with separate vendor id and device id search. Now, users do not need to remember that VEN_ and DEV_ are for PCI Devices while VID_ and PID_ is for USB device, just search your hardware id on device id and off course, if you have some valuable feedback, just write down us.

Vendor And Device Ids

With the example image as above, we have Vendor ID is "197B" and the Device ID is "2392". Now, moving to find the driver for unknown device, as we have the vendor id 197B and the Device ID 2392, we can either search old lookup style as below to get the device driver information.

Wait Lovers! is alternative and this section is specially started in honor of and we consider making it truly upgraded version of You can search the completed hardware id as well on Let’s Try this example on same as below;

Vendor ID , Device ID and Hardware ID Search Device KB

So, no matter what search type you like to do, Device KB is going to serve the results of individual vendor id, device id or just copy and paste the hardware id to get the results.

PCI\VEN_197B&DEV_2392&SUBSYS_17F6103C&REV_30 Vendor Id, Device Id and Hardware ID Search

If you need Technical Information about PCI Device Identifier which togather make Hardware IDs, see our How to Identify PCI Devices with PCI Device Identifiers? Article for more information. If this article helps you to identify unknown device on you Microsoft Windows PC, let's contribute or help Device KB team by sharing this on your social network, donating to continue the cause or sending your un-identified devices to Device KB Team. Get in Touch with Us