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How to easily find drivers for Unknown Devices in Windows

Marco Chiappetta | Jan. 21, 2014
If you're mucking around with a new Windows installation, you're probably going to run into driver headaches.

ID'ing the suspect
To easily search for drivers for a particular Hardware ID, right-click on the top-most value (usually the one with the longest string of characters) and choose Copy from the menu. Then simply paste that value into your favorite search engine. I typically have the best luck by searching for a Hardware ID along with the OS version and the words "drivers" or "driver", and "download."

For example, when installing Windows 8.1 on a Dell XPS 12 recently, I had a number of unknown devices listed in device manager. One of the Hardware Ids was:

So, I did a search for "PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_0153&SUBSYS_05891028 Windows 8.1 driver download". One of the very first results was for an Intel Dynamic Platform & Thermal Framework Driver. I downloaded and installed the driver, and bingo! It did the trick.

It's not rocket science, but being able to quickly identify and find drivers for unknown devices in Windows can save a lot of time, especially if you're constantly upgrading or building systems. If you've got any similar tips, we'd love to hear them; please comment below and give a fellow reader a hand.


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