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Checking Hardware IDs in the Device Manager in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.1 and 10



DellWindowsReinstallationGuide is written and maintained by Philip Yip.



Thanks in advance for leaving any donations Philip.

This guide will instruct you in identifying specific components in your system using the hardware IDs.

This guide starts of with a video, the additional written notes with the weblinks which compliment the video are given below…


The video below is displayed in two formats, natively on WordPress and also on YouTube. Ensure to select HD to the top right or watch on YouTube with the maximum video quality for best results:

Player 1: YouTube

Player 2: WordPress

If you are unsure what driver to download after identifying the hardware IDs then provide your model of Dell e.g. Inspiron 6400 and version of Windows e.g. Windows 8.1 64 Bit alongside with any hardware IDs and make a new post in the Microsoft OS Forum or Windows 8 Forum.

Determining your Model

Press [Windows] and [ r ] to bring up the run command:


In the run box type in


Then press ok.

Take a note of the:

  • System Manufacturer
  • System Model
  • BIOS version/date
  • SMBIOS version

information ....


  • System Manufacturer – Dell Inc.
  • System Model – XPS 8300
  • BIOS version/date – A06
  • SMBIOS version – 2.6

Open the Device Manager – Windows 8.1 and 10

Right click the start button and select Device Manager:


The Device Manger will open.

The processor will determine whether your system is Intel or AMD. Most Windows 8.1 systems will be 64 Bit.


Open the Device Manager – Windows Vista and 7

Left click the start button, then right click computer and select properties:


On this screen you will be told whether your version of Windows is 64 Bit or 32 Bit and whether your processor is Intel or AMD. To the left select Device Manager:


The Device Manger will open:


Open the Device Manager – Windows XP

Go to Start and right click computer and select properties. Or press [Windows] and [Pause|Break]


Select the hardware tab


Select the Device Manger


The processor will determine whether your system is Intel or AMD. Most XP systems will be 32 Bit.

Checking the Device Manger

The first thing to look out for is any devices with a (?) or (!) beside them which are usually devices that Windows hasn’t got a driver for. This is usually only one or two devices in Windows 7 or later as many drivers are inbuilt:


In Windows XP it is usually multiple devices as XP has a very limited number of drivers inbuilt:


Ensure that each individual item in the category is displayed by clicking the ►.

3b 3

For example the base system device is usually a chipset driver but its given a generic name because Windows doesn’t know what it is.

Fortunately even if Windows doesn’t know what it is every device has its own hardware ID which can be used to identify the device.


Right click every unknown device for the following menu to display and select properties.


This will tell you the information Windows knows about the device and the device status.

For a device Windows doesn’t know its not too helpful.

To get to the hardware IDs select details and change the property to hardware IDs.


Right click within the value box and select “select all” and then copy. You will be unable to copy for Windows XP, typing out the first line should suffice:


After checking the unknown devices, expand in particular:

  • Display Adapter → The main variants in Dell Systems
  • Network Adapters → The Main variants in Dell Systems
  • Sound, Video and Game Controllers → Only a few Dell systems have variants in Audio
  • Disc Drives → Useful to Check SSD Firmware
  • Imaging Devices → Useful to Check if Webcam is present
  • Processors → Useful to determine if system is Intel or AMD

If you are stuck looking for drivers for a Dell system, provide the model of Dell and the hardware IDs of any unknown devices and display adapters and network adapters

Notes on Specific Components

Base System Device

VEN_xxxx denotes the vendor of the device. For base system devices these are commonly:

  • Intel – 8086 – Intel Chipset Device Software/Intel Chipset Installation Utility.
  • AMD – 1022 – AMD Chipset Driver which usually has a driver inbuilt.
  • Ricoh – 1180 – Usually the Ricoh Card Reader.
  • Realtek – 10EC – Usually the Realtek Card Reader.

DEV_xxxx&SUBSYS_xxxxxxxxx is unique per model of device from that vendor.

PCI Simple Communications Controller

There are a few devices which display as a PCI Simple Communications Controller:


One of the most common is the Intel Management Engine Interface which has the following hardware ID:


Some older systems will have a modem which Windows might not find a driver for and in such cases will also be listed as a PCI Simple Communications Controller. In general these are obsolete and only for dial up connections. Some modems won’t have a driver compatible with Windows 7/8.1 and can be ignored as they won’t be used.

The most common manufacturer of modems in Dell systems was Conexant and most Conexant modems are natively supported in Windows 7/8.1. The hardware ID of the Conexant D850 modem for example is:


A small subset of Dell systems also had the Intel 537EP Modem which has no Windows 7/8.1 Driver. This modem has the hardware ID:


This should not be confused with hardware IDs corresponding to the Intel Chipset Installation utility or Intel Management Engine Interface.

VEN_xxxx denotes the vendor of the device. For modems these are commonly:

  • Conexant – 14F1
  • Intel – 8086

DEV_xxxx&SUBSYS_xxxxxxxxx is unique per model of device from that vendor.

Unknown Device

The free fall sensor commonly displays as an unknown device.

unknown device

The hardware IDs of the FreeFall sensor will be:


Network Controllers


Network adapters are often have variants in a system model, moreover sometimes they will show up as “Network Adapter”. In such cases Microsoft Windows has identified the device as a Network Adapter however often it is assigned without a driver or a basic Windows driver which might not be the best driver.

Take for example my Dell Wireless 1501 Card:


VEN_xxxx denotes the vendor of the device. For network controllers these are commonly:

  • Broadcom – 14E4
  • Intel – 8086
  • Atheros – 168C
  • Realtek – 10EC
  • Marvel – 11AB

DEV_xxxx&SUBSYS_xxxxxxxxx is unique per model of device from that vendor.

Many systems come with one ethernet controller (NIC) as standard and multiple wireless card variants.

Thus for the ethernet controller (NIC) if you know what the system model is you should be able to identify what the ethernet controller is from the Dell FTP Website by looking for a driver which mentions ethernet controller under the Network Category.

As each model has multiple variations in wireless cards I have listed most of the common hardware IDs of wireless and Bluetooth Cards in Dell systems alongside the latest driver I could find for Windows 7 and 8.1. See Dell Wireless Cards for details.

On the Dell Wireless Cards page, press [Ctrl] and [f] this will bring up the search and you may search for the hardware ID, it will take you it and you can use this to identify the model of wireless card and get the driver.


Display Adapters


Display adapters are often have variants in a system model, moreover sometimes they will show up as “Microsoft Basic Display Adapter”. In such cases Microsoft Windows has identified this device as a display adapter and assigned a generic driver to it. This driver is likely not the best one and its hardware IDs should be checked to identify what it is so that the latest driver can be loaded.

Take for example my ATI 5770 Graphics Card:


VEN_xxxx denotes the vendor of the device. For display adapters these are commonly:

DEV_xxxx&SUBSYS_xxxxxxxxx is unique per model of device from that vendor.

Notes the autodetect utilities can often be used to get the latest graphics driver which is pretty useful especially on Desktops.

Note however some of the updated laptop graphic drivers, in particular ATI/AMD cards won’t install on Dell or other OEM systems as they had some agreement that OEM users should get the latest driver from the OEM however the OEM never releases drivers as regularly as the original vendor. For more information about getting the latest drivers in such configurations see the HH Mobility Modder. Intel and NVIDIA cards seem to be much better in that respect.

There is another issue regarding laptop graphics in that some newer systems have switchable graphics technology. Essentially this combines integrated (Intel graphics) and dedicated (ATI/AMD or NVIDIA) graphic cards. The Intel driver should always be installed first and in general the dedicated graphics is designed to work with a particular version of the Intel driver. These are often customised by Dell or other OEMs and as mentioned updates aren’t as regularly released as the vendors directly.

Sound, Video and Game Controllers


The Sound, Video and Game Controllers often show the audio device as a “High Definition Audio Device”. In such cases Microsoft Windows has identified this device as a audio device and assigned a generic driver to it. This driver is sometimes more than satisfactory especially for old Sigmatel devices which were common in Dell systems however in other cases a better driver can be found from Dell the OEM or direct from the vendor.

Take for example my Creative Xi-Fi Soundblaster:


VEN_xxxx denotes the vendor of the device. For audio devices these are commonly:

DEV_xxxx&SUBSYS_xxxxxxxxx is unique per model of device from that vendor.

Imaging Devices


These are usually webcams. For modern versions of Windows integrated webcams usually have the driver inbuilt with the Operating System. For obsolete versions such as Windows XP you will likely need a driver.

If Imaging Devices does not display and there are no errors in the device manager, then Windows cannot detect your webcam.

Note a scanner or camera may also be listed under Imaging Devices.

Disk Drives


The driver for the Disk Drives in particular Hard Drives or Solid State Drives are usually included natively within Windows 7 and 8.1. However drive manufacturers often release firmware and the firmware and drive currently installed can be identified from the hardware ID


M4-CT128M4SSD2 is the name of the solid state drive and 040H is the firmware revision of the drive.

85 thoughts on “Checking Hardware IDs in the Device Manager in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.1 and 10

    1. Make a post on the Dell Community Forums – Microsoft OS Forum. Provide the model of your system, versions of Windows and hardware IDs and I can help you with the specific drivers.

      1. Please help me get this driver;
        Dell Inspiron N4030

        Windows 8.1 Pro

        PCI Simple Communications Controller


      2. am using a dell inspiron 15 3542 with windows 8.1 ,am having issue to install the wifi driver .

      3. my bluetooth is not working.when i upgrade the os 8-8.1.please send me only bluetooth driver for dell ispiron 3557.some time screen is blinking when i on the bluetooth option.

  1. Ethernet Controller





    Network Controller





    PCI Simple Communications Controller





    SM Bus Controller





    Universal Serial Bus (USB) Controller





  2. This is to install Windows 7. I also posted on Dell’s forums. Please let me know the installation order and the exact drivers I need.

  3. can you get me the driver for

    Broadcom Ethernet Controller.

    I have spent to many hours looking for it. The Dell web site did not help.

    thanks for your time.

  4. Help in finding out following…..
    OS Name : Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
    System Manufacturer : Dell Inc.
    System Model : Inspiron 5521
    SMBIOS Version : 2.7

    network controller :

    SM bus controller :

    Universal serial Bus (USB) controller :

    USB2.0-CRW :

  5. hi, if you could help me i ll be grateful.
    display adapters:

    Windows 8.1 pro
    dell inc 6.3.9600 build 9600
    vostro 1540, type: X86-based pc

    ty anticipated

  6. i have a dell vostro 1310 with windows 8.1 pro. 64 bit. Internet works via wifi but does not work when connected directly. The LAN driver is not visible or installed. Please help me immediately.

  7. What can you do for a Dell Inspiron 6000 on which I have loaded W7 Ultimate? Thank you much.

    1. That system is really old (>10 years) and is worth less than the price of a Windows 7 license.

      Moreover Windows 7 becomes obsolete in summer when Windows 10 is released…

      The system can scratch minimum requirements for Windows 10 32 Bit but the display adapter is below requirements for Windows 8.1/10 32 Bit.

      I have a WIndows 7 32 Bit driver set here:
      However as mentioned its not really worth the time, look at new Dell hardware. A new Inspiron laptop is relatively cheap and even the lowest end one will run rings around the Inspiron 6000.

      1. You are so kind and responsive. Thank you very much. I will follow your instructions and advises. However the trouble is I have strong bond with my Inspiron 6000 despite it is only 32 bit. I understand it is way outdated but it was a wonderful companion during my PhD endeavor. Now I feel like a betrayer. Ironically, it works like a charm, all the hardware are intact and trouble free. It will be hard to let it go. But thanks again.

      2. I know what you mean, I get attached to my machines aswell…. As mentioned you will be left with blurry video with Windows 10 as this trick doesn’t work. Windows 10 will be a good opportunity to get a new machine.

  8. Hi Philip,
    Last one more favor please!
    The Inspiron 6000 seems to do fine with W7 except the wireless.
    I cannot seem to find the right driver for the Network Adapters. Do you think you can help? Thank you.

    Here are Hardware IDs:
    Broadcom 440x 10×100 Integrated Controller

    Intel (R) PRO Wireless 2200BG Network Connection

    1. The ethernet driver is inbuilt to Windows 7, the wireless drive has to be obtained from the Microsoft Update Catalog (requires use of IE):
      Installation of this has to be carried out via the device manager:

  9. Please help me 🙁

  10. hi, if you could help me i ll be grateful.
    My labtop is Toshiba
    Satellite c855-s5350