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Determining unknown hardware after reformat?

By TorturedChaos
Apr 20, 2010
  1. This is something I struggle with every time I do a reformat on a strange machine. If I'm not able to write down the what hardware is in the machine, I have a hell of a time determining which drivers I need. Of course for some you can do a physical inspection and the product name is printed right on the side, but with my 2 killers are integrated video cards and network controls.

    For example I just had to do a reformat of our Dell Vostro 200 at work. I wasn't able to write down what the network controller was or the graphics card are before hand. Luckily there was only a few options for the network control listed on the dell site, and I was able to get the right one on the first try. But there are 10+ different cards and drivers listed on the dell site for the graphics cards >_<

    So does anyone have a reliable way of determining which graphics card is running with integrated graphics cards?? Not just for this case, but in general.

    Thanks
     
  2. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,210   +424

    A method I used to use a long time ago was to open Device Manager and select the device
    [​IMG]
    then go into Properties of that device and Details and select Hardware IDs
    [​IMG]
    and then google pertinent parts of the IDs
    [​IMG]

    In this case I'd google VEN_1002&DEV_9442 - but sometimes you have to search for different portions of the strings.
     
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    @TorturedChaos
    • Make sure all your devices are connected and powered on
    • Click Start->Run, enter: msinfo32. Click the + sign next to Components to expand it
    • Click Problem Devices. Anything appear?
    • If yes, click on it, Ctrl-A to select all, Ctrl-C to copy it, Ctrl-V to paste into next post
    @LNCPapa
    Checkout the instructions above.
    > It's the simplest way to get the Device ID for problem devices (whether for yourself or when needing that info from others)
    ==> By definition, the Device ID is the first ID in its list of Hardware IDs
    > Plus Problem Devices report will also display the "Device Description" (which is programmed into the device firmware along with its Hardware IDs)

    /* edit */
    And these instructions will work for all versions of windows from W2K through current.
     
  4. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,210   +424

  5. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 831   +18

    Ok thx guys! I ended up using the tool LNCPapa linked. It was the Intel G33/G31 Integrated graphics.

    Which is odd b/c I d/l that driver from the dell web site but it wouldn't work. Still said unknow VGA device....but the one from the intel site did work. guess I should have known better than to trust a driver off the dells site :p
     
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