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Some Help to Understand/Fix Windows Device Driver Install Problems

By LookinAround
Apr 16, 2007
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  1. A number of different problems can occur when trying to install device drivers in a Windows computer. It can be frustrating as hell at times trying to figure out just what's going on.

    Here's a couple things I've found that make it easier (tho not necessarily easy) to figure out what the heck Windows is doing during the driver selection and install process. That knowledge should help you understand and fix the issue affecting your install.

    1. The DevCon Utility
      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/311272 for a full description of the tool. The article also contains a download link. Note the download provides both a 32- and 64-bit implementation. Select the one appropriate to your machine.

      DevCon is a command line tool. It allows you to
      • Control an individual device or group of devices (e.g. enable, disable, restart, update and more)
      • It also allows you to review the lower level device and driver information Windows uses itself to select a driver.

      Example: List the Device Instance ID for each USB device
      Code:
      devcon find usb\*
      Example: For each PCI device, list all drivers which could be used for that device along with its driver rank as determined by Windows. This allows you to see Window's ordered preference when it has to select one driver from a group of candidate drivers. You can also see if the driver you want is even in the list of what Windows is considering!
      Code:
      devcon drivernodes pci\*
      Example: List all hardware IDs of mouse class devices on the system.
      Code:
      devcon hwids=mouse
      Example: List the Device Instance ID for each bluetooth device. In addition, it lists
      • The filename of the .inf file used to install this device (so you know which of many .inf files you see under %systemroot%/inf was actually used for this device)
      • Lists each file this device driver has installed
        Code:
        devcon driverfiles *blue*
    2. Useful Microsoft Articles to Review
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