When you are looking for a device driver for a piece of hardware, it is useful to know the hardware id of the device.The hardware identifier is a combination of the bus type, the hardware manufacturer (or vendor) and the device identifier. In some cases additional sub-system identifiers and revision information is included to distinguish between variations of a device.
To check the hardware id for a device, follow these steps:
- Open the Device Manager by type “devmgmt.msc” at the Run option in the Start menu.
- In the Device Manager, right-click the device, and select Properties in the popup menu.
- select the Details tab.
- select the Hardware Ids in the drop down list.
As you can see in the screen shot, there can be multiple hardware ID's for a device. The top one is the most specific identifier, and going down, the identifiers are more generic. The reason this is done is to allow a device driver to be selected based on a match to any of these hardware identifiers.
The hardware manufacturer in this example is Realtek, which is identified by VEN_10EC.
Obviously this is a device for which a driver is installed already, and the manufacturer and model for the device are shown, but the hardware id is also available for unknown devices and not recognized devices.