Windows 7: How to Install Drivers for Unknown Devices

Windows 7 comes with a lot of drivers, but you might still have quite a few devices not recognized by the installer. Here is a short guide about how to find the proper drivers for the unknown devices.

  1. Click on Start and type in Device Manager.
  2. Click on Device Manager under Control Panel.
  3. Scroll down and find the devices without drivers. These devices have a yellow triangle sign beside the icons.
  4. Right click on the device you are interested in and select  Properties. We use High Definition Audio Device as an example.
  5. Click on the Details tab and select Hardware Ids under Property. We can see that the Vedor ID is 8384 (VEN_8384) and the device ID is 7680 (DEV_7680).
  6. With Vendor ID and Device ID, you can visit and find out about the company. In this example, the vendor is IDT (who bought Sigmatel) and the device is a SIGMATEL STAC 92XX C-Major HD Audio. You can then visit the vendor’s web site for drivers.

After identifying the vendor company, you might still run to the following situations:

  • The vendor does not have Windows 7 drivers
    If the vendor still support Vista, you can try to use the Vista drivers on Windows 7.  You might need to install the drivers in compatibility mode.
  • The vendor does not support the device any more
    Some vendors choose not to support some older devices. If this is the case, you need to find the drivers from the company which made your computer. For example, IDT bought Sigmatel and they decided not to support the device. You can not find any drivers for the device from IDT. Since this is a MacBook from Apple, I found the driver from the Boot Camp files supplied by Apple.

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