Unknown Device in Device Manager is a common error that occurs when a hardware device is unable to find the proper driver on your computer. Drivers are software programs that enable your computer to interact with different hardware devices. For example, most Windows-based computers already incorporate device drivers that actually support numerous hardware devices, but some still require additional drivers and this is one of the main reasons for the Unknown Device Error in Device Manager. In most cases, a yellow warning symbol preceding the hardware name in the Device Manager Window signifies that there is an Unknown Device. A PC user undergoes several measures to solve this problem, but before anything else, it is vital to understand the reasons behind Unknown Device Errors in Device Manager:
- The installation CD or the recovery CD (if available) can be very helpful, and using this CD to reinstall the drivers on your computer really gives a great boost on your part. Why? Because in case that your drivers experience malfunctions due to reasons such as virus infections(Trojans), you may try uninstalling your hardware and reinstall it using your recovery CD. This is also applicable if you encounter corrupted or broken drivers, keeping in mind that a driver might be a part of a complex system of device drivers being used by several hardware devices in your computer. So aside from Unknown Device Error in Device Manager, one corrupted or broken driver that is the part of that complex system might result to your computer instability.
- Slower performance of your computer might be also due to outdated drivers, and some new models of hardware devices require newly updated drivers. If the latest driver is missing, the hardware may end up being considered as Unknown Device in Device Manager.
- Installing new applications/hardware devices from every now and then has become a common routine for PC users, but in some cases, the computer might not find the required device driver on your computer resulting to list your gadget as Unknown Device. This happens when your computer cannot find the driver or cannot recognize the IDs of the present/available driver.
There are several solutions as follows:
- Reinstall your hardware: As mentioned, it is an advantage to keep the installation CD (only if provided) of your hardware devices. It will be vital to reinstall hardware when the required driver is damaged.
- Updating drivers: It is also a vital need to be able to maintain the peak performance of your hardware which will greatly affect the stability of your computer and to prevent Unknown Device Error in Device Manager. The safest way to update your hardware driver is through the feature of your Operating System, for example: Windows have a useful feature which is the Hardware Update Wizard, which will let you connect to Windows Update if you have an Internet connection.
- Manual driver search: PC users practice online search and downloading of drivers to update, or replace corrupted drivers. To those who might want to try this approach to solve Unknown Device Warning, follow the steps: From the Device Manager Window Right click the device with warning symbol > choose Properties > click the Details tab. Here you will be able to access the dropdown list of hardware IDs. Select “Device Instance ID” and you will see a description similar to this: PCIVEN_10EC&DEV_8139&SUBSYS_81091043&REV_104&32A45852. In this example, VEN_10EC stands for Vendor ID = 10EC and DEV_8139 stands for Device ID 8139. One reliable site that will assist you in identifying and finding additional information regarding your device based on your VEN and DEV IDs is PCIdatabase.com.