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How to find drivers

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Old 10-02-2009, 02:54 AM   #1
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"How to find drivers"

Finding drivers is NOT any easy task.

You can pay for a program like Driver Detective, but why pay for it?

Run a Program like Everest
Everest will produce a report that will list all hardware ID's on your computer. The report is very detailed and can be confusing to read if you do not know what to look for. Errors in the Device Manager will usually show up in Everest as Unknown or Other Devices.

Or the "back door" way

For the sake of argument I will use a laptop with an Intel Chipset and XP for an Operating System
( Although it is important to always have the exact make and model of the computer you are working on).

When it comes to ID an Unknow Device or Other Device the most important info you need is the PCI\VEN_ ####&DEV_ #### ( # = number). You may come across other types of error numbers (ACPI, USB PID's etc), but I will limit this post to just PCI devices.
PCI = PCI Device (Not necessarily a device in a PCI slot)
VEN = VENDOR or the manufacture of the Device
DEV = Type of Device

Everest will give you these numbers, but so will the OS (Operating system).

Open the Device Manager
Right Click on the Device in question
Details Tab

In XP the VEN_ #### and DEV_ #### is located under Device Instance ID
In Vista and Win7 the VEN_ #### and DEV_#### is located under Hardware ID

Once you have the PCI\VEN_ ####&DEV_ #### , the search is on!

NOTE: You must find not only the exact VEN_ #### and DEV_ #### that matches your number, but it also has to match your operating system!

There are millions of these numbers, but there is hope and several ways to narrow down the device (or driver). I will use this number for an example: pci\ven_8086&dev_2792

A quick Google Search of pci\ven_8086&dev_2792 will give you several hits.
Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family Device
The key words here are Intel and 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family Device
(You may find an exact hit as this number is an easy one, but I am going to take you through this one step at a time).

We know from this info it is an Intel (VEN or VENDOR) and the device (DEV or Device) has to do with the 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family , but it does not specify what the device is exactly.

Is it the Chipset Driver or the Graphics Card driver (Graphics Cards do have chipsets, just like most devices)?
So we know who the vendor (Intel) is but not sure what the device is?

If you go to Intel you may have to search all over and download alot of drivers to find one that matches your number (pci\ven_8086&dev_2792 ). But thanks to data bases it makes it a little easier. Use of Data Bases is not 100% though.
The Data Base I use is:

When you go here a window will open
Input both the VEN #### (Vender) and the DEV #### (Device)
For the pci\ven_ 8086&dev_ 2792 the results would be:

Yes, it is the same info as your Google Search:
Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family Device

But click on the Intel link to the right and you will end up with a very LONG list of DEVICE ID:
If you scroll through the list (its to bad they are not in numerical order) you will end up with this:
Chip Number: Mobile 82915GLx/x/x
Chip Description: Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS/, 910GML Express Chipset Family
Notes: Use Mobile 915 drivers from Intel.com (sometimes you may get a direct link, but even the "Note" (Hint) helps)

Another Google Search of the Chipset Number: Mobile 82915GL comes up with: (google intel mobile 82915gl)
(You may have several hits, so you may have to search a little)
For the Intel® 82915G/82915GV/82915GL/82910GL Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH) and Intel® 82915P/82915PL Memory Controller Hub (MCH)

So, we now know that pci\ven_ 8086&dev_ 2792 is an Intel® 82915G/82915GV/82915GL/82910GL Graphics and Memory Controller Hub
Basically a Graphics Driver

So now you go look for a graphics driver for a Mobile Intel 82915GV/82915GL/82910GL Chipset, but guess what you will not find it on the Intel site.
Thought you had it
You probably forgot you have a:
Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family Device ,

Intel uses the 82 (82915GV) to identify it is a graphic driver on some chipsets (but I wasn't going to let you go that easy), so you have to look for the graphics driver for a Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS,910GML chipset.

If you go to Intel Support and input the info:
Laptop graphics controller (remember we are working on a Laptop)
Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family
XP (our operating system)

You have you should end up with:
I am using the ZIP driver:
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator Driver for Windows* XP (zip)
Once you have the driver and want to confirm it is correct, there is a way to do it. Remember the VEN_#### and DEV_#### MUST MATCH along with the OS (Operating System):

Download the driver and extract the driver you a folder
Open the folder and depending on the driver you should find the inf. file or sometimes the Device Code (VEN_ #### and DEV_ ####) is in the Setup file.
In this case the pci\ven_ 8086&dev_ 2792 number is located in the Graphics (sub-folder)>igxp32 ( see attachment)

I hope you enjoy.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Driver information.doc (24.0 KB, 934 views)

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