When installing a new operating system, you may run into the problem of missing drivers. Drivers in Windows are how devices, like your video card or USB ports, communicate to the operating itself. Without the correct driver Windows may not use the device at hand and issues may occur.

The following guide will demonstrate how to find drivers by using their device identification number. Finding drivers is not an easy task as there are millions of IDs and understanding them may be difficult. The following guide will work for Windows Vista machines and higher.

Before looking for missing drivers, always ensure that your Windows PC is fully up-to-date. Many drivers are downloaded via Windows Update.

1. To begin, make your way to the Device Manager. Go to the Start Menu in the bottom left and type Device Manager. Then right-click on Device Manager and press Run as administrator. Windows 8 users type Device Manager in the search Charms Bar.

2. In device manager locate the driver in question. This is typically represented by a yellow triangle with an exclamation point inside.

3. Next, right-click on the driver in question and press properties.

4. Under the details tab, select the property dropdown and select Hardware Ids.

5. What you are looking for is VEN_#### and DEV_####. These are the device’s identification number and this is what you will be searching for online.

6. Make your way to your favorite search engine and lookup your hardware id. PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0E1B is what I would search in my case.

7. The device should appear in your search, so in my case a Dell Inspiron High Definition Audio.

8. Once you are on the verified website of the device manufacture, go ahead and download and install your new driver.

If you are unaware of your driver or need assistance, then please create a new topic in our Driver Support section.

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