How To Document

How to identify an unknown device (e.g. Wireless LAN module)?

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 Operating System:
Windows 7 - 32 Bit, Windows 7 - 64 Bit, Windows Vista 32 Bit, Windows Vista 64 Bit
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Sometimes you may have a problem, that there is an unknown device in your device manager. For example, if you make a clean installation of an operating system like Windows 7.
In this document, we will describe, how to identify the unknown device, using the database on (This page is used in our example, but there may be any similar page you can use, too.)


  • How to check, if the PC has any unknown device.

    1. Press the "Windows Key" and the "Break Key" on your Keyboard at the same time and the system window will open

    2. Click on "Device Manager" on the upper left of the page to open it. 

    3. Now the "Device Manager" will open and you can see, if there are any unknown device listed, like in the picture below.
      (unknown devices are shown with a yellow exclamation mark)

    4. In this example, we can see, that there is a unknown network controller.

  • How to find the Vendor ID and the Device ID of an unknown device

    To find the vendor ID and the device ID of an unknown device, there should be more than one way to the finish. In this example, we use a way with the "system information" to get the needed information.

    1. Click on the Windows "START-Button" and click in the "Search" field.

    2. Write the word "System" into the search field

    3. Click on "System Information" from the searchresults above the searchfield to open it.

    4. After the System Information window has opened, click on "Components" (1) an then on "Problem Devices" (2)

    5. Now you will see a List of Devices with the PNP device ID and the suitable Error Code.

    6. To identify the device, we need the "Vendor ID (VEN_xxxx)" (1) and the "Device ID (DEV_xxxx)" (2) which are contained in the PNP Device ID

    7. In this example, the Vendor ID (VEN_xxxx) is "10EC" and the Device ID (DEV_xxxx) is "8172"

  • How to identify an unknown device with the Vendor ID and/or the Device ID

    In this example, we use the website, to identify our unknown device.

    1. Open your webbrowser and go to

    2. On the homepage of pcidatabase, you can find two search fields. One for the Vendor Search and one for the Device Search.

    3. First we try the search for the Vendor. In our example, we found out before, that the Vendor ID is "10EC".
      Now, we write "10EC" into the Vendor Search field.

    4. Press "Search" to get the Vendor Information

    5. Now should get the result with the name of your vendor. In our example, this is "Realtek Semiconductor"

    6. Go back to the Startpage of and then do the same with the Device ID Search.

    7. Write the Device ID, which you want to identify, into the Device ID Search field. In our example, this is "8172".

    8. Press "Search" to get the Device Information

    9. Now should get the result for your device ID.

    10. The same device ID can be used by different Vendors, but for this case, you will see the Vendor ID for the device, too.
      In our example, the unknown device is the "Realtek RTL9191SE wireless LAN 802.11N" card. (Device ID = 8172 and Vendor ID = 10EC)

Please note:
To get the device working on your notebook, please visit our driver database at, download and install the necessary driver.


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