Guide: How to identify the Hardware Components and find the right drivers for them

By | November 15, 2011

Identification of the hardware components of our computers or laptops is a very common issue and in a lots of cases a big problem, for everyone, whether you are a beginner or a computer geek. Without knowing who is the manufacturer of your PC components you may face a lots of problems when you need to reinstall your operating system.

Today it is very common phenomenon to format your PC several times in a year, not to mention the computer geeks, programmers and designers who due to various problems caused by viruses and suspicious software which are forced to format their computers and laptops several times in a month with aim to achieve the perfect environment in their computers systems in order to achieve better performance in their systems.

After formatting and reinstalling the operating system in your computer you will also need to install all the required drivers for every hardware component in order to make your system to function properly. Besides that today the operating systems are advanced and when you install them they will automatically install drivers for various common hardware components, but still it is more than advisable to install the original drivers provided by the manufacturer. But what will happen with your ethernet card, your wireless network adapter, your web cam and other specific hardware? You will need to find the appropriate driver in order to make them functional. That’s why in this article I’m going to show you all the possible ways how to identify and find the manufacturer of the hardware components of your computer and be able to get the drivers for them.

For branded computers

This is the easiest way to identify the hardware components of your computer and is valid only for those who have desktop computers or laptops from well known brands like: HP, Dell, IBM, Alienware…they all provide you with the proper documentation for the model that you bought. In the documentation you have all the information regarding the hardware configuration of your desktop computer or laptop. They also provide you with an CD or DVD with documentation and all drivers for your computer system or laptop. But if you have lost the documentation and the CD/DVD then you will be able to find them online at your manufacturer website, in their product database where you will find all the needed information even the drivers for your hardware components. However, today all the desktop computers and laptops have small stickers where all the general information about the hardware configuration of your PC or laptop model.

Non branded computers

There is another group of people who have desktop computers configured by individuals, with hardware components from various brands. Today, with a little hardware knowledge, everyone of us can configure any kind of desktop computer with various hardware components. That’s what all the PC shops do today. They create different types of computer configurations and sell them to individuals. If you own this kind of desktop computer than you should have the warranty paper of every hardware component in that desktop computer, starting from your motherboard, processor, graphic card, hard drive, optical drive, monitor etc. If you have them, then it is very easy, just find out the manufacturer and model of the hardware component and search online for the drivers. But if you have lost the warranty papers for your hardware components then you have two options:

  • open the computer case and locate the hardware components – for example if you don’t know the model of your motherboard, just open the computer case and start looking around your motherboard for the model number. In the picture below you can see the model of my WinFast N15235 motherboard.

  • install third party software (system profiler software – system information tools) – this is the best way to explore all the hardware components of your desktop computer or laptop, with all their details. There are tons of freeware and premium system profiler softwares like: SiSoft Sandra, CPU-Z, AIDA64, Belarc and the one one that I recommend to everyone, it is called HardwareFreak 2.0. It is a completely free utility which is designed to give you all the details of the hardware components found in your computer or laptop.

I personally hope that with this poor guide I’ve have managed to help you resolve the problems that you have with your drivers. I tried to cover most of the issues in order to help you find the right solution for your problem. If you have something to say or have faced any problem feel free to use the comment form below and let us know about it.

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