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Thread: Unknown Device

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    Unknown Device

    I am in the process of reformatting a DELL L800r computer using Windows 98 SE. I have used the Dell Resource Disk to install the drivers for the Chipset, the video card and the sound card. I installed the driver for the Lucent modem. Now in Device Manager, it shows UNKNOWN DEVICE with a yellow exclamation. How can I determine what this Unknown Device is?

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    Re: Unknown Device

    terbor,
    Try right clicking the unknown device and clicking Properties. The various tabs there may give you a clue as to what it is.
    Also what category is it shown under? for example, display, processors, or what ever?
    BOB
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    Re: Unknown Device

    trebor

    Definitely try Bob's suggestion in <post#=592,907>post 592,907</post#> for determining the unknow device.

    Unfortunately, my experience with Dell, Compaq, and e-Machines while installing W98SE - you may get the error in the general "Computer" area. This makes the job a little harder.

    If this is the case, make a list of all the hardware devices in the computer (Floppy Drive, Hard Drives, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, NIC, etc). Check your list against devices listed in device manager. The one that is missing in device manager, but on your list is "Probably" the missing device.

    Make sure you have the device driver for that "Missing" device, and try to re-install driver (Should be able to get there by clicking on Driver tab, then Update Driver).

    If you seem to have all the devices in the computer identified in Device Manager, try deleting the device. Shutdown the computer, re-start the computer. W98SE will identify the device and request the driver disk. UNFORTUNATELY, sometimes windows will not identify the type of device at this stage either. <img src=/S/frown.gif border=0 alt=frown width=15 height=15>

    One question - by any chance do you have a UPS (Uninteruptable Power Supply) attached to your computer ? Years ago I had a Plug-N-Play UPS on a system that worked out of the box. When I rebuilt the system, I had an unknow device in the "Computer" column.

    Took me 2 months to FINALLY figure out the UPS needed a driver. <img src=/S/stupidme.gif border=0 alt=stupidme width=30 height=30> HTH
    Scott

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    Re: Unknown Device

    The Unknown Device is listed in Device Manager under OTHER DEVICES. Properties give no clue as to what it is. I uninstalled it and restarted the computer - it simply looked for drivers for an unknown device. No luck obviously. Everything else is installed and working fine. No UPS involved.

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    Re: Unknown Device

    Hi Viking, It is listed under OTHER DEVICES. Properties gives no clue.

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    Re: Unknown Device

    <hr> Everything else is installed and working fine. <hr>

    I'm back to making a list of all the devices. Remember, USB controller, IDE controller, Mouse, Keyboard, etc are all devices.

    It is entirely possible, the unknown device is looking for a specialized driver for enhanced functions (plug in controller, modem, SCSI card, etc) where the W98SE provided a generic driver for devices basic functions.

    The only other way, baring getting a diagnostic tester, is to manually unplug all devices except the absolutly essential devices to boot the computer (One Hard Drive, Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor). Check the device manager to see if the unknown device is still there. If it is, you are probably looking at an internal device on the motherboard (IDE controller, Floppy controller, soft modem, sound card). If this is the case, try looking at the Motherboard installation disk for 4in1 drivers (or check motherboard website).

    If the device manager doesn't show the unknown device, start plugging in each device and check device manager - re-booting the computer between each device plugged in. This is a pain and brute force method.

    Note:If you are sure everything is plugged in and working fine, you can always ignore the unknown device.

    Sorry, wish I could offer m ore help.
    Scott

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    Re: Unknown Device

    There are a couple of things you can try which just may help you discover what this "Unknown Device" is:

    1) Unknown Device Identifier..... a FREE little utility.

    2) Driver Guide Toolkit .... not free but it has high ratings.

    Jeff
    Jeff
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    Re: Unknown Device

    Jeff,

    <hr>1) Unknown Device Identifier ..... a FREE little utility.<hr>

    Checked the site and looks good. Do you have any experience with this tool and how good does it work with W98SE ?

    Thanks.
    Scott

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    Re: Unknown Device

    Scott,

    Yes, I have used that utility several times, mainly on older machines running Win 98/SE and ME. It worked great on most but there were a couple that it failed to identify the device. But hey.... it's <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>.... so it's a good deal at twice the price. <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

    Jeff
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    Re: Unknown Device

    SOLD - At FOUR Times the price.

    Already downloaded the program and put in my "Diagnostics" folder (as well as my online tips and tricks virtual folder).

    Hopefully won't need it, but you never know.

    Hopefully trebor will read your <post#=592,944>post 592,944</post#> and download the program as well.

    Thanks.
    Scott

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    Re: Unknown Device

    What a handy looking little utility - Unknown Device Identifier! I have a few people who still use Windows 98 (ME & SE) and have had the same problem with the "Unknown Device". Sometimes I've found that I hadn't loaded everything required for the sound card (game port, wave device) but most of the time I use the delete and reinstall method until "something" finally clicks into place! Total Pain! So I hope this does what it says it does because it would solve a whole lot of headaches! Thanks for the link! <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

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    Re: Unknown Device

    trebor,
    There is a good MSKB article on troubleshooting unknown devices in DM HERE

    In one part of the article it states:
    You Are Using a Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows 95 Device Driver
    You cannot use virtual device driver (.vxd) files common to Windows 98 or Windows 95 drivers with Windows XP. If you try to install them on your Windows XP-based computer, the device may be listed as unknown in Device Manager. This typically occurs when the device driver manufacturer does not properly differentiate between the two drivers, or assumes that Windows XP can use Windows 98 or Windows 95 .vxd files.

    There are some other ones worth reading if you Google-- Device Manager Unknown Device .
    BOB
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    Re: Unknown Device

    There is also a MSKB article on using the registry to troubleshoot unknown devices in WIN 98 SE.

    How to use Registry Editor to identify an unknown PCI device

    Check it at: 592931
    BOB
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    Re: Unknown Device

    Bob,

    You confused me in <post#=593,103>post 593,103</post#> at first - I now have added to XP Tips and Tricks file (may help solve a "SoftModem" issue on a friends computer).

    Current <post#=593,107>post 593,107</post#> is spot on ! ! ! ! In reviewing 592931 (AKA KB 298837) and being referenced to PCIDatabase.Com reminded me we used this article and database over 6 YEARS ago. <img src=/S/stupidme.gif border=0 alt=stupidme width=30 height=30>

    THANKS <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> Goes to show the more things change, the more they stay the same and we <img src=/S/whisper.gif border=0 alt=whisper width=29 height=17>(er some of us anyways) tend to forget. <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>

    As a caution to new users - "Make sure to back up the registry before you modify it."

    Good warning to repeat - especially when in "enum" part of registry. An error here can cause the computer to crash. Registry do NOT prompt you to save or disgard changes when closing - you make a change in the registry (intended or otherwise) the change has been made.
    Scott

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    Re: Unknown Device

    Trebor,

    Most likely this is network adapter. It will be very helpful, if you post device's ID. To find the ID, open Device Manager (click Start | Run, type DEVMGMT.MSC and hit Enter), then right-click "Unknown Device", from pop-up menu choose Properties and on the next window click Details tab. You will see a long string looking like this:

    PCIVEN_8086&DEV_100E&SUBSYS_01511028&REV_024&1C660 DD6&0&60F0

    (this example shows ID for Intel PRO 1000 network card). Post it here please or search Internet using search terms like this:
    Vendor ID 8086 Device DevID 100E
    or similar - it will help figure out which device it is.

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