When you install or reinstall hardware, peripherals, and even software, Windows sometimes doesn't recognize the changes. Huntersoft's Unknown Device Identifier is a free tool that scans your PC to identify any devices that Windows doesn't recognize. It can also find and install drivers for devices.
As luck would have it, one of our test PCs had some recent upgrades that left it unable to recognize a digital camera's driver--just the sort of job for Unknown Device Driver. The program started scanning our system as soon as we opened it, displaying the results in a list view. Each individual entry's tree view expanded to show the device's driver as well as Details including its PnP ID, Vendor, and Chip Vendor, where applicable. We scrolled down to the appropriate entry and expanded its view. Right-clicking the Vendor line opened a menu listing Find Driver, Contact Vendor, Save to File, Send to Printer, and Backup Driver. Clicking Find Driver opened a Google search. We found an updated driver and installed it, resolving the system error. The program offers few options beyond language choices, updates, and the capability to save or print the list or individual entries. The Backup Drivers feature actually links to downloads of additional software (not freeware). Many users may prefer a different solution for backing up their drivers, and in any case we prefer frequent, fresh, and full system backups.
When you see those little yellow exclamation marks in the Device Manager, you can try to resolve the issue using the standard Windows driver update tool, but many times that won't work; if Windows had the right driver on hand, it would install it instead of flagging the error. Unknown Device Identifier doesn't really do anything you can't do in Windows anyway; it just makes it easier. Its chief value is in providing a fast, easy-to-use, centralized driver information center.
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