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I have on my desk a computer that I am reinstalling. I have just completed the Windows XP install , which is professional service pack 3. I have also installed an AV package.

Now it is time to install the audio and display drivers. Windows Update does not detect the Display card, and neither the audio device.

I really have no idea what devices are present in this system, and I am thinking of opening the case, and reading some IDs from the cards themselves. Before I do this, is there not some kind of tool that can automatically detect hardware and install drivers automatically. If not then at least tell me what devices are present, with some real descriptions, so I can search for drivers.

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You can use HWiNFO™ (for DOS) or HWiNFO32™ (for Windows). Both are freeware.

HWiNFO™ and HWiNFO32™ are professional hardware information and diagnostic tools supporting latest components, industry technologies and standards. Both tools are designed to collect and present the maximum amount of information possible about computer's hardware which makes them suitable for users searching for driver updates, computer manufacturers, system integrators and technical experts as well. Retrieved information is presented in a logical and easily understandable form and can be exported into various types of reports.

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Try Driver Identifier I just reinstalled XP on a 6 year old Presario laptop and got most of the drivers from the HP site but still had a few !! in device manager. DirverIdentifier will scan your hardwares using a unique technology. It will indicate the name of the manufacturer , version of your devices. DriverIdentifier has huge database of drivers from all hardware manufacturers. It will give you the most updated drivers for your machine.

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Yes, there are such tools. Two I know are Everest and PCWizard. They can nearly read out every property of your hardware.

Sidenote: Lavalys seems to have canceled the Home-Edition of Everest. You can still find it around the web, f.e. from Softpedia. PC-Wizard is freeware.

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I have used SiSoftware Sandra Lite for many years (They update at least once a year)

System analyser, diagnostic and benchmarking.

SiSoftware Sandra was designed to be a 32 and 64-bit Windows system analyser that includes benchmarking, testing and listing modules. It tries to go beyond other utilities to show you more of what is really going on under the hood so you draw comparisons at both a high and low-level in a single product.

You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, ODBC Connections, USB2, Firewire etc.

You can save/print/fax/e-mail/post/upload or insert into ADO/ODBC databases reports in text, HTML, XML, SMS/DMI or RPT format.

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If the devices show up as "Unknown Device" or similar in the Device Manager, you can:

If you are looking for drivers for a desktop computer motherboard's onboard devices it's a good idea to begin by looking on the site of the motherboard manufacturer. At the very least a motherboard manual will most of the time identify onboard hardware such as the sound, network, and chipset.

If it's a Dell system, start at and enter the service tag.

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Driver Max is able to display a full report of all installed drivers & delivers the latest driver updates for your computer. It now supports Windows 8 and Windows 7 (both 32 and 64 bit), Windows Vista (both 32 and 64 bit) and Windows XP (both 32 and 64 bit).

More info:

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