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I have an Acer ONE 533 Netbook which was working fine but recently something happened to the Wireless LAN adapter. After taking a look at the Device Manager, I realized that there are no drivers installed for the Wireless adapter (which is really strange since, like I mentioned, it was already working fine for a long period and than it just happened). My next step was to visit the Acer Support page and download the relevant drivers. But the thing is that there are 2 available driver sets for this Netbook model:

  1. Aetheros
  2. Broadcom

My question is how can I know which model of Wireless adapter is installed inside my Netbook without just opening it? It is impossible to see the model name in the Device Manager since the adapter is not recognized there.

Any other options?

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with "no drivers installed for..." do you mean the adapter is invisible in Device Manager or it is there with an exclamation point? – WikiWitz Jun 9 '12 at 8:11
@WikiWitz There is an exclamation point. I just noticed that I had and Atheros drivers installed on my PC so I assume that this is the adapter version. However after re-installing these I have the same condition.. – Eugene S Jun 9 '12 at 8:16

I was looking for this myself. These tools within Windows 7 (and possibly other recent versions of windows) might do the trick. (use the start button and type name directly into the toolbox).

  • MsInfo32.exe . Tells you some detailed info about the system and each device, including manufacturer in most cases.

  • DxDiag.exe . Is more limited to the processor and display info; not helpful for networking info.

  • Device Manager is worthless for your specific inquiry, which is to determine the manufacturer.

3rd party programs:

  • WinAudit (alternate link: ). This program is very to the point. Takes about 2 minutes or so to run the full test. You can hit the stop button after your section is covered though. Luckily I was also looking for which network driver to download for my Acer laptop also.

Screenshot of WinAudit network adapter:

enter image description here

In my case, I was going to install windows 7 or 8.1 on a new hard drive for my computer. I wanted to get the drivers ready and had the same problem of which exact driver to download. I could get it going tomorrow

As a side comment, dont you hate when the manufacturer uses 2-3 different parts for the same model machine? Even with my serial #, service code, etc, they cannot determine the exact parts used for the laptop in question.

Update 10 June 2016: I noticed that many notebooks will have a sticker panel that shows what adapters are installed. It will either be on the bottom of the notebook, or you may have to remove the battery or some other removable panel (ram/HDD bay) and then a standard label with all of the power/wired/wireless adapters that you can connect with are there. You shouldn't have to take apart the notebook completely to get to the wireless adapter.

enter image description here

If you cannot find the complete name of the driver, you could google the part number and at least increase your chances of being better off.

There is also another sticker showing the battery voltage. Again, either somewhere on the bottom, or in the battery compartment.

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