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: techspot.com/downloads/2307-winaudit.html ). 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:
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.
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.