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This is mostly just for the USB ports, as I recognize everything else in computers... Anyway, is there a way to rename, or otherwise, identify which USB port (or other hardware for that matter) is which device in Device Manager?

I know I can plug in a flash drive, then see what port it is connected with, and find out that way. What I would like though, is to find out that a certain plug is always a certain device in Device Manager. If I can then I have a system in mind that always has the same order. I can look and see if a USB port is not being detected or not working properly, and as I uninstall/reinstall USB devices, I know I won't lose my keyboard or mouse, for example.

The OS in question currently is Windows 7, but I would accept a solution for ANY version of Windows

USB Devices
    |
    +--+USB Root Hub Port A
    |  |
    |  ---Keyboard
    |
    +--+USB Root Hub Port B
    |  |
    |  ---Mouse
    |
    +--+USB Root Hub Port C
       |
       ---Empty
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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted
  • Get the devcon utility if you don't have it already. It is a highly recommended tool. Instructions here
  • Unplug all USB devices from accessible ports, for example a webcam is USB as well, but you cannot really unplug it.
  • Plug in a device you know, something with a specific name is easier than a mouse. In the sample I used an ACR38.
  • List USB devices using devcon find *usb* (1).
  • Find the port ID in the end of the device string, and write it down (2).
  • Unplug the device and plug it in the next port, repeat two steps above until done (3).
  • Now you know which ID is which port. Either memorize the list, or use scripting tool or editor macro that does a find/replace on the console output for eah item in the list. Then you could use a batch file to produce output like (4)

(1)

>devcon find *usb*
USB\VID_072F&PID_9000\6&4E08F0F&0&4                         : ACR38 Smart Card Reader
USB\VID_8086&PID_0189\6&3023DF2C&0&5                        : Generic Bluetooth Adapter
USB\VID_0C45&PID_642A\6&174C4A1&0&4                         : USB Composite Device
USB\VID_8087&PID_0024\5&120253F1&0&1                        : Generic USB Hub
NUSB3\ROOT_HUB30\5&24981BD0&0                               : Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Root Hub
USB\VID_0C45&PID_642A&MI_00\7&2669BE51&0&0000               : Integrated Webcam
USB\ROOT_HUB20\4&1D3C1330&0                                 : USB Root Hub
USB\VID_8087&PID_0024\5&7937534&0&1                         : Generic USB Hub
USB\ROOT_HUB20\4&236B341D&0                                 : USB Root Hub
9 matching device(s) found.

(2)

6&4E08F0F&0&4 = Port A (front right)

(3)

>devcon find *usb*
USB\VID_072F&PID_9000\6&4E08F0F&0&3                         : ACR38 Smart Card Reader
USB\VID_8086&PID_0189\6&3023DF2C&0&5                        : Generic Bluetooth Adapter
USB\VID_0C45&PID_642A\6&174C4A1&0&4                         : USB Composite Device
USB\VID_8087&PID_0024\5&120253F1&0&1                        : Generic USB Hub
NUSB3\ROOT_HUB30\5&24981BD0&0                               : Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Root Hub
USB\VID_0C45&PID_642A&MI_00\7&2669BE51&0&0000               : Integrated Webcam
USB\ROOT_HUB20\4&1D3C1330&0                                 : USB Root Hub
USB\VID_8087&PID_0024\5&7937534&0&1                         : Generic USB Hub
USB\ROOT_HUB20\4&236B341D&0                                 : USB Root Hub
9 matching device(s) found.

6&4E08F0F&0&4 = Port A (front right)
6&4E08F0F&0&3 = Port B (front left)

(4)

After plugging in a mouse and doing find/replace in a macro with Notepad++ these are the first two lines of the output now:

USB\VID_072F&PID_9000\Port A (front right)                        : ACR38 Smart Card Reader
USB\VID_1532&PID_0013\Port B (front left)                         : USB Composite Device

[Note this answer requires the commandline, but I doubt this can be done with a simple UI like Device Manager, so I'll post it anyway. Also, I verified it only on one computer, so please verify this yourself first.]

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I love using the command line, lol. My only issue is, I would like to see it in Device Manager, having it all automatic. I am downloading the WDK right now to check it out though, thanks for pointing me in the right direction. +1 –  Canadian Luke Jun 19 '12 at 17:25
    
WDK might be a solution indeed, let us know how it turns out! –  stijn Jun 19 '12 at 18:23

You can change the name text in the '[Strings]' section of the .INF file included with the driver (edit it with Notepad), then run the setup.exe. Windows will then display that name in "Devices and Printers" and "Device Manager".

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1  
Just to confirm, this would have to be done BEFORE installing the drivers, right? Now, what about when the same device has multiple instances, such as above? Each "port" does not have its own driver –  Canadian Luke Jun 16 '12 at 20:20
    
@Luke: He said "change the name" and then said "run the setup.exe". –  Tom Wijsman Jun 17 '12 at 14:01

Based on: http://www.eightforums.com/customization/15321-tutorial-how-change-device-names-device-manager.html

  1. Open properties of the device in Device Manager
  2. Under the details tab, select Driver Key and copy the value it shows
  3. Open regedit and search for the value within HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Enum
  4. Give yourself ownership and full control over the key (folder) that you find it in
  5. Add a new string value with name FriendlyName. For data use whatever name you want it to have

The new name will take effect when you reopen Device Manager.

Appears to work on at least Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

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