Identifying an unknown PCI card

Updated: 01/31/2019 by Computer Hope
Unknown device

This document contains information on how you can identify an unknown PCI card. If you are a Microsoft Windows user and have an "Unknown device" or "Unknown PCI device" in Device Manager, follow the following steps.

Microsoft Windows users

Microsoft Windows users can look at their registry to determine the manufacturer or model of a PCI device installed in their computer. To do this follow the steps below, if you do not want to edit the registry and want to use a different program skip to the next section.

Through the System Information

  1. Open the Windows System Information (msinfo32) tool.
  2. Click Components to expand the available components on the computer.
  3. Click Problem Devices and locate the PnP ID for the device you want to identify.
VEN_5333&DEV_8901&SUBSYS_00000000&REV_16
  1. As can be seen in the above example, you have lots of useful information that can be used to identify the card. In this example, the VEN aka vendor is 5333. Searching for this vendor on the PCI database shows that this particular PCI device is an "S3 Graphics Co. product." You can find a link to the PCI database on our motherboard links.

Through the Windows registry and early versions of Windows

  1. Open the registry by clicking Start and in the run line type regedit.
  2. In the Registry Editor go into the below registry keys.

Windows 2000 users
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\
SYSTEM\
ControlSet0001\
Enum\

Windows 95, 98, and ME users
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\
Enum\
PCI\

  1. In the above key, you should be other folders similar to the example below.
VEN_5333&DEV_8901&SUBSYS_00000000&REV_16
  1. As can be seen in the above example, you have lots of useful information that can be used to identify the card. In this example, the VEN aka vendor is 5333. Searching for this vendor in the PCI database shows that this particular PCI device is an "S3 Graphics Co. product." You can find a link to the PCI database on our motherboard links.

Other software solutions

If you visit the PCI database page, they also contain several third-party solutions and links to software that can identify a PCI device in your computer. You can find a link to the PCI database on our motherboard links.

Hardware solution

If you cannot determine the PCI card using software, the next best solution is to examine the card. It is common that the card has the manufacturer and model listed on the card. If no model or manufacturer is listed, look for other identification on the card such as an FCC identification number. For additional information about FCC numbers, see our FCC definition page.

Additional information