Monthly Archives: March 2010

Random Quotes

On Twitter from Joel on Software – by Joel Spolsky

. . . Although I appreciate that many people find Twitter to be valuable, I find it a truly awful way to exchange thoughts and ideas. It creates a mentally stunted world in which the most complicated thought you can think is one sentence long. It’s a cacophony of people shouting their thoughts into the abyss without listening to what anyone else is saying. Logging on gives you a page full of little hand grenades: impossible-to-understand, context-free sentences that take five minutes of research to unravel and which then turn out to be stupid, irrelevant, or pertaining to the television series Battlestar Galactica. I would write an essay describing why Twitter gives me a headache and makes me fear for the future of humanity, but it doesn’t deserve more than 140 characters of explanation, and I’ve already spent 820.

With Cancer, Let’s Face It: Words Are Inadequate – By DANA JENNINGS

. . . And I’m still troubled by this sentence, which I’ve heard many times: “Well, at least
it’s a good cancer.” It’s usually applied to cancers that are considered highly treatable,
like those of the prostate and thyroid.

Most people mean well, but the idea of a good cancer makes no sense. At best, the
words break meaninglessly over the patient. There are no good cancers, just as there
are no good wars, no good earthquakes.

Words can just be inadequate. And as we stumble and trip toward trying to say the
right and true thing, we often reach for the nearest rotted-out cliché for support.
Better to say nothing, and offer the gift of your presence, than to utter bankrupt
bromides.

Silences make us squirm. But when I was sickest, most numbed by my treatment, it
was more than healing to bask in a friend’s compassionate silence, to receive and give
a hug, to be sustained by a genuine smile.

Strangely enough, although cancer threatened my life it also exalted it, brought with it
a bright and terrible clarity.

So, no, cancer isn’t a battle, a fight. It’s simply life — life raised to a higher power.

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Locate Drivers For Unknown Devices

How to Manually Identify and Find Drivers for Unknown Devices with Vendor and Device ID

With the release of newer and better version of Windows operating system such as Windows 7 and Windows Vista , more device drivers are being included in the out-of-the-box operating system setup installation files. Thus the user does not have to find, download and install device drivers.

However, there are some non-popular or proprietary devices for which such automatic installation may not be possible.

When Windows fails to recognize or identify the device, or does not have the driver for the device, the device will be listed as Unknown Device in Device Manager, where a list of all devices that are installed on the computer is shown.

Unknown Device is labelled with a yellow question mark or just question mark as its icon, and belongs to Other Devices in Device Manager. According to KB314464, there are many causes that result in an device became unknown device status, including:

  • The device does not have a device driver.
  • Wrong type of device driver file, such as using virtual device driver (.vxd) files that are common to Windows 98 or to Windows 95 drivers in Windows XP.
  • Unrecognized device ID.
  • Faulty hardware or firmware.

In order to fix and resolve a unknown device status, you must download and install the proper and correct device driver for the device from manufacturer’s or vendor’s support website. But in order to download or find the correct device driver, the device has to be accurately identified by its type, name, make or brand.

Here’s a guide on how to manually identify and find the brand or make name of the device, thanks to the fact that every hardware device has a special identifier that is used by Plug and Play. This identifier can include several different types, such as vendor ID, device ID, subsystem ID, subsystem vendor ID, or revision ID. It’s possible to use both Device Manager or System Information Tool (MSInfo32) to view the hardware identifier information.

System Information Tool

Click Start and type msinfo32 into Start Search box and hit Enter (Or click Run, type msinfo32, and then click OK in Windows XP).

Expand Components, and then go to Problem Devices branch.

A list of the devices that are installed on your computer that may have a problem is displayed in the details pane, as follows:

The Device column lists the common name for the device, or the name of the device driver associated with it.

The PNP Device ID column lists device IDs, such as Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) ID, ISA ID, an ID for some other bus type, or an unknown type.

The Error Code column lists the error code associated with this specific problem. Frequently, the Device Manager error code helps determine what created the unknown device. For example, if your computer generates a “Bad or missing device driver” error message, three types of entries may be listed under Problem Devices, depending on the device type:

PCI PnP Device ID:
Device Name | PCIVEN_00000&DEV_0000&SUBSYS_00000000&REV_00&0000 | Error code

ISA PnP ID:
Device Name | ?PNP0000
Bad or Incompatible Device Driver:
Device Name | ROOTUNKNOWN000

Depending on device, the unique hardware identifier can be shown in PNP Device ID or in Error Code, and should look similar to the alphanumeric string below:
PCIVEN_1180&DEV_0832&SUBSYS_30CC103C&REV_05

From the device identification marker for the device above, VEN prefix is the Vendor ID, and DEV prefix is the Device ID, which means Device ID is 1180 and Device ID is 0832, as an example.

Visit the PCI Database website at http://www.pcidatabase.com/, an user-supported centralized database of PCI device IDs.

Search vendor name, chip number and chip description with either Vendor ID or Device ID.

With the vendor name or manufacturer name found, visit the support website to search and download latest version of device driver for the corresponding device driver. Or else just search in Bing.

Using Device Manager

For unknown devices which does not listed in the Problem Devices of System Information tool, Device Manager can be used to identify the vendor ID and device ID.

Open Device Manager by any of these methods:

  • Type Device Manager in Start Search box of Windows Vista or Windows 7
  • Type devmgmt.msc in the Run box of Windows XP
  • Click on Start -> Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> System, then go to Hardware tab and click Device Manager in Windows XP
  • Click on Start button -> Control Panel -> System and Security -> System, and click Device Manager in Windows 7.

Locate the unknown device to identify its identity (typically grouped under Other devices category).
Right click on the unknown device and select Properties and Go to Details tab.

Select Device Instance Id or Hardware Ids (for Windows 7) from the “Property” drop down menu.
Alphanumeric strings similar to below will be shown:
PCIVEN_10DE&DEV_0427&SUBSYS_30CC103C&REV_A1

The string is the unique identifier for the hardware device. From the device identification marker for the device above, VEN prefix is the Vendor ID, and DEV prefix is the Device ID, which means Device ID is 10DE and Device ID is 0427, as an example.

Visit the PCI Database website at http://www.pcidatabase.com/, an user-supported centralized database of PCI device IDs.
Search vendor name, chip number and chip description with either Vendor ID or Device ID.

With the vendor name or manufacturer name found, visit the support website to search and download latest version of device driver for the corresponding device driver. Or else just search in Google/Bing