Help Identifying the correct XP drivers for an old computer

By Curryman2323 ·
I'm reactivating an old computer that's been kicking around my workspace for a long time. I tried to upgrade it to Vista when Vista was the hot new thing but the upgrade went wrong due to some hardware issue and I got as far as reinstalling XP before I lost momentum and went on to the next project.

Now I'm refurbishing the computer for a friend. I have XP running and activated, but I'm missing several important drivers for things like the USB controller, video card, and audio hardware, plus a couple of other hardware items. The problem is that I put this system together myself five or six years ago and no longer have ANY idea exactly what hardware might be inside, not even the brands.

I've tried letting XP find the correct drivers with no luck. There must be some method of retrieving this information, but I just don't know what it is. The hardware was all new, quality stuff as of 2004 or so, so I'm sure I'll be able to download the correct drivers if I can just figure out which ones I need!

Thanks in advance for any help solving this one, it's kinda got me stumped.

-John Price

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Open Up The Case

by TheChas In reply to Help Identifying the corr ...

You are going to have to open up the case and see what you have.

Start by identifying the chip-set on the motherboard.

Is it Intel, AMD, VIA, SiS?

Download and install the drivers for the chip-set.

If there are on-board sound and other controllers, you will need to identify the motherboard and download the drivers from the motherboard manufactures site.

Next, identify the GPU chip. ATI, Nvidia, something else? Download and install the driver.

You might be able to identify some of the hardware using utilities linked from this site:


Craig has a lot of good links and information.


Collapse -


by Curryman2323 In reply to Open Up The Case

That utility gave me just the info I needed to get the job done. That sucker goes in my troubleshooting toolbox, no question. Thanks much!

Collapse -

A Thumb if you Please

by TheChas In reply to Thanks!

Glad that the link was a help.

If you did find my (or any other answer) helpful, please give it a thumbs up.


Collapse -

Several ways

by Jacky Howe In reply to Help Identifying the corr ...

Follow these clues to find a motherboard's manufacturer


If you have a floppy drive you could also create a boot disk and use AIDA16 2.12


Collapse -

You might have a problem now that you've activated XP ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Help Identifying the corr ...

Depending on which sound chip the motherboard contains, if your sound drivers come from the Realtek 'stable', Windows XP will reject them because it has now been activated.

All sound drivers from Realtek are unapproved by Microsoft (basically Realtek didn't see the point of PAYING M$ to 'approve' their drivers, so didn't pay) but if XP has been activated, it will reject the sound drivers from Realtek.

Any time Realtek drivers are part of the mix, they MUST be installed BEFORE activation.

Just thought I'd let you know in case you ran into a brick wall.

Collapse -

Easy to get needed drivers

by davecolvill In reply to Help Identifying the corr ...

Download Belarc Advisor (www.belarc.com/free_download.htm) install and run.
Locate identity of motherboard & chipset
Google findings -
download usb,video,audio etc drivers from motherboard manufacturer

Collapse -

Try the Unknown Device Identifier

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Help Identifying the corr ...


That will make a list of the hardware in use and you can then locate the necessary drivers.


Related Discussions

Related Forums