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Identifying Unknown Hardware

When you get a piece of hardware that you cannot identify, then there are several different ways of working out what it is.

General

Firstly you should look for an FCC ID number, for example DZL210365 is the number for a Logitech mouse. Then go to the search page on the FCC's website (http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid/) and do a search on the number.

Another valuable resource is the Plasma Online website, which provides a variety of online tools to help you identify different types of hardware.

Network Cards

Network Cards can be the hardest to identify.If the Network adapter has what is called an OUI (Organizationally Unique Identifier) as shown in the picture below, you can identify your card's manufacturer easily.

Picture of OUI Code

The part of this code you will need is the first six characters, which in the example is 00A0C9 and is pictured below and is the OUI for this card.

Picture of OUI ID Number

Next, type in the OUI from your Network adapter in the form below and hit Start Search, the form will return the manufacturer from a search of the OUI standards database.

OUI Number
Enter the OUI ID number located on your network adapter to obtain company information.


 

Graphics Cards

It is possible to use the DOS program DEBUG to identify which graphics card is in your computer.

Firstly access the MS-DOS prompt by clicking on Start, Run, and typing "CMD" (minus the quotes) in the run box, then press enter. This should bring up a black window with a flashing cursor. Type in debug and press the enter key.
At the dash prompt type d C000:0010 and press the enter key.


In the text output you will see the name, though possibly broken up, of your video card.

Here is an example of the debug procedure done on a 9FX Motion 771 with the S3-968 chipset and the 2.05.15 bios revision:

C000:0010  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-10 02 00 00 00 00 49 42 
 ..............IB
C000:0020  4D 20 56 47 41 20 43 6F-6D 70 61 74 69 62 6C 65 
 M VGA Compatible
C000:0030  20 42 49 4F 53 2E 20 00-BB 66 F0 01 A3 01 F0 09 
  BIOS. ..f......
C000:0040  09 FF 00 02 4E 75 6D 62-65 72 20 4E 69 6E 65 20 
....Number Nine
C000:0050  56 69 73 75 61 6C 20 54-65 63 68 6E 6F 6C 6F 67 
 Visual Technolog
C000:0060  79 20 20 20 20 20 20 20-20 20 20 39 46 58 20 4D 
 y       9FX M
C000:0070  6F 74 69 6F 6E 20 37 37-31 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 
 otion 771
C000:0080  20 20 20 0E 20 4C 65 74-20 69 74 20 62 65 20 36 
   . Let it be 6

By hitting the d key and then the enter key again at the dash prompt, you will see a continuation of the above output which will identify the chipset (in this case 968) and bios version (shown here as 2.05.15).

C000:0090  38 2E 2E 2E 00 28 63 29-31 39 39 35 20 4E 75 6D   8....(c)1995 Num
C000:00A0  62 65 72 20 4E 69 6E 65-20 56 69 73 75 61 6C 20   
ber Nine Visual
C000:00B0  54 65 63 68 6E 6F 6C 6F-67 79 20 43 6F 72 70 2E   
Technology Corp.
C000:00C0  0D 0A 41 6C 6C 20 52 69-67 68 74 73 20 52 65 73   
..All Rights Res
C000:00D0  65 72 76 65 64 0D 0A 00-23 39 2D 39 36 38 20 42   
erved...#9-968 B
C000:00E0  49 4F 53 20 56 65 72 73-69 6F 6E 20 32 2E 30 35   
IOS Version 2.05
C000:00F0  2E 31 35 0D 0A 00 28 63-29 31 39 39 35 20 53 33   
.15...(c)1995 S3
C000:0100  20 49 6E 63 20 56 65 72-73 69 6F 6E 20 32 2E 30   
Inc Version 2.0

By pressing the q key and then enter you will exit the debug session and return to the "C:\>" command prompt. Finally type in EXIT and press enter to return to Windows.