Cannot install this hardware

On a Windows XP home edition pc, it will not find any drivers for any hardware using the "Install the software automatically" selection. In order to find the driver I have to select "Install from a list or specific location" and then include "C:\Windows\inf"  in the search.  Windows XP should automaticallyl search the Windows\inf directory first, but it doesn't.  I have to manually tell it to search it.  Any ideas?    
jebschmiedAsked:
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jarichCommented:
Start > Run services.msc

Double click on the Plug and Play service and set the service to automatic.

Jerry
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jebschmiedAuthor Commented:
it is, and it starts fine.

The setupapi.log file says:  

 #-019 Searching for hardware ID(s): usb\vid_0451&pid_2046&rev_0125,usb\vid_0451&pid_2046
#-018 Searching for compatible ID(s): usb\class_09&subclass_00&prot_00,usb\class_09&subclass_00,usb\class_09
#-019 Searching for hardware ID(s): usb\vid_0451&pid_2046&rev_0125,usb\vid_0451&pid_2046
#-018 Searching for compatible ID(s): usb\class_09&subclass_00&prot_00,usb\class_09&subclass_00,usb\class_09
#-166 Device install function: DIF_SELECTBESTCOMPATDRV.
#W059 Selecting best compatible driver failed. Error 0xe0000228: There are no compatible drivers for this device.
#W157 Default installer failed. Error 0xe0000228: There are no compatible drivers for this device.
#-166 Device install function: DIF_SELECTBESTCOMPATDRV.
#W059 Selecting best compatible driver failed. Error 0xe0000228: There are no compatible drivers for this device.
#W157 Default installer failed. Error 0xe0000228: There are no compatible drivers for this device.

If I specify to search c:\windows\inf it says:

#-198 Command line processed: "C:\WINDOWS\System32\mmc.exe" C:\WINDOWS\system32\devmgmt.msc /s
#I060 Set selected driver.
#-019 Searching for hardware ID(s): usb\vid_0451&pid_2046&rev_0125,usb\vid_0451&pid_2046
#-018 Searching for compatible ID(s): usb\class_09&subclass_00&prot_00,usb\class_09&subclass_00,usb\class_09
#-019 Searching for hardware ID(s): usb\vid_0451&pid_2046&rev_0125,usb\vid_0451&pid_2046
#-018 Searching for compatible ID(s): usb\class_09&subclass_00&prot_00,usb\class_09&subclass_00,usb\class_09
#I022 Found "USB\CLASS_09" in c:\windows\inf\usb.inf; Device: "Generic USB Hub"; Driver: "Generic USB Hub"; Provider: "Microsoft"; Mfg: "(Generic USB Hub)"; Section name: "StandardHub.Dev".
#I023 Actual install section: [StandardHub.Dev.NT]. Rank: 0x00002002. Effective driver date: 07/01/2001.
#W389 No [STRINGS.0409] or [STRINGS.0009] section in c:\windows\inf\oem1.inf, using [STRINGS] instead.
#-166 Device install function: DIF_SELECTBESTCOMPATDRV.
#I063 Selected driver installs from section [StandardHub.Dev] in "c:\windows\inf\usb.inf".
#I320 Class GUID of device remains: {36FC9E60-C465-11CF-8056-444553540000}.
#I060 Set selected driver.
#I058 Selected best compatible driver.
#-166 Device install function: DIF_SELECTBESTCOMPATDRV.
#I063 Selected driver installs from section [StandardHub.Dev] in "c:\windows\inf\usb.inf".
#I320 Class GUID of device remains: {36FC9E60-C465-11CF-8056-444553540000}.
#I060 Set selected driver.
#I058 Selected best compatible driver.
#-124 Doing copy-only install of "USB\VID_0451&PID_2046\5&27FF6FC&0&2".
#-166 Device install function: DIF_REGISTER_COINSTALLERS.
#I056 Coinstallers registered.
#-166 Device install function: DIF_INSTALLINTERFACES.
#-011 Installing section [StandardHub.Dev.NT.Interfaces] from "c:\windows\inf\usb.inf".
#I054 Interfaces installed.
#-166 Device install function: DIF_INSTALLDEVICE.
#I123 Doing full install of "USB\VID_0451&PID_2046\5&27FF6FC&0&2".
#I121 Device install of "USB\VID_0451&PID_2046\5&27FF6FC&0&2" finished successfully.
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jarichCommented:
You might try Start->Run->SFC /Scannow
System file checker should repair missing/corrupt system files.
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jebschmiedAuthor Commented:
Close,  That looks like it is specifically for applications.  I need the same thing for hardware drivers.  
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kcarrimCommented:
Are you having this problem only with one device or all? What hardware is it? PCI or ISA?

Windows XP Professional supports Plug and Play hardware. For most devices that are Plug and Play-compliant, as long as the appropriate driver is available and the basic input/output system (BIOS) on the computer is a Plug and Play BIOS or an Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) BIOS, Windows XP Professional automatically detects, installs, and configures the device. When there is a new piece of hardware detected that cannot be installed automatically, Windows XP Professional displays the Found New Hardware Wizard.
 
However, you might occasionally need to initiate automatic installation for some Plug and Play hardware
 

Try this and let us know

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q244617/
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jebschmiedAuthor Commented:
It is happening with ALL hardware.  It is USB hardware, ISA hardware, PCI hardware, PS2 hardware, AGP hardware and even PNP monitors connected to the AGP hardware.  

In the setupapi.log sample above it was a simple USB hub that should have drivers built into XP.  

Windows is just not looking in the default locations that it should be looking in to find the inf files.  

The ONLY way Windows XP will find driver for ANY hardware is if I manually tell it to look in the c:\windows\inf directory when the Found New Hardware Wizard is displayed.

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nobusCommented:
did you try already running SFC /scannow from the run box?
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jebschmiedAuthor Commented:
Not yet,  I'm going to try and get out to that client again sometime next week and try it.  I got them back up and running again by manually installing the drivers so it is not as high a priority, however the underlying issue is still not fixed.
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TronstekCommented:
Just a thought here, but have the advanced drivers for the motherboard been loaded yet?
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kcarrimCommented:
You can run verifier.exe from command prompt to check  ans verify your current windows drivers
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kcarrimCommented:
Some hardware can auto install be right clicking on the .inf file and select Install. The search path in the registry could be missing or corrupted.

http://www.jsiinc.com/SUBK/tip5200/rh5219.htm
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;279112&sd=tech
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314479
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