Fixing some hardware issues on a Dell Dimension 8300

Posted on 2009-04-27
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I got a couple of older computers to revive and use at our church - one for the pastor and his family. One - a Dell Dimension 8300 - the previous owner wiped the HDD and reinstalled windows xp pro sp1.  I searched around to fix a couple problems - the drivers for the ethernet port were gone - and it would not work.  Got everything updated, and loaded all the software/apps that I want on the PC. But there are still a few question marks in the device manager.  Should I just leave them - don't need them? Or is there a way to fix the problems.
This is what is left.

? - Other Devices
      - ? Multimedia Audio Controller
      - ? PCI Input Device
      - ? PCI Simple Communications Controller

Thanks for your help and advice.  Smizzong.
Question by:Smizzong
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    by:Erik Pitti
    On the properties for each device there will be a device identifier string.  it usually looks something like:


    Paste the strings for the unidentified devices and I'll see if I can help you find the drivers.
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    If you want to do it yourself, check here:

    PCI Vendor and Device Lists
    Not an official list, but by far the most accurate and complete.....

    Or this might be easier:
    Try the Unknown Device Identifier tool here:

    Off the top of my head, I would say:
    Onboard Sound
    Onboard Modem (or maybe Nic)
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    Great advice above...  Also...  Dell is actually pretty good and easy for getting drivers.  Browse around the side(s)/back of the system.  There should be a sticker with a Service Tag # (usually 6 alphanumeric).  Run to Dell's website and go to Support.  Head to drivers and downloads and take the option to browse by Service Tag #.  This will bring you to a list of downloadable drivers for that specific unit - categorized by component type.  This only helps, however, if the hardware is what came with the system.

    Also, on the left side of this page will be an option to see the system's specs at the time of order/sale - if that's helpful.
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    You still need to figure out which ones you need, but here are drivers for all Dimension 8300 (78 files)
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    I still need to type faster.   ; )
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    As noted above, you can look in Device Manager for the specific device ID, which may help identify the missing devices more precisely, but I'll offer a few clues for what these typically are ...

    - ? Multimedia Audio Controller ==>  This is usually your sound card (or integrated sound chip).   On the 8300 there's an integrated ADI 198X audio chip.   If you don't currently have sound, then that's probably what this is.   The driver download for it is here:

    If you DO have sound, then is the sound from the integrated controller ... or from a sound card?  [i.e. where do you have the speakers plugged in?]    Whichever one you are NOT using is likely what this item is in device manager.   If you're using the integrated sound (and it's working), then just remove the sound card and this item will disappear.

    - ? PCI Input Device  ==>  This is often a game port on a sound card.   If you have a sound card and aren't using it, then removing the card should also make this item disappear.   I suspect that with both this and the Multimedia Controller device just listed, that you indeed have a sound card that doesn't have the drivers installed.

    - ? PCI Simple Communications Controller  ==>  Probably a modem.   If there's a modem card in the PC, and you don't need the modem, just remove it :-)   That will resolve this one.   Otherwise look carefully on the card for identification of the make/model.    Note that many modems are very poorly labeled and can be a real PITA to find drivers for .... I usually just toss them and (if a modem is needed) pick up a cheap new modem card (< $10), which will come with the appropriate drivers.

    Bottom line:  You indicated everything's working fine -- if that indeed includes sound, then I suspect you simply have a sound card and modem on the system that you don't need.   Just remove them and Device Manager should then be "clean".

    As for your question "... Should I just leave them - don't need them? " ==>  I always like to have a "clean" Device Manager ... but the reality is these aren't "hurting" anything.   But I'd at least try to understand what they are ... and remove them if possible.

    Note:   If the Multimedia Audio Controller is indeed a 2nd audio device (e.g. sound card) then you could, rather than removing it, simply install the driver for it and then use that instead of the onboard audio.   Whether it's worth the bother depends on what the system's used for -- the sound card likely has better audio than the onboard device, so if you're using this system to record or play music then you may want to do that.   If you're simply recording voice (e.g. sermons) it's not likely to make any notable difference.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    You need to install the main Chipset driver FIRST.
    Once you do Windows will usually 'see' the other devices and install drivers on it's own.
    You chipset is Intel 875P.
    The latest drivers are here:


    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you very much to you all - I want to give you all points - but garycase's solution was the easiest to understand (for a noob like myself) and CThomp2005's was easy to follow (because i was already familiar with the dell service tag system).

    -PCI Simple Communications Controller- removed a modem that i did not need - problem solved

    -PCI Input Device- Went to the Dell website and entered the service tag. there were 2 downloads available - one for CL soundblaster, one for Nvidia Graphics Card.  Downloaded the soundblaster drivers - problem solved (the nvidia download was a previous version, not tested for win xp - caused problems -used sys restore to go back to previous drivers)

    -Multimedia Audio Controller- the driver download link worked perfectly-problem solved

    Device Manager looks great! ("clean")

    Thanks again to all - you guys/gals are great!


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