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My laptop always searches for non-existant hardware when it starts up

Posted on 2014-09-09
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Last Modified: 2014-09-11
Dear Experts,
I have a perfectly good laptop but when it starts up I always see two dialog boxes saying that it is trying to find hardware that is not present.  How can I prevent these messages from popping up.  How can I diagnose what is going wrong. Is there some free optimizer software that could diagnose this.  I have a windows xp machine but no longer have the system disks (if I ever had them).
Best WIshes,
Phil
HardwareProblem.jpg
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Question by:Philip-David Truscott
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14 Comments
 
LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40313392
Run the hardware wizard manually and see if you can determine (Windows Update) what it is looking for.

Open Device Manager:  Do you have indications of missing drivers?  

Windows XP won't normally tell you there is new hardware.

XP is now nearly 6 months past the last updates so it is helpless against attacks. You should run anti-virus and check for malware.
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Expert Comment

by:Gabriel Clifton
ID: 40313409
If it is something that you do not notice that is missing, you can go into device manager, find the hardware with the yellow exclamation or red x, right click and disable. You can research the missing device, a program called Unknown Devices can help. There are many programs out there that can determine the hardware but some have hidden programs in the install.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 40313678
Adding to Gabriel
As it is starting with windows have a look in the start-up group see if there is any listing for install
run?
Go to your start orb  type into search>> or copy and paste >> msconfig
it will appear at the top click on it then click on start-up
alternatively paste into the run..
click on it then open the start-up group and look through the list
start-up
Sometimes windows finds new hardware while your installing it so it installs twice or half installs the second which create a problem as you can have only one.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40313817
probably a missing driver  - look in device manager as said

>>   I have a windows xp machine but no longer have the system disks   <<   you can make an install cd then - here's how:   http://www.howtohaven.com/system/createwindowssetupdisk.shtml

**i did this myself, and it woks fine!
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Author Comment

by:Philip-David Truscott
ID: 40316668
In the device manager I have yellow exclamation marks next to "Other Devices"

There are two sub-options that are listed under this as folows;

a) Modem Device on High Definition Audio Bus
b) Video Controller (VGA Compatible)

In both cases I tried to update the driver from the Internet and I got messages back saying that it could not find the updated drivers on the Internet.  Can I disable these or uninstall them?
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Author Comment

by:Philip-David Truscott
ID: 40316679
My laptop does have suspicious entries on the startup tab shown when I launch msconfig but I do not seem to have the authority to delete them.

I suspect I am not logging in as administrator.

Is there a backdoor way to login as administrator so I can delete them from startup.  If I try to disable them I get another annoying popup on startup that tries to add the things I disabled back into startup.  When I look at startup again they are still there without a check mark.
Best Wishes,
Phil
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40316742
Can you log in as administrator (that is, a user name that is a member of the administrators group)? That will make it easier to troubleshoot.
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Author Comment

by:Philip-David Truscott
ID: 40316813
I am not sure of the administrator username and password on this laptop.  Is there a backdoor for Windows XP?
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40316839
Is there a backdoor for Windows XP?

Try user name = administrator and do use a password. See if that works. It used to be default in early years
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Gabriel Clifton
ID: 40316880
So what you are missing is video card driver and modem speaker driver. Go to manufacturer website and download the video driver and modem driver.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 40317100
Well while there is two devices in question boot safemode delete both and reboot windows should re-install them
As I said in my earlier post
Sometimes windows finds new hardware while your installing it so it installs twice or to the wrong device which create a problem as you can have only one.
Always close all programs and software during installs.
If it helps
How to Find Drivers for Unknown Devices in the Device Manager
http://www.howtogeek.com/193798/how-to-find-drivers-for-unknown-devices-in-the-device-manager/
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LVL 92

Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 500 total points
ID: 40317111
if you have  unknown devices in device manager, you can use this procedure to identify them :

1- visit the motherboard manufacturers support site, for downloading drivers
2- use windows update >optional updates to find them

3- Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Information.
Now select  "Components" and highlight "Problem Devices".
All hardware devices with a driver problem will be listed here.
Make a note of the first line of the PNP Device ID line of the entry. It will show a Vendor number and a Device number (VENxxxxDEVxxxx) both four digits long.
Look up those numbers here:   http://www.pcidatabase.com/index.php

This will tell you the manufacturer and the chip number.  
Check the manufacturer's website first or google them - or post them here

4- If your LAN is running, you can also use windows update> optional drivers, or  use slimdrivers : https://www.slimwareutilities.com/slimdrivers.php
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Author Closing Comment

by:Philip-David Truscott
ID: 40317548
Yes. I definitely needed to look up the driver web site from the database you mentioned.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40318673
glad you found your solution
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