How to identify your webcam

Even if you’ve lost your web cam’s installation CD, all the product info, and have no clue “who the heck” even manufactured it you can still identify it! Actually, to phrase it more accurately, “you can simply let Windows identify it”!!!

Windows doesn’t require a device driver to detect device hardware or determine its Device Identification strings

Windows Device Identification strings may look cryptic (for example, USB\VID_093A&PID_2468\5&B114931&0&1) but these strings are fundamental to Windows Plug-and-Play and how Windows figures out which drivers work with what devices in the first place!

This guide
=> Will work for both XP and Vista based systems
=> Assumes your web cam connects via USB. If other then USB, the steps are still similar but the detail will be different

1. Connect your web cam

* Attach all power cords (e.g. laptop and/or web cam).
* Plug your USB cam directly into your computer (do not use any external USB hubs). Turn your cam on
* As long as your web cam and computer hardware are working, Windows should detect it!

2. Open Device Manager

* For Vista
=> Click Control Panel
. If you have Control Panel Classic View, click Device Manager
=> Click Control Panel. If you have Control Panel Home View, click System and Maintenance->Device Manager
* For XP
=> Click Control Panel->System, then Hardware tab, then Device Manager button

3. Find your web cam in Device Manager

* Understanding Device Names
=> Windows provides user-friendly device names to accomodate us humans. As far as Windows is concerned, the device name is simply a comment!
=> It’s those cryptic Device Identification strings that really identify a device
=> Device Manager displays whatever device name it happens to find in the device driver
…==> If Windows finds NO device driver, your web cam may be named “Unknown” or “Other” device
…==> If Windows finds the WRONG device driver you may see your web cam with the WRONG device name
* How to find your web cam
=> While your web cam is connected, look through all of Device Manager for devices with a yellow icon (probably a yellow question mark)
=> Be certain to expand the USB category to check all devices listed under it. Also, be sure to also check if category Other Devices appears in Device Manager and look under it as well
=> Your web cam will appear as a device with a yellow icon (probably a question mark)
=> Click on thumbnail to see the full sized image
* How to verify the device you found is your web cam
=> Your web cam device will only appear in Device Manager when the web cam is powered on and connected
=> Disconnect your web cam. Verify the device you had found is no longer displayed in Device Manager

4. Find your web cam’s Hardware Ids

* In Device Manager, select your web cam device, rt click Properties. Click Details tab
* Select Hardware Ids from the pull-down. You’ll see a list of one or more Hardware Id strings

5. Search for a driver based on Hardware Id
The best driver will match the Hardware Id at the top of the list. The next best driver match will match the next Hardware Id on the list, etc

* Start by searching for the Id at the top of the Hardware Id list
* If only due to how different search engines work, recommend you cut USB\ from the search string
=> Example: If the Hardware Id is USB\VID_093A&PID_2468&REV_0001 search for VID_093A&PID_2468&REV_0001
* You can start by clicking Search at the top of your TechSpot window to search TechSpot first
* For more help on how to search for a driver using the webcam’s Hardware IDs see this post

Two final notes:

1) If you should find your driver elsewhere please update our “CIF Single Chip driver for webcam” thread and post your Hardware Id and the matching driver file info so others might also benefit on their next Search

2) as fyi…Vista let’s you easily copy/paste your Hardware Ids. XP does not. However, you can use a handy tool called SysExporter – To grab text data from a window when Windows doesn’t let you

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