The Hardware ID is a special number that Windows uses to determine the type of device, and, when installing a driver, the number is used to make sure you are installing the correct driver for it.
The steps are slightly different if you are using Windows 2000, Windows XP Gold, Windows XP SP1 or Windows Server 2003, and the Details tab may be missing. See the bottom of this page
Locating the HardwareID
From the Device Manager, choose the desired device, then double-click it
In this example, two items have been highlighted - the "Details" tab and the error code.
* Details tells us about the device. It is from this tab that the Hardware Id can be found. Most of the other information listed is not very useful.
* the error code tells us what is wrong with the driver for the device. Here, in the example, Code 28 is simply "no driver installed"
The Details tab
Choose "Hardware Ids" from the drop-down list , and it will show you one or more lines of text. Only the first line is needed. These IDs can be quite long, so if you are wishing to include this in an email or chat session, you can single-click on the detail line (the line that is highlighted in the illustration), press Ctrl-C to copy the text, then from your email or chat, press Ctrl-V to paste.
The "Details" tab is missing !
For many years, (anything older than Windows XP SP2) this vital information was hidden away, and disabled by default. So from the command prompt you will need to type the following to have a Device Manager that has the Details tab enabled:
Further information can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304514