PnP or how PCI works , called plug and play.                                 See related page Drivers. 
By: Deadpool.  (see how to sniff out devices)

Plug and Play (PnP is a process that both Window and newer LINUX both do , to detect, and discover what chips  are in your PC and to find a correct matching driver.
PnP begins at the BIOS execution level (cold boot) and BIOS scans the PC for all hardware resources, that are available,  memory size, and I/O port devices and interrupt allocations , addin cards, etc and passes this resouce data to the OS, maturing at Windows 2000 and beyond.
Linux started much later or not at all (100s of distrubutions of Linux, I will  not attempt to cover that, just Windows)
PnP fails for 3 reasons , the local driver cashe has no driver ,or the PC is not internet connected now, or there is no driver at all for THIS OS.

This page below shows how to scan and detect hardware, just like BIOS PnP does. (call PCI scans) BIOS PnP evolved fast after 1994 this Intel document.
The classic case would be having 2 ,PCI   ethernet cards both fighting for the same interupt single resources. Devices are matched to Drivers.
The OS today uses BIOS PnP information (or ACPI from BIOS ) to load drivers. (OS means Operating system, in this case Windows XP and up)
Learn that USB ports take 2 driver, one for the USB port, and then one for the device pluged in there. 
There are 10,000 USB Devices,  many old devices have no Windows 7 and newer support at all on EARTH, (none were ever made.) learn that. Please. Same with 10,000 printers made all the old ones fail in new OS, W7 and up. for the same reason, THEY DON'T EXIST.
If the maker of a device ended support at windows 2000, XP  there will be no new drives, sorry but  that is a fact of life.  (nobody can poop a driver from thin air can they, dah?)sarc off.
PnP at the OS level at boot time has many ways to get and load a driver to match a device  (1: windows driver folder,  2: The Microsoft, drivers found here, and last (3:) the owner can manually direct the OS to find any driver he wishes (matched)
PnP can fail easy, for 1 top reason,  using a much newer operating system on a very old PC, and the reverse.  (due to your chips are too old now or in the reverse the OS can't understand chips not invented yet in 2001 , XP )
Learn this nothing stops you from discovering the  true name of the failing device or chip and then ask  the maker for a correct matching driver, that is your job, if you erase HDD and kill dead all HP software.  (lacking HP recovery media)
Make no mistake here,  your old PC  at any time, you can have its old supported HP operating system re-installed, an all works like day one new  if you pressed the hot key at power on ,  F11 key.(HP recovery, or eMachines)
The worst cases are (were) XP could not support Modern SATA chips, (not invented yet) making the HDD missing at install time. (or the demand for Floppy driver, kids today say Grandpa what's a floppy and blush at his answer) The cure for  that is here.
The next worse case is XP (or any OS) can not  at least get 1 ethernet port working, making the interenet dead and all the next needed drivers hard to get, unless found on a working PC and hand delivered to this dead PC ,via what we call sneaker net. (walking PC to PC) see cure above.
This page below shows how to find which chip is present, some PCs were made for years, and used 3 more more chips for just  the  networking (intel , AMD, Broadcom, Realtek and more) knowing these exact facts making finding a driver vastly more easy.
The Device manager failing to show a device, (missing /red or yellow marks) tells you the driver is missing (the software base driver) or the chip is missing (wifi chips cards on laptops can be removed) The Device manager must see the device, or its bad. (in some way)
There are 2 ways for humans to find drivers, and that is opening the PC case and read every chip top there (or card) and write down all names and chip numbers , or run the sniffer below. (your call) (PnP failed , you have no other choices now, (or upgrade downgrade the OS)
In the dream case you boot a PC the internet is connected and works and PnP does all this like magic,  my page is about when the magic ends.

You are here because:?
  • You were not connected to the internet, when the OS (PnP) was trying to find drivers  and failed,  (wired connections "ETHERNET" are best here, but wifi can work too but wifi is more complex setups)
  • Your Chips are no longer supported by Microsoft (old PC's vast chips now are  not supported at all) (if the maker of the chip does not have drivers now, then Microsoft will not support it) See the WHQL pages at for details.
  • You look at and find out your PC only runs,  XP or VISTA, not  W7 to W10.   (bingo no HP support) Or you have W7 and want to upgrade to w10 but HP has no drivers for W10 on THIS PC.  (is this not clear?)
  • One way to get here is using the wrong driver, for the wrong OS ( the drivers at HP must match the OS you are running or it will fail)
  • Lets say you are madly in love with W10 and refuse to take HP advice and use W10 with NO SUPPORT from HP.  You  load W10 and find many things, are dead,  (you caused that , not HP)  so now not detured, you want the names off all dead chips, as seen below.

If your PC is virus infected only a re-install of Windows  will fix this PC, or if super lucky (most are not)  clean the PC of this  Virus  using this (do an online scan at  or Install Linux Ubuntu (grin) that has today only one known exploit and cured.

Next up is?  PCI, it's a standard for asking chips who they are. (chip info scans)

This the most basic and most important part of PnP, is Discovery.
This is Plug in play part of the system Kernal, that sends commands to your hardware, using PCI command set language, and gets back the Vendor and Device ID.  (the Device can be a chip or a whole add-in PCI card)
The OS then matches these ID's to Driver softeware . (then checks your local OS driver cache for support , and if fails, looks on-line (internet) for the drivers at"called a Cloud now")
The PCI scanner below, will allow you to do this too, by yourself.  (with no OS running at all) See CURE 2 below. (OS = Operating System) This example here is just to show you that if PnP can't find a driver, sometime Humans can !
PnP also finds printers, scanners, Displays, keyboards, mice , and a zillion an one , USB devices. (PnP job is to find all devices that need to work here)

PnP from H3LL , plug  and pray. (some times PnP can take a working Driver  and  with new  Windows 10  update, will find a newer driver that fails. Killing dead a good working PC, turn the features off  now.

My first crude attempt at a PnP page is here.

A more simple list of PnP FAILURES.  (example WIFI chips) A key chip, for sure.  (Both Microsoft and HP are helpless to support you with DEAD CHIPs)  (dead means zero maker support now, for many reasons.)  (maker means chip maker or CARD PCI? maker)
There are 20 million drivers, and chips and devices , printers scanners ,video cards, vast numbers of different addin cards and USB devices, (millions) most are now Obolete ( if you look at the last 10 years only devices, most devices before it are obsolete back to 1981.)
When I say chip this can be litteraly the chip or device that is bundle of chips doing a specific task (like Printer or scanners do)
  • The chip maker went out of business in say 1985 or year 1999-2000 (vast have since, then to now)   (or merged and died, hostile take overs, are real)  Ever heard of Diamond Multimedia or S3?(gone !)
  • The maker is still in business, but only makes Toasters now. (or lamp shades? or window shades? )
  • The Maker no longer makes wifi chips, now (or this DEVICE that fails to work)
  • The Maker makes wifi chips still, but  not that model  now, they make newer owns, like what Intel does.  (see Intel's list of non supported products,or listed as END OF LIFE)
  • The maker never made a W10 driver  nor ever will. (there are millions of chip like this, now DEAD) One way to think of Windows 10 is it works on PC 10 years or newer, and never with a 20 year old 3com card.  W10 does not support processors older that i3.
  • The maker stopped support at Windows  VISTA for drivers, for this chip. (or stopped at XP or at W7)
  • Last and most complex, the chips called Glue logic chips that connect up to your (eg.) wifi chip, and is no longer made or supported, Like old Nvidia, Nforce chips.  (they need to play together too... all chips as at team) os now dead with newer windows.
  •  Some PCs use FPGA chips that need it working first or the others  connected to it can fail. (there are vast kinds of Glue logic, some use a huge  DSP, chip or other complex devices to form the full PC architectural structure of a PC.)  a hopeless place to be...
Here is the Nvidia trick , in this page, set the first toggle box line to LEGACY and see all drivers for all OS there, on nFORCE (they hid it deep with this trick)  Do know that W7 was the last OS supported for most of these, old Nforce chips.
Case in point, if the Ethernet chip driver is missing, here it be.!
If you need old Intel drivers, go to home. and get them.
That ends the why, now the cure.  (the above complexity is why PnP exists in the first place)

 Google how many video cards makers no longer exist.  (endless story 2  here) 
Hint: don't expect Microsoft to support dead chips, when the DRIVERS DO NOT EXIST any where on mother earth. (for this OS)
Do not expect HP to have drivers for chips not made or never ever had a driver for W7, W8 or W10 .

The top chip makers are here today.

Use the database table look up's , after you scan (sniff) your PC seen below.  (A good place to see links to PC ID repositories is here)

PnP, PCI master data base look up's (off line now?):        This is Alternate #1

The fastest cure, after PnP failures is to let PnP find it on the internet, "BE CONNECTED"
The site has all my drivers,  I then load them all and now it works great. (in the correct order , I do that) Older that 10 years, last model made , HP support ends.
Lets say you are trying to buck the system and run a newer OS on your old PC, that does not support, well you get to do all this the the long hard way... (It was your choice, bucking the HP system of full support, Why do that ?, I DO but I know how to...)

CURE 1:  (HP no help, Microsoft no help and you are H3LL bent to find a driver that works)
The easy way.:
Use your OS, in this case WINDOW 10.  I use device manager to find the identity of the dead chip. (click start, click control panel, click device manager.)
The hard way:
Example of 1 NIC card chip (PCI)   (a.k.a: Ethernet chip) A very key chip that must work now, so PnP can get working drivers off the internet, so we make this work FIRST and its cable (by all means possible !)
We are here because this chip is dead or PnP fails for this chip now.
This is the best way to look up chips and match drivers. DEV = device code and VEN = Vendor,(makers name code) In this case Realtek.
If you see RED or Yellow or UNKNOWN, error  mark's here, that means the drivers are wrong. (missing or corrupted by a Virus) HP may have  the correct drivers, . (go there and get them, if PnP fails)  Here are mine, as 1 small example.
The Device manager  sees all chip devices and may  show errors.  (in some cases it shows UNKNOWN devices, and has no codes for it , in that case see section CURE 2 below.
all you need is the blue highlighted line of data. Realtek  Dev 8168 means RTL8168E / RTL8111F

I see those 2 codes, VEN and DEV and look them up in the PCI master data base above.  (VEN means Vender or chip maker code, 8086 is intel,  DEV means Device, or CHIP code)
I now know the makers real name and chip real part number. (armed with this key fact , I might ! find a driver, that works)
This allows me go to RealTek (code 8168)  home page (they are this chip maker ) and see every driver ever  made for all operatings systems, supported by them.
Lets say this chip ended at Windows 7, but I try it on Windows 10 and it works (luck does happen). (if not, you should not have upgraded to W10, as HP did advise you..
What if your WIFI is dead,  what good is this PC to you now, from some its now useless. (or try the wired Ethernet jack to your router up first then get wifi up 2nd.)
end easy way.

CURE 2:  (I find this just as easy but,  have the boot device ready 24/7 and get my answer in under 1min. flat)
CASE 2: WIFI dead. (driver missing or wrong kind)
The WIFI chip can be a mainboard chip,  a PCI addin card to desk top or,  minipci card attached to the laptop mobo, top or bottom side , or can be in a WIFI plug in USB port. Where yours is, I have no idea, but be wise to find it now.

You are just short of opening up LAPtop and actually finding the WIFI card , name and chip name and p/n .  (in Linux there is a commands to do that "lsusb and lspci" , but I digress)

Well, I run a program called PCI scan,  that finds all chips in any PC.( the newest version is even better, and finds my wifi chip fast)
I use PCIsniffer v3, by Milray, direct.  (I can make a boot CD or like me, a BOOT Udisk (usb stick) it's tiny program, and free, and safe.(this EXE is a boot disk maker program. portable APPL.) passes 60 A/V tests me.
Go there, pick free down loads then run the EXE and it gives you 3 choices, make ISO, burn CD, or burn USB stick, I have it on business card CD (a very tiny thing).

I built my boot stick (USB memory stick and booted this standalone safe program, there is no operating system, it runs pure machine code direct and does a full scan.  (I used a program called RUFUS (free) to burn this to USB boot stick)
My Ethernet is on the left B0 but B68 (say buss 68)  Is my WIFI chip and is an  Intel (8086) chip and is code 4239h, if I use the database scan , you look it up that way.
If say HP and Microsoft fail to find the correct driver, then your last chance is what.   (or WHAT? ever? chip you have, there,  it is at ""   dig?) only they have it, if at all.
Keep in mind, if you PC is old, there my be no newer drivers for newer operating systems,  in vast numbers of cases,  be wise to look first, before doing any upgrades of any operating systems.
Never let MS tell you to upgrade WINDOWS ,unless you prove  you can get all drivers you need, or its all just a waste of time (as MS W10 learned the hard way last year 2016, free upgrade saga)
Thank you Mr. Miray, for such  a great free scanner, and 100% MALWARE FREE TOO ! only direct from him , not the malware , scapler sites, ever.
To use this program, boot to CD  (or stick) open all left sides items so you see all B0:xxxxxxxxx items, the click each and see what it is at the top of the screen , in this case the  Centrino N6200 wifi chip, click Ehernet on left side, to see it.

Many find out that some W7 drivers work in W8 and W10,  try them and see, but there is no support for this, you are on you  own here.
In most cases XP drivers are useless looking forward in time, (Vista to W10 forward some do work.)
This is called PUNTING,  but can run out of bounds.?
If running XP , install VISTA. (if possible , ask XP needs to stay dead forever,  or you will by cyberattacked. (just like HSA did in England last week, "hospitals running stinking XP in the year 2017, omg)
Or install Linux.(on all old PC's for best cure) (be sure to own a set of HP media kit disks to you can go back XP, if Linux fails,)
If the PC is 2001 year PC, why not retire it, and buy a used 10 year old PC or less. ( Look at GOODWILL stores. for used old PC) Most XP computers now have zero value now.  (it's too old) It's no longer Viable nor is it supported.
Last and even more important is that the lower level chips must work first, if the top level chip fails,  one example is if the Ethernet chip sits on top of a big glue logic chip, and this GLUE chip driver is dead,  then so will be the targeted dead ethernet chip.
GLUE LOGIC is usually  an ASIC chip today.(or even DSP or Gate Array) The most common is Intel chip or AMD.(seen as bridge above)

USB PnP, issues:
There are near Infinite USB devices now (plug-in),  Millions ! of drivers (over 16 years worth of them and many are not supported today, like a 2001 Web cam?)
Know that some PC's have 2 USB chips, 1 for USB3, and one for the older USB ports. 1 might work and the the other not until you load its driver first.
That PC has 2 chips, and if the driver for USB3 is missing it will be dead. (port dead)
The Device manager must be clear of all errors related to a dead port USB first.
Then when that works correctly (ports) there is a chance the USB device you just plugged in can work  (be connected to the internet or fail 1/2 the time)
Know too that some mice and keyboards use Bluetooth wireless technology, and  both devices must have a good battery inside the device (mouse) to use Bluetooth (BT), and the drivers must be good too.
If say a BT mouse fails, then  try a wired mouse in the same USB port, see it works now doesn't it. (tells you that bluetooth mouse is belly up , right?)
When you plug in any USB device to any port, the PC will go dingdong, this tells that the OS saw the device, connection,  and if the driver is missing it now attempts to get a good one, via internet, in most cases. (It wants fresh drivers, that work is why)
Windows XP must have SP3 installed, Service PACK 3. or USB support will be HORRID, even with SP3, many devices will NOT BE SUPPORTED,  get rid of XP now.  (contact your maker of said device and ask them for XP support,  and get laughs....)
The driver can be found if lucky as seen here.

HP.COM (10 years old , or less, last year made)
Best is to do this first. (see what IS SUPPORTED FIRST?)
You do this first. and find there are no drivers at HP for your new OS.   (what then?, answser read the above)
It's only 5 minutes work to check, why skip that? 
Why upgrade OS if major drivers or software is missing.
At HP my HP security software set, is missing for w10,  there is none available.  The Windows 7 version crashes on W10. (how ever all the basic parts work, just  lots of HP apps are dead, and other HP features)
With this information, we see (just  1 tiny example) its and Intel chip wifi and we go to and get the driver the HP does not support now, after 10+ long years. BTW: has no infected files.
My W7 laptop if you use W10 OS, (agains HP advice)  the HP W7 BIOS flash engine (stick) fails on w10 hard, I have a hack for that.
This is just and example tag, 
The 1250us numbers very greatly even on a DV5, (any HP PC) if you go to and read about your exact PC ,you learn in minutes what OS is supported and what drivers for it are there. 10 years and under are supported.
Example HP, service tag , found on bottom of Laptops or inside the battery bay pit. The word Pavilion is used both on Desktops and Laptops so means (not much ,right?)

Your PC if not infected, has drivers in 2 places, (not connected to the internet)
  1. in the windows folders. (PnP failures told you it's not here)
  2. in the recover partition, in cab files. (Reinstall the OS to get them is easiest way to use these, or more complex extractions I will not cover here)
Last is get your Media kit from HP,  CD install kit or USB memory install kit, here.

Always backup your data first.

Google how to backup data, no lack of ideas and ways, it's vast, I use Blue-ray media  BD-R and and external 3TB HDD on eSATA cable .
Do not cry when the HDD crashes, and all data is lost.  (all HDD Fail, all do, and you will lose data !) Only you can save your data,  If running W10, and your cloud is active, it too can save you from data loss.

What does Support mean (HP example)
  1. The Warranty will be honored.
  2. 10 years of free OS and driver support at  from the last model made not first.   Find my drivers, (must match full p/n # and your serial number,  the SERVICE TAG , DAT:
  3. Direct help with problems with your HP , PC.
  4. Support for  all  OS installed day one (some PC have 3 choices) not counting 32 or 64bit OS. (creating 6 choices new)
  5. 10 years of media kit support, at  (CD/DVC install disk, or USB media memory stick support.  (there is a small charge for these kits)   HP get media install kit for your PC.(must match your PC )
  6. Help on the HP forum for problems (regardless of PCs age) HP Forum , ask for help there,  log in and ask any one can.
  7. The HP Driver page may have a driver autoloader program called SOFTPAQ,  if present , it then ID's your PC and loads the correct drivers, and apps.,, if you leave HP support , this magic ends, now.
  8. If you leave HP support , you lose the HP apps too. (including the Security package software and more)  There is one driver for the laptop upper row buttons, that MS my not support directly , only HP.  (eg: volume, wifi on/off, etc)
  9. HP nor MS support XP nor VISTA now. SORRY !
If you abandon the above,  and use MICROSOFT install disk (ISO or STICK) installed OS, then HP support ends.
I'm running W10 on my PC's now, with zero HP support, but I had to force feed many missing drivers. (using the PnP PCI scanner then going to the true chip maker drivers, and getting all w10 working drivers from them, a long and tedious process)
In most cases, just boot and hit F10, XP or F11 for Vista on up, and restore the OS with Drivers , fresh, in one fell swoop.  F11 is the hot key at power on that reloads the OS back to factory fresh day.  The HP OS recovery key started around 2006.

I did PnP tests on XP +SP3 ,  to see if the Microsoft Update servers still serving up the are fully but not drivers,  DRIVERS, seen here. (I see are about 1/2 up,  and MS told me it is going DEAD SOON !
The cure is the XP  Monster CD. 

Parting shot:
Never try to upgrade this. 1984 relic. ( haha) , nor the pig on the the right.

ver.3 :::::::4-15-2017