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Unknown device sm bus controller - Computers & Internet

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What I do in such circumstances is run a little piece of freeware called "Unknown Device Identifier" which does a pretty good job of telling me what device is not working properly, identifying the manufacturer, which allows me to look up the support site and get the driver necessary to correct the problem. I've found that to be the quickest and surest way to resolve such issues.

You can also try double clicking the device in device manager and then selecting "update driver" and see if Windows can locate it on your hard drive or search the internet [providing you have a working connection] to find the appropriate driver and install it. I find it works about half of the time.

There is are other trouble shooting methods and the Microsoft Knowledge base does the most straight forward job of defining them so rather than reinvent the wheel I'll present them as written there:


The main reason for Unknown Device to display in your Device Manager is because you have a device that is not working correctly. To fix this issue, obtain an updated driver for the device.

Use the following methods to enable Windows to recognize your device. Method 1: Windows Update loadTOCNode(3, 'moreinformation'); Visit the following Microsoft Web site to see whether the Web site autodetects an updated driver for your device. Install all recommended drivers. http://www.windowsupdate.com (http://www.windowsupdate.com) Method 2: Download and install the latest driver from the Internet loadTOCNode(3, 'moreinformation'); When you download a driver from the Internet, download the Windows XP version of the driver when multiple Windows versions are listed. Use one of the following options:

  • Visit the Web site of the computer manufacturer if the device came with the computer.
  • Visit the Web site of the device manufacturer if the device was installed after you purchased your computer.
  • Visit the Web site of the device manufacturer if the device was preinstalled on your computer and the computer manufacturer does not have an updated driver.
Look for a Drivers section or a Download section on the manufacturer’s Web site, and search for the device name. Download and install the Windows XP version of the driver. Advanced user section loadTOCNode(2, 'moreinformation'); This section is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://support.microsoft.com/contactus (http://support.microsoft.com/contactus) Causes of unknown devices in Device Manager loadTOCNode(3, 'moreinformation');
  • The device does not have a device driver: When a device driver for a device is not available, Device Manager displays the device as Unknown Device and puts it in the Other devices branch. This is very common with universal serial bus (USB) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) 1394 composite devices. Also, a status of Error Code 1 or Error Code 10 may be displayed when you view the properties of the device in Device Manager.

    Note Most USB and IEEE 1394 devices function correctly without additional device drivers because they are configured by the drivers that are included with Windows for these bus types. However, an additional device driver is needed if the device does not fit the defined and supplied Windows class drivers. If the bus cannot identify the device, it interprets the device as a composite device and then reports it as such in Device Manager.
  • You are using a Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows 95 Device Driver: You cannot use virtual device driver (.vxd) files that are common to Windows 98 or to Windows 95 drivers in Windows XP. If you try to install them on your Windows XP-based computer, the device may be listed as unknown in Device Manager. This typically occurs when the device driver manufacturer does not correctly differentiate between the two drivers or assumes that Windows XP can use Windows 98 or Windows 95 .vxd files.
  • Unrecognized Device ID: Every hardware device has a special identifier that is used by Plug and Play. This identifier can include several different types, such as vendor ID, device ID, subsystem ID, subsystem vendor ID, or revision ID. If a device ID is not present, or your Windows XP-based computer does not recognize the device ID, Device Manager may list the device as unknown.

    Note Software programs that require virtual hooks into hardware may create these devices. Additionally, devices that bridge between bus types, such as a device driver that enables a parallel port device to emulate a SCSI or an AT Attachment Packet Interface (ATAPI) bus, are also known to generate an unknown-device response in Device Manager.
  • Faulty Hardware or Firmware: Faulty hardware or firmware may cause a device to be displayed as Unknown Device in Device Manager. Software-only device drivers do not expose a device ID, and there is no standard method for installing these devices. Some manufacturers install the device by using the InstallShield installation program or a similar method. Be aware that software installed by other methods may not be completely removed when the device is removed in Device Manager. Therefore, you may have to check the registry to verify that all entries are removed.

Posted on Feb 04, 2010

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A spyware infection doesn't care if your system is running Vista, XP, or Windows 98. With over 20 years of experience cleaning up computers, I can tell you that every system is at risk, and every operating system must have a robust spyware scanner that runs at regular intervals and that protects while a user browses the internet.

Posted on Feb 20, 2012

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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