Installing non-pnp devices

To be able to install older devices that are not auto-detected by the system (non-plug and play devices), you need administrator credentials. It is recommended to start with the manufacturer’s updated installation software and follow the instructions provided. Many times this is not possible, either you have lost the original media or the manufacturer does not support the device anymore and hence, does not provide any software packages. However, you can install non-pnp devices from the device manager .  An Add Hardware Wizard helps you installing these devices.

From the device manager, right click the computer name at the root of the tree in the details pane and click Add Legacy Hardware

  1. Click Next to the welcome screen – it is recommended to use an updated device installation media or downloaded source if available
  2. From the Add Hardware window, select Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced) and click Next – you can try the first option if the device is already attached to your system and suspect that the system may detect it
  3. A list of devices is presented. Select the device category your old hardware pertains to and click Next – for ex: you are installing an old printer, so you select Printers
  4. The next step depends on the hardware category chosen. For example with printers and modems, the wizard asks to which port you intend connecting the printer or in case of a modem installation, you can allow the system to try and detect the modem
  5. A window with a list of manufacturers and models appears next, select the model which best represents your old device. Some devices are based on the internal architecture such as, chipsets for video cards. Although, your old video card may not be an Intel branded one, its internal engine or better chipset may be!
  6. If an installation package (media or downloaded source) for your old device is unavailable, you may try to search for a driver file! Then you can download the driver file, unpack it and save it to a location in your computer. Then click the Have Disk button to locate the downloaded driver file.
  7. Then the wizard installs your old device. If the installation encounters problems, the final page of the wizard indicates them to you

If at step 3 you select Show All Devices and press Next, you are presented with a full list of manufacturers and their respective devices rather than the specific hardware category. You might find this option easier to follow :)

You can allow normal users to install driver files for legacy hardware using the pnputil without the need of giving them administrator permissions.