"Found new hardware" when there isn't any?

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Athelwulf

Rest in peace Kurt...
Registered Senior Member
You guys have been pretty helpful to me in the past with my computer problems. I appreciate that. I'd like to reward you with... another problem! This one's a brain-buster, and I seem to have a knack for having these kinds of problems.

On the 29th, I reinstalled my printer because I realized I never did after I had reformatted my computer about a month ago. It's a Dell AOI Printer 946 printer, for those who can make sense of that, and it's a combo printer-scanner-copier-fax. Before I formatted the computer, I had used the printer since I got it in early summer from a yard sale (it was like new), and it worked wonderfully. But sometime after I reinstalled it (I stupidly didn't bother to note when this started), each time I booted up my computer for the day, it would pop up with a "Found New Hardware" wizard for something called a "PCI Simple Communications Controller". I've tried inserting the installer CD for my printer when that pops up, but it doesn't work.

New hardware since I reformatted my hard drive includes this printer and a new CPU fan and power supply unit. Also a spare internal hard drive I was borrowing from a friend to keep my personal files on while I reformatted. All of these devices except the printer were in use a month ago, shortly after I finished reformatting. Other than these things, there have been no changes to my hardware since I reformatted. My modem has something to do with PCI, so this new hardware reminded me of my modem, but I've done absolutely nothing to it for a good, long while. Also, this new device is listed in my Device Manager separately from my modem. And the printer is Dell. I found the option to make it shut up, but the phantom device is still in my Device Manager.

So. What can you guys make of it? :shrug:

Also, I hope your respective holiday seasons were joyful.
 
Most of the "PCI simple communications controllers" I have come across were modems. You might try deleting the device and reinstalling. You could also try right clicking the device in the device manager and click "properties" and click the "details" tab. Post the device ID and we can look it up.
 
You're probably right that it's your modem. If Windows doesn't recognize which specific brand of modem you have, it will just call it a PCI Simple Communications Controller.

Try uninstalling and reinstalling the driver for your modem, by deleting it from the device manager, and waiting for it to re-detect. Also, if you have the disc for your modem, you can simply install the driver directly from the disc. Or yet another option is if you know what kind of modem you have, you can download the driver from their website, or from www.driverguide.com.

Also, go into the device manager and see if there are any exclamation points next to any devices (I'm not sure if you were saying there actually is one or not).

If all that fails, you can try pulling the modem out of its slot, and seeing if the problem persists. If it persists, you know there is some other problem, in which case I would suggest reinstalling your motherboard drivers. If that fixes the problem you definitely just need the correct version of the modem driver.

One other thing - are you using your computer to post this? I ask because if your modem driver isn't installed, but you can still get online, there is obviously something else going on.

Athelwulf said:
Also, I hope your respective holiday seasons were joyful.
Ha! I spent most of Christmas day stuck in the Denver International Airport, and I was somewhere above Ohio when it rolled over to 2008.
 
Well, my modem is being treated as a totally separate device. And I've been using my modem perfectly normally ever since I reformatted my computer.

You might try deleting the device and reinstalling. You could also try right clicking the device in the device manager and click "properties" and click the "details" tab. Post the device ID and we can look it up.

I don't know which one you want, since the PCI thing and my modem are two different pieces of hardware according to my computer. But here's the "device instance ID" of my plain modem:

Code:
PCI\VEN_1106&DEV_3068&SUBSYS_0C041019&REV_80\3&61AAA01&0&8E

And here's the one for the phantom device:

Code:
PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_048C&SUBSYS_044C11C1&REV_02\3&61AAA01&0&40

RubiksMaster said:
Also, go into the device manager and see if there are any exclamation points next to any devices (I'm not sure if you were saying there actually is one or not).

None.

RubiksMaster said:
One other thing - are you using your computer to post this? I ask because if your modem driver isn't installed, but you can still get online, there is obviously something else going on.

I am, and I'm pretty sure the modem is installed correctly. It just seems there's this phantom device.

RubiksMaster said:
Ha! I spent most of Christmas day stuck in the Denver International Airport, and I was somewhere above Ohio when it rolled over to 2008.

Oh that sucks. But at least your winter break was eventful.
 
cosmictraveler said:
You could also do a "system restore" to a date before this started happening.
I have yet to encounter a problem that actually needs system restore. Usually it is simple enough to fix without it, and when that's not the case, usually something is so deeply wrong it needs a whole OS reinstall.

But Athelwulf, if it bothers you enough, and you still have a restore point for far enough back, you try that if you feel you want to.

I'm curious whether the printer is causing this, or if it's just correlated in time. Is the printer USB, or parallel?

Here's what I would say to try. Uninstall the printer driver, and unplug it from the system, then remove that phantom device from within the device manager. See if the problem still persists. If it does, it's not your printer. I'm thinking maybe since it has fax capabilities, there's a very slight possibility that it's seeing the networking hardware and somehow confusing it with your modem. That explanation seems far-fetched to me (especially if it's USB), but it's worth at least trying to rule out your printer.

If the problem still persists after completely uninstalling the printer, then I still think you should try reinstalling your motherboard drivers.
 
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