Device Manager - yellow exclamation point

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Operating systems these days have built-in warning signs which inform users about an unrecognized hardware. One of these warnings is an exclamation point in a yellow triangle. This usually appears under Device Manager in Windows. This generally happens due to a missing driver and as a result, the OS is unable to recognize the connected hardware. For this, one needs to identify the unrecognized device by removing all of them one by one and checking the Device Manager for the exclamation point in a yellow triangle. Once identified, the only step left is to recover the driver and add the hardware manually.

You might see an exclamation point in a yellow triangle in the Device Manager of Windows.
This means that a device plugged into a USB port on the computer is not recognized because the driver was not located by the system.

Identify your device


First of all you need to identify which device was not recognized.


A simple method is to remove the external devices connected to the computer, one by one, and check if the line is still present. In the case that an internal device is installed, you can determine which device is failing by using the software.

Once the device is identified, it is necessary to obtain the latest drivers. Normally they are provided on the support CD that comes along with the device.

Installing your drivers

  • Once the drivers found, simply follow these steps:
  • Control Panel/Add Hardware
  • The Add Hardware wizard opens
  • Click Next
  • Scroll down the list and select "Add a new hardware device" then click "Next"
  • Then "Install the hardware that I manually select from a list"
  • Browse the tree to the location of the driver or by default to c:\windows\inf
Jean-François Pillou

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