Windows found new hardware all of a sudden--can't install

Here's my tale of woe :(

I got a new PC yesterday and I've spent time today trying to find out whether the right sound and graphics cards, and drivers, have been installed.

Just as I'd told the computer to reboot I accidentally caught my arm against the cable connecting a USB HD to the case and snagged it out. When it closed down and rebooted XP said "NTDLR is Missing" and invited me to press Ctl-Alt-Del. I did but it kept returning to that message.

I went into the BIOS and selected 'Load Fail-Safe Defaults'. That took me into Windows, but there was a 'Found New Hardware' message. I asked Windows to install it via the dialogue box it threw up but it said it couldn't find it.

I looked in Device Manager and there was a yellow exlamation point next to the words "Unknown Device". I checked Windows Explorer and all my drives seemed to be present.

I then reconnected my USB HD and rebooted, but I got the new hardware/unknown devices message again.

After that I uninstalled the unknown device via Device Manager. Now each time Windows starts it says it's found new hardware, which it IDs as 'Audio Device on High Definition Audio Bus'. There's still a yellow mark in Device Manager, but now 'Unknown Device' has been replaced with 'Audio Device on High etc etc'.

Sound is still working. I have (the vendors say) a Creative SB X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card. It still appears in Device Manager under Sound etc Controllers, and apparently it's working correctly.

Can anyone please tell me what's going on, and how to solve it? I'm getting desperate. I've only had the PC less than 36 hours, and I'm sure it's clear from the above that I'm not particularly techno-savvy.

Many thanks for any help.
5 answers Last reply
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  1. Sorted.

    In case this happens to anyone else, I needed to re-install the Realtek High Definition audio thing from the mobo disk. Web searches had suggested to me that the Realtek driver might be missing, and so it turned out to be.
  2. So you have an onboard audio along with the SB card. I would go into the bios and see if you can disable the onboard audio. If you can, uninstall all the drivers for it BEFORE you disable it in the bios. This way windows is not loading drivers for something it doesn't need.
  3. If you do try to remove the unwanted drivers, I suggest you use "Driver Cleaner". This tool is free and can be had at:

    It is always a good idea to eliminate drivers for uninstalled hardware.
  4. I see that this tool is no longer free so here is another.

    There are several available you can find.
  5. Many thanks to both of you for the help. I got it going somehow before I saw your replies, but I'll go and check out that driver cleaner tool as it sounds very useful.

    Thanks again :)
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