Many pieces of hardware apparently seems to be "brandless." In other instances, the piece is not manufactured by the brand which is printed on the piece's box, but instead by some manufacturer in China or Taiwan. Frequently, a technician thinks that a sound board is manufactured by Yamaha or Crystal just because the board uses a chip from these brands. Almost always, the manufacturer of the board is a different one from the chip used by the board.
To download a driver or perform a BIOS upgrade, you will need to know the real manufacturer of the hardware piece for which you want the driver or the BIOS.
To find out who is the manufacturer and what is the model of your motherboard, you can use software such as Hwinfo, Everest and Sandra, all available at our downloads section. Read our tutorial, How to Find Out Your Motherboard's Manufacturer and Model to learn how to use these programs.
For power supplies, there are several tricks to finding the real manufacturer. Read our tutorial, How to Discover Your Power Supply's Real Manufacturer.
For network cards, we've written a full tutorial on this subject.
As for other pieces of hardware, you can discover the manufacturer through their FCC ID.
Almost all hardware equipment (as well as any electronic device) has a code called FCC ID. This code is the registration of the piece with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and comes printed somewhere on the piece or device. Through this code, you can do an FCC search to find out information about the piece, including who is its actual manufacturer. In order to do that, simply fill out one of the forms below.
Be careful, since many pieces and devices have two FCC codes, one called FCC REG and another called FCC ID. The search below must be conducted using the FCC ID code.
The FCC ID code is formed using 17 characters. The first three indicate the manufacturer, and the following 14 indicate the product. So, you can find out who is the real manufacturer of a hardware piece by merely entering the first three characters of the FCC ID code in the form below.
For example, suppose that a board has the FCC ID code HBQDM336P-DFV1. Entering only the first three characters (HBQ), we will learn the board's manufacturer. Entering the full code, we will find more details about this equipment. For instance, this example code is from one of those "brandless" modems. (We discovered that this modem is manufactured by UMC.)