Displaying USB Devices using WMI

  • Comments 9

Over on MyItForum.com, I came upon a VBScript in a forum to find all the PNP entities associated with a USBController. I rewrote it in PowerShell and was pretty happy with the results so I thought I would share them. The first thing you need to understand is that the WMI class WIN32_USBControllerDevice describes the connection between USB controllers (The Antecedent) and their logical devices [CIM_LOGICALDEVICE] (the Dependent). Let me illustrate:

PS> gwmi Win32_USBControllerDevice |fl Antecedent,Dependent

Antecedent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_USBController.DeviceID="PCI\\VEN_
Dependent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_PnPEntity.DeviceID="USB\\ROOT_HUB

Antecedent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_USBController.DeviceID="PCI\\VEN_
Dependent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_PnPEntity.DeviceID="USB\\VID_04FC

Antecedent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_USBController.DeviceID="PCI\\VEN_
Dependent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_PnPEntity.DeviceID="HID\\VID_04FC

Antecedent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_USBController.DeviceID="PCI\\VEN_
Dependent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_PnPEntity.DeviceID="USB\\ROOT_HUB

Antecedent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_USBController.DeviceID="PCI\\VEN_
Dependent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_PnPEntity.DeviceID="USB\\VID_413C

Antecedent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_USBController.DeviceID="PCI\\VEN_
Dependent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_PnPEntity.DeviceID="BTH\\MS_RFCOM

Antecedent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_USBController.DeviceID="PCI\\VEN_
Dependent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_PnPEntity.DeviceID="BTH\\MS_BTHBR

Antecedent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_USBController.DeviceID="PCI\\VEN_
Dependent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_PnPEntity.DeviceID="BTH\\MS_BTHPA

Antecedent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_USBController.DeviceID="PCI\\VEN_
Dependent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_PnPEntity.DeviceID="USB\\ROOT_HUB

Antecedent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_USBController.DeviceID="PCI\\VEN_
Dependent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_PnPEntity.DeviceID="USB\\ROOT_HUB

Antecedent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_USBController.DeviceID="PCI\\VEN_
Dependent : \\JPSVISTA1\root\cimv2:Win32_PnPEntity.DeviceID="USB\\ROOT_HUB

Clear as mud right? These are WMI Path names and are not so readable. That's ok for now; the point is that this class points to 2 other WMI entities.

Below is the VBScript that I got from here.

strComputer = "."

Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
Set colDevices = objWMIService.ExecQuery _
   ("Select * From Win32_USBControllerDevice")

For Each objDevice in colDevices
   strDeviceName = objDevice.Dependent
   strQuotes = Chr(34)
   strDeviceName = Replace(strDeviceName, strQuotes, "")
   arrDeviceNames = Split(strDeviceName, "=")
   strDeviceName = arrDeviceNames(1)
   Set colUSBDevices = objWMIService.ExecQuery _
       ("Select * From Win32_PnPEntity Where DeviceID = '" & strDeviceName & "'")
   For Each objUSBDevice in colUSBDevices
       Wscript.Echo objUSBDevice.Description
       WScript.Echo objUSBDevice.PnPDeviceID ' Changed from Description to PnPDeviceID
                                 'as this script can be altered to return any property
                                 'of the Win32_USBControllerDevice collection.

This script does a query to get all instances of WIN32_USBControllerDevice, then for each one it takes the DEPENDENT property and converts it to a query, it then executes that query (which gets the PNPEntities) and formats the description and deviceID.

We don't have to do that in PowerShell. If you have a WMIPath, you can get the object it points to just by casting it with [WMI]. So that means that you can replace this script with the following one-liner (Note: I decided to sort and things to make it prettier [and to show off J] )


PS> gwmi Win32_USBControllerDevice |%{[wmi]($_.Dependent)} |
>> Sort Description,DeviceID | ft Description,DeviceID -auto

Description DeviceID
----------- --------
Bluetooth Device (Personal Area Network) BTH\MS_BTHPAN\6&3250FFA7&0&2
Bluetooth Device (RFCOMM Protocol TDI) BTH\MS_RFCOMM\6&3250FFA7&0&0
Dell Wireless 350 Bluetooth Module USB\VID_413C&PID_8103\5&111B5EE...
HID-compliant consumer control device HID\VID_045E&PID_00B9&COL01\6&2...
HID-compliant mouse HID\VID_045E&PID_00B9&COL02\6&2...
HID-compliant mouse HID\VID_04FC&PID_0003\6&185E20E...
Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator BTH\MS_BTHBRB\6&3250FFA7&0&1
USB Human Interface Device USB\VID_045E&PID_00B9\5&2616CD8...
USB Human Interface Device USB\VID_04FC&PID_0003\5&2604C4E...
USB Mass Storage Device USB\VID_0E21&PID_0600\0002F685D...
USB Root Hub USB\ROOT_HUB\4&2F300F63&0
USB Root Hub USB\ROOT_HUB\4&2F35A3CB&0
USB Root Hub USB\ROOT_HUB\4&8904A15&0
USB Root Hub USB\ROOT_HUB20\4&16530ED8&0

Not one to leave well enough alone, let's guild this lilly:

PS> gwmi Win32_USBControllerDevice |%{[wmi]($_.Dependent)} |
>> Sort Manufacturer,Description,DeviceID |
>> Ft -GroupBy Manufacturer Description,Service,DeviceID

Manufacturer: (Standard disk drives)

Description Service DeviceID
----------- ------- --------
Disk drive disk USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_COWO...

Manufacturer: (Standard system devices)

Description Service DeviceID
----------- ------- --------
USB Human Interface De... HidUsb USB\VID_045E&PID_00B9...
USB Human Interface De... HidUsb USB\VID_04FC&PID_0003...

Manufacturer: (Standard USB Host Controller)

Description Service DeviceID
----------- ------- --------
USB Root Hub usbhub USB\ROOT_HUB\4&2F300F...
USB Root Hub usbhub USB\ROOT_HUB\4&2F35A3...
USB Root Hub usbhub USB\ROOT_HUB\4&88AB5AD&0
USB Root Hub usbhub USB\ROOT_HUB\4&8904A15&0
USB Root Hub usbhub USB\ROOT_HUB20\4&1653...

Manufacturer: Compatible USB storage device

Description Service DeviceID
----------- ------- --------
USB Mass Storage Device USBSTOR USB\VID_0E21&PID_0600...

Manufacturer: Dell

Description Service DeviceID
----------- ------- --------
Dell Wireless 350 Blue... BTHUSB USB\VID_413C&PID_8103...

Manufacturer: Microsoft

Description Service DeviceID
----------- ------- --------
Bluetooth Device (Pers... BthPan BTH\MS_BTHPAN\6&3250F...
Bluetooth Device (RFCO... RFCOMM BTH\MS_RFCOMM\6&3250F...
HID-compliant consumer... HID\VID_045E&PID_00B9...
HID-compliant mouse mouhid HID\VID_045E&PID_00B9...
HID-compliant mouse mouhid HID\VID_04FC&PID_0003...
Microsoft Bluetooth En... BthEnum BTH\MS_BTHBRB\6&3250F...

In the past, people have thrown rocks at WMI for being difficult and obtuse. There is a ton of great information in WMI and now with PowerShell, you have a tool that makes it easy to find and manipulate. If you've looked at WMI in the past and given up, I encourage you to get some PowerShell skills under your belt and go at it again.


Jeffrey Snover [MSFT]
Windows PowerShell/MMC Architect
Visit the Windows PowerShell Team blog at: http://blogs.msdn.com/PowerShell
Visit the Windows PowerShell ScriptCenter at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/hubs/msh.mspx

Leave a Comment
  • Please add 1 and 4 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • yes in the past I've loved to see these complicated vb scripts that could be done in one line of wmic!  People around here were getting sick of my wmic stuff. And once I'm allowed to use powershell around here, I'll even have more fun with wmi. Thanks for the good work guys!


  • For the WMI-phobes (and rock throwers): WMI and WBEM is the missing link between you and the depths of your system and administration.  Go to Microsoft and find the WMI Tools package.  Run the CIM studio it installs and then begin searching for things you could practically want to know about, like battery life.  The answer is just a short script away...  This little package of tools got me over the WMI learning curve!

  • I have a machine.that is communicating with PC via usb.But In the middle of communication the

    enumaration of usb device is gone bad means it hang out.Is it possible to refresh it via WMI

    Queries.Or any other way to reenumurate it with out reconnecting device.


  • I'm using WMI for the first time and have seriously scratched my head at some things. Per default, whenever something is weird I assume that I'm not getting it. But after seeing this page I'm convinced WMI is badly designed. Why is it necessary to do all this fancy extraction of DeviceID, replacing quotes, taking the thing after the = sign etc. Why isn't there simply an attribute giving the DeviceID that you can use to do a simple query right after to get the device you are looking for. All the other stuff seems like something that is unstable if Microsoft ever changes the format of the "Dependent" or whatever and it is a total waste of code. It really amazes me how Microsoft could design a "modern" API like this (it gets really ugly when you look at Win32_DiskDrivePhysicalMedia the sole purpose of which is to link Win32_DiskDrive to Win32_PhysicalMedia - which you can only take advantage of by doing the above weird parsing of the dage).

  • Is there a way to retrieve the USB path along which a USB flash drive is connected to? For example:

    in form of:


    The reason I am asking is because I need to physically identify the USB flash drive when Windows report problem such as 'this device can run faster if plugged in a high speed port' or something like that. I sometimes plug in more than 20 USB drives (through hubs, of course) for file distribution purposes. When Windows report a delayed write failed to a drive there is no way to know which physical drive it is refering.

    Is it possible at all?


  • Brauch denn Treifer für ein Lauflicht

  • Please let me know how can I detect SSD drive and SSD life information using WMI class.


  • is it possible to detect usb3.0 pen drives plugged in to the system ..

  • Great script! Thanks.

    I have a problem with a scanner and I know Powershell + WMI can probably find the problem. But I am a novice with both of these technologies. When I try to use the scanner the software reports that scanner is in use. How to determine what process is "using" the scanner? Or turn this on its head how to determine processes are using what devices?

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Displaying USB Devices using WMI