Now come to the case where your hardware is really outdated and you cannot find the driver from the Internet because the manufacturer is no longer in business. Worse is the driver of the hardware is not recognized by Windows. So how are you going to get the driver to work in Windows?
Well, luckily we are not totally out of options. There are some companies specialized in providing the correct driver for your hardware. With an intensive list of hardware drivers in the database, there is likely chance the correct driver is available. After download and install the hardware driver scanning/detecting software from these companies, they will try to identify the manufacturers, hardware information as well as the correct and workable driver for your hardware, by matching the hardware ID with those in their huge database. After the correct driver is identified for your system, you are now ready to download and install the driver.
The hardware scanning and detecting software work best for those dated hardware where the manufacturers are out of business, or when you have bought the hardware second hand with no proper documentation. So instead of spending your countless precious hour in searching for driver that might have being disappeared along with the manufacturer, I would rather prefer to pay some little money for the companies who will provide the hardware scanning/detecting software and finally come out with the correct and working driver.
If user are not into paying for the driver, they can always look into forums or alternative drivers. In forums we always see people with missing drivers and/or no latest driver available for new OS (think Vista). With luck you might find some one posting possible links of drivers that might work, so you can try out one by one until you find a one that work with your hardware.