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Old 11-26-2013, 08:19 AM   #1
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Default Solution: How to Rename your 'USB Audio Device'

Here's a problem any XP-User with more than one controller knows, I reckon:

When you have more than one controller using the generic Plug'n'Play drivers that come with Windows XP, it just gives them numbers and there's no way of knowing which is which. What's worse, the numbers change when you change ports or sometimes even when you switch your devices on in the wrong order. Aargh!

Sounds familiar? Well, after adding the 7th of those devices and getting really annoyed of having to edit my MIDI OX routing once about every week, I googled a bit and found this invaluable piece of advice on the Max/MSP forums: Did you know you can just copy and hack the INF file and edit any name in there?

It took me about 5 minutes! So, even if XP is slowly approaching its final days, maybe someone else is finding this useful, hence I'm posting a quick how-to:


1. The INF file for the generic USB audio driver is located under C:\WINDOWS\INF\ and is called wdma_usb.inf

2. Duplicate it, leave it in the same directory and give it a name that makes sense. I call mine wdma_usb_devicename, so I know it's derived from wdma_usb and which device it's for.

3. Obviously, DON'T OVERWRITE wdma_usb.inf AND/OR USE IT AS FILENAME FOR YOUR MODIFIED FILE, as then all your future installs will have the name you're just about to enter.

4. Open your new file in a text editor.

5. Search for this string: USBGenericDesc="USB Audio Device" (note: the quotes are part of the string), you should find it in line 1522. This one and line 1521 above (USB\CLASS_01.DeviceDes="USB Audio Device") are the key.

6. Just edit the string in both lines to whatever you like (I'd be careful with non-ASCII characters like ü or é, though, stick to English, that should be safe)

7. Then save the file – UNDER THE NEW NAME, into C:\WINDOWS\inf\


1. If you haven't installed your device already, let Windows finish it's automatic install (it usually finds the generic drivers by itself when you first connect the device).

2. Then go to your Device Manager (Start > Settings > System > Hardware).

3. Locate the device.

4. Right-click, choose 'Update driver', and click your way through the following dialogs: 'Can Windows connect ... ?' > No > 'Install from ... specific location' > 'Don't search, I will choose ...'.

5. The name of your edit should appear in the list.

6. Ignore the warning about the driver not being digitally signed (you should be used to that by now, anyway).

7. Enjoy clean and understandable entries in you device lists.


Well first of all, although for me it's been running with not a hint of a problem for a couple of days now, and I really can't see how any problems should come from this (XP-Übernerds, feel free to comment): DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Also, this doesn't solve the problem that everything changes when you plug your device into another USB port – because Windows will repeat the automatic install for every single port, so you'll have to repeat the manual install steps from above as well.

Still, as long as you don't change everything at once, you should be able to make sense of it much easier now, when all but one device have names (instead of having 8 devices called USB Audio Device).

I hope I could be of some help!
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:39 AM   #2
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Very cool as I still use XP and have this problem now adding a faderport.
So, I need to edit this file to a new name for each device I am adding? Not a problem, just making sure I understand.
1) Edit the file to name the device Uno-Midi
2) Add the device and update the driver so it gets the new name.

This is where I am confused, do I need to make another copy for each additional device? I am guessing renaming the device to Faderport to add my second device would also rename the Uno-midi device?

I am thinking I would make a separate copy for each device, each with a distinct name? So in my case I would have:

Edit: Excellent. Perfect timing with this info as it suddenly made installing a Faderport a breeze. I now have midi keys and midi drums armed and making sounds while the faderport controls the faders. Bravo for posting this.
Give me back my Loc-Nar ! No, It's my Loc-Nar !

Last edited by Lucian; 11-26-2013 at 07:50 PM. Reason: Post Op Prognosis
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:14 PM   #3
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Sorry, I didn't get notified about your reply!

But I see you could figure it out by yourself: Yes, you have to make an inf-file for each device.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:07 AM   #4
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David, this is a great piece of info!
Thank you!!

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