Windows XP:

Starting from Windows 7:


The setupapi logs are plaintext log files that track installation of devices and drivers on the system. The logs are rotated and preserved, so historical data dating back to the system install is usually available (if the logs were not deleted / tampered with).

The terminology and more details on the various identifiers are available in the Windows devices terminology page.

Information of interest

The device installation entries (generated when the device is plugged-in) contain various information, including the device:

  • serial number.

  • Device id (vendor and product names) or vendor ID (VID) + product ID (PID).

Example of an entry for the first time an USB device was plugged-in:

>>>  [Device Install (Hardware initiated) - SWD\WPDBUSENUM\_??_USBSTOR#Disk&Ven_USB&Prod_Flash_Disk&Rev_1100#7&d2713f&0#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}]
>>>  Section start 2021/02/07 19:11:17.101

Example of an entry for a device that was “deleted” through the cleanmgr.exe utility:

>>>  [Delete Device - USB\VID_090C&PID_2000\8&1DBBAC39&0&3]
>>>  Section start 2023/03/16 16:55:26.426 <br> cmd: "%SystemRoot%\Windows\system32\cleanmgr.exe" /autoclean /d C: <br>
<<<  Section end 2023/03/16 16:55:26.473

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