In a typical Samsung tradition, they managed to break things again. Samsung Galaxy S2 with Android 4.0.4 and latest Samsung Kies throw out the “Hardware id Missing Error” when you connect the device in Windows.
Kies will also refuse to recognize device in this case.
To solve this idiotic problem, do the following:
1. Make sure your phone is NOT connected with USB cable
2. Go to Settings -> More… (under Data usage) -> USB utilities -> Connect storage to PC
3. Connect the phone to PC using USB cable
4. Turn on USB storage and click Ok
5. Windows should now properly detect the device without any “Hardware Id Missing” Messages
6. Turn off USB storage
7. Disconnect USB cable
Now you can run Kies and connect the phone again using the USB cable. Wait for a while and voila, Kies should detect the phone and “pair” with it no problem.
Same method should also work for other phones like Galaxy S3, but since I don’t have one, I can’t actually test this.