Many people are unaware that you actually need device drivers to run your computer smoothly. This could include display drivers, network, audio, and chipset drivers. Every device that is on your computer has a driver for it. Even a mouse, keyboard, and a monitor have drivers, however windows usually installs those ones for us. Often people are formatting a hard drive, after staring their new Windows installation, they often wonder why they have no internet connection. It is simply because they have not installed a driver for their network adapter to work yet.
What is a Windows Device Driver?
A device driver is a small software program that helps your computer identify and run particular types of hardware. You need drivers for onboard video, an AGP video card, even a usb storage device. When you purchase a new computer it should always come with a device driver or system disk and Windows usually takes care of the common and generic drivers.
A perfect example is when you install a new printer, you definitely always get a disc with the printer that you buy. This is the installation disc that contains the device driver that will help the computer recognize the printer.
Where can you find a device driver for your computer?
If you bought a computer the discs should come with your computer. If you have lost your disc, drivers can be downloaded from manufacturer’s websites for free as you already own their product. Like, Http://www.acer.com All you have to do is type in the model number and name of your computer. For Example: Acer desktop T310 and then type “driver download” with it.
This is not easy and takes way too much time!
If you built the computer yourself, a driver disk should have been supplied with your motherboard. Store this disk in a safe place. If you buy a separate video card then you will need a driver disc for this also.
If you have a second hand computer with no disks and all components are on-board, then you must search for the motherboards model number in Google. However if you have a separate sound card, you need to find the device driver for its model number and not for on-board sound on the motherboard.
If you have a restoration disk for your computer then everything you need should be on that disk, including the operating system. It also doesn’t hurt to ask for some free computer help from a friend.
Some Examples of Devices that require a device driver are:
- Monitors, keyboards, mouse (Windows will install these)
- Video cards, Sound Cards, PCI Cards (Rarely will Windows install these drivers)
- Usb, Ethernet, modems, flash drives (Rarely will Windows install these drivers)
- CD/DVD Roms (Windows install most drivers for these)
- And the list goes on….
Will Windows seven install a device driver automatically?
Yes. Windows 7 tries to install all of your device drivers for you without you having to use a driver’s disk. However this has caused minor problems with the workings of the computer because Windows has installed what it thinks is the best driver for the device. Sometimes this does not always work out that way. It is always better to use the actual driver that came with the device.
When you format a computer with Windows XP you will definitely need to reinstall drivers because Windows XP is not that smart.
How long does it take to find a device driver for my computer?
I have spent hours looking for difficult hard to find drivers. Some websites and manufacturers do not make it easy to find what you want. This is why it is recommended to keep that resources disc nice and safe..You should also update your drivers as a new one is released. If you are totally hopeless at all this I would use a program such as the one listed below (from PCPitStop) to do all the work for you. It eliminates any problems to do with device drivers on your computer and is a much safer way to keep your computer running correctly. This program is great for when you have lost your disc or you just want your drivers kept up to date.
How do I know if I have a problem with the device driver?
- One of your devices is not working or communicating with the computer.
- You have looked in the device manager in Windows and found a yellow! Next two a device.
- You cannot access the Internet it is you have not installed network drivers.
- Your sound is not working because you have not installed your audio drivers.
- The computer will not recognize a particular device.
- If you upgrade your operating system from Windows XP to Vista, for example, you will need to upgrade your drivers as well. For a particular device there is sometimes 5 different versions, depending on the age of the device. A new modem would have drivers for Windows Xp and Windows Vista. They have phased out drivers for Windows 95, 98, and 2000.
- Windows Seven can magically find most drivers however sometimes it has proven to find the wrong ones causing problems with some devices. for example it will use a generic device driver for your video card when it actually needs the correct driver to work properly.