Drivers are the "basement" of the system, the programs that control its life and functioning at the machine level. As in every program, they come across errors. In addition, the continuous improvement of higher – level programs – applications, which directly deals with the user requires new algorithms of the hardware. Therefore, if the equipment fails, you should first try to update their drivers before visiting the service center. Planned updates every few months, too, will not hurt.
In this article, we will look at the most effective ways to update drivers for any installed devices on your computer or laptop from different manufacturers running Windows. That is, these instructions are suitable for updating the Nvidia or ATI video card driver (any series), and for the sound card, webcam, printer, network card, motherboard chipset, etc.
Owners of laptops and "branded" desktop assemblies have a happy opportunity to find a full package of service software for their model on the Internet. The place where you should start searching, is the website of the device manufacturer (Photo). Then there are computer portals and even torrent trackers; however, on the trackers to find the latest version is unlikely. Packages are convenient because they are perfectly "fit" to the configuration of the equipment. Plus-save time; no need to look for each file separately.
Although all of these methods are available, advanced users prefer to upgrade manually. This is partly done through hardware utilities. This is especially true of video cards Nvidia and ATI release several updates per year, and developers of third-party programs sometimes do not have time to make changes to the database. At the same time, the control panels of these manufacturers (you can access them, for example, by right-clicking on the free area of the "Desktop") work very efficiently and the percentage of failures when installing software is minimal.
Drivers for hardware components that do not have their own user interfaces, it is better to search only on the official websites of manufacturers or in network databases for hardware ID. To access the identification, open the "Device manager", right-click on the device name, select its “Properties”, go to the details tab and select the hardware identification from the drop-down list.
Microsoft operating systems themselves contain sets of control programs for the most popular hardware models. Of course, a version control tool is also available. It uses the Microsoft knowledge base to automatically search for updates, which greatly limits its capabilities. But this database will only include a tested version. In addition, you do not need to have any skills or install additional software to upgrade using this method.
It is enough to go through the "Control panel" to "Device manager", select the problematic hardware (in some cases, the OS itself detects a failure and indicates it with an exclamation point) and by clicking on its name with the right mouse button, select "Update drivers". By default, Windows will offer to automatically search the required file on the Internet or on the computer, if the driver of the last version are not in your possession, you should use the option to automatically find and install (Photo). If the desired file has already been downloaded or is available on an external media, you should select the second item "Search and install manually". In the Wizard that opens, there will be a field to select the path of the address to the folder where the necessary files are on the computer.
Search on Microsoft databases does not always give results. Another drawback of the "Device manager" algorithm is the inability to update multiple devices at once. But such complex operations are carried out without difficulty with the help of third-party service program managers. There are many of them, mostly free; the vast majority of them support automatic scheduled updates, reinstalling several drivers at once and searching for them by hardware ID.
Previously, the criterion for the quality of such programs was the size of the database installed on the computer along with the executable files, now the speed of Internet connections allows you not to think about such nuances. The main thing, do not forget to download the driver for the network card before reinstalling it.
Such programs have a simple interface and are convenient for users who do not know much about administration. At the same time, there is no guarantee that the update will not get a virus on your computer. And the success of the update process depends entirely on the professionalism of the programmers who wrote the utility – no large companies with their numerous testers are behind this software not staying.
Regardless of how you update your drivers, there are a few rules to follow:
Interrupt the installation, especially when it comes to key components-video card, processor, network card, is highly undesirable.
It is better to update several devices in the order in which they should have been installed "from scratch". You can find out this order on the website of the computer manufacturer. As a rule, first put the chipset software of the motherboard or processor, then video or sound card, then everything else.
To reduce the probability of conflicts between versions to zero, it is better to completely remove the old driver before updating. This is done through the "Driver" tab of the "Properties" window opened from the "Task manager", the bottom button starts the uninstall wizard. After that, it is useful to clean the registry from the "tails", residual files; in order not to view all the branches, you can use the registry search. The name of the driver will find all the related entries.