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Windows Drivers

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Find out what hardware you have and get the most up to date drivers from the manufacturer!

Automatically Get Your Drivers
There is a number of great programs that will detect your hardware and find drivers for you automatically!
Here is a link to a pair of great driver detecting programs:

1. http://www.zhangduo.com/unknowndeviceidentifier.html
2. http://halfdone.com/ukd/

You can take this information to the website http://www.pcidatabase.com and find the specific device information for the drivers, then go to the manufacturer website and see if they make drivers for your OS, some hardware is OS specific and the manufacturer may not have driver support for your OS.

*Once you are in the Vendor and are searching for the Device you can hold CTRL and press 'F'.
-This is the Find feature, type in the Device ID and it will find it much quicker, since some pages are quite long.

Manually Get Your Drivers
1. Right Click on My Computer, Left click on Manage.
2. Click on Device Manager, you should notice on the right hand side icons with a yellow symbol next to them, this shows the device is unknown, or drivers are not installed. (assuming you are looking for drivers you do not have)
3. Right click a device you are looking for, left click on properties.
4. Click on the Details tab on the top of the menu that popped up.
5. You should see some code in the middle that looks similar to this:
           "PCI\VEN_14E4&DEV_169C&SUBSYS_308&"
The important pieces are:
  VEN_14E4    is    Vendor 14E4
  DEV_169C    is    Device 169C    for     Vendor    14E4

You can take this information to the website http://www.pcidatabase.com and find the specific device information for the drivers, then go to the manufacturer website and see if they make drivers for your OS, some hardware is OS specific and the manufacturer may not have driver support for your OS.

*Once you are in the Vendor and are searching for the Device you can hold CTRL and press 'F'.
-This is the Find feature, type in the Device ID and it will find it much quicker, since some pages are quite long.

*Be careful in using different drivers as the can cause system instability and/or damage. However - if you believe you are capable, are sure it will work, or have no other options and just don't care you can try...
A similar version of the driver.
(Example) You have Windows 7 64-bit, but the manufacturer does not have drivers for Windows 7 - you can try Vista 64-bit)
When doing this you should stick with similar technologies. If you run a 32-bit OS stay with 32-bit drivers, same with 64-bit. If you are unsure of what you are running: Right Click on My Computer, on the page that opens up it should mention what version and service pack of Windows you are running. If you are running a 64-bit version of Windows it will say so. If it does not say anything pertaining to 32-bit or 64-bit, then you are most likely running 32-bit.
5
Comment
Author:MPCP-Brian
3 Comments
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:younghv
MPCP-Brian,
This is the kind of information that anyone from a basic user to System Tech can use - and use right now.
Big "Yes" vote above.
0
LVL 61

Expert Comment

by:Kevin Cross
Thanks, nice work!
Voted "Yes" above.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:jazzIIIlove
nice, yes
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