Guest Post: Identifying and updating drivers in Windows 7

By | March 23, 2011

A driver is a utility that determines how your computer will communicate with an input/output device (such as a printer or a scanner).  To ensure your computer and all the peripheral devices are working properly you need to download drivers for each device and update them whenever a newer version comes out.  Some of the drivers are already included into your OS Service pack and others come on a CD with the hardware you purchase.  If you have a device that isn’t working properly, or the program/game you’ve installed requires a newer driver version, check for updates.  Usually Windows Update will automatically define some or all of the drivers your computer requires; you can also run checks to find out about recommended updates.

In case Windows Update is unable to help you with some of the drivers, you’ll need to find them manually.  First identify what drivers your computer is currently using and figure out which ones you need.

Plug in all the peripheral devices you have, including printers, scanners, modems and external hard drives. Click on Start, and then go to Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager.  You will see a list of all the hardware devices installed on your computer.  If you see yellow question marks instead of device icons, it means that specific device is missing a driver.

Before you start searching for the drivers find out the manufacturer and the model of the device you need software for.  If your computer is fully manufactured by an OEM company like Dell, Sony, HP (usually a laptop) you will most likely find the drivers you need on the manufacturer’s website.

Missing drivers

If you’re using a desktop or custom-made computer and can’t find the info about your hardware, look through the papers that came with the hardware or opt for a program that will check your system hardware and provide you with the name and the model of the given device (Belarc Advisor or the like).  In some cases you may have to disassemble your computer and examine the hardware for a label with its name and model.  Once you have that info, do a web search and you should be able to find the drivers on the manufacturer’s website or some third party resources.

To update your existing drivers, use driver update wizard from within Device Manager.  You can update the driver using a CD with a later version, however, if it’s not an option, right click on each device, go to Properties and open the Driver tab. Copy the name of the device and driver version and then Google this data to find out if there is a later version available. Download the latest update and then specify the path to it in the driver update wizard to proceed with updating.

Update driver wizard

Update driver wizard

This website can help you solve all your driver related problems:

2 thoughts on “Guest Post: Identifying and updating drivers in Windows 7

  1. Andy G


    i want to say thank you for a great job you’ve done on your blog.
    I have a software download website and I also write articles for people to help them with their computers and software. Is it possible to place this article on your blog as a guest post?

    Andy G.


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