Thursday, August 10, 2006

Windows XP: Updating Device Drivers

Peripheral manufactures regularly update the device drivers for their hardware (such as: video cards, printers, etc.) . They generally will do this to fix known problems or add new features. Device drivers are programs that tell the OS how to use a device that is attached to it.

These updated drivers are generally available on the manufacturer or Microsoft's web site for download (Note: it's always best to start at the manufacturer's web site first). After you download the updated drivers, you will generally have to extract the file from a compressed archive to install them. It is always a good idea to read the drivers installation instructions before installing it.

Another way to update the device driver is to use the 'Update Driver' button for the peripheral in the 'Device Manager' console.
  • From the Start menu, right-click on 'My Computer' and select Manage.
  • From the 'Computer Management' console select the 'Device Manager'
  • Find the of the device you want to update, and , double-click on it.
  • Click the Driver tab.
  • Press the 'Update Driver' button to open the Hardware Update Wizard
  • Select if the system can connect to Windows Update to search for the driver, and then press the Next button. (Select Yes if you want to check Windows Update, select No if you already have the driver)
  • Select 'Install the software automatically' if you want the system to make its best guess on how to update the driver or choose 'Install from a list or specific location' if you already have the updated driver. Then press the Next button.
  • Windows will then search for an updated driver and notify you if the updated driver has been found.
  • Press the Finish button when done.

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