What drivers do I need to update my Windows PC?
My Microsoft Windows 7 PC isn't running as well as it used to when I got it a year ago, and my friend told me that I needed to probably update some of my "device drivers". What are device drivers and how do I update them on my PC?
Well, we can't really tell you the exact drivers you really need for your computer. To give you a lowdown, let me give you the basic information that you need to know about drivers.
WHAT IS A DRIVER?
A device driver or a "driver", as most of us are familiar with are files that allows your hardware devices to communicate with your computer's operating system. Without a driver, your hardware will not work with your PC.
KNOW WHAT DRIVERS YOU HAVE.
To find out what drivers you have on your computer, simply click on START then go to ALL PROGRAMS --> ACCESSORIES --> SYSTEM TOOLS and choose SYSTEM INFORMATION. Or if you're like me and can be a bit lazy, simply type in "SYSTEM INFORMATION" inside the search box.
After clicking on the System Information, expand the specifications by clicking on the (+) button, then click on each sub-header for information about devices and the current drivers in your computer.
You can automatically set Windows to update your drivers or you can manually check for updates by going to ALL PROGRAMS from the start menu and then choose "Windows Update" and check available updates from there.
If you're running on Windows 7, click on the START button and go to CONTROL PANEL, then click on the System and Security link. You won't be able to see this link if you have small/ large icon panel view, however. If this is the case go straight to the DEVICE MANAGER. From there, you will see the drivers you have for your computer.
BUT WAIT, WHAT'S A PnP ID?
A "plug and play ID" makes it possible for a user to easily use any device attached to your computer. Most modern devices out there have a PnP ID and it tells your operating system the manufacturer and the inventory your device belongs to in their system.
LOCATING YOUR PNPIDs FOR YOUR DEVICE.
Simply click on the START --> CONTROL PANEL --> SYSTEMS --> Hardware/ Device Manager. Right click on the specific device from your device manager list. Choose PROPERTIES and click on the details tab. Choose the Device Instance ID from the drop down menu. And voila! You now know your device's PnP ID.
Knowing your PnP ID makes it easier for you to find a driver online or by calling your manufacturer, in case your device doesn't work with your operating system.
Now that you know how to determine your device driver and PnP ID, it will be far easier for your to make your device to seamlessly work with your computer. If your device manufacturer is still in business, chances are they will have old and current drivers listed in their company's website. And all you have to do is download and install it, and you're good to go. Or you can give them a call and ask them to send you the driver by furnishing your devices' PnP ID.
You don't have to fret or panic if you find out that the manufacturer has closed shop. You don't need to throw that expensive video card or donate your printer away just because it does not work. There are numerous third party providers of drivers online, all you need to do is persistently search online. There is bound to be a driver that will work with your computer.
This article was written by guest author Gigi Alcantara, who runs a driver download archive called BravoFiles.com
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