DIY How To Update Drivers

A computer driver or device driver is a type of software that allows your computer to communicate with hardware or other devices. Without drivers your computer won’t be able to properly communicate with devices such as webcams or printers.

Drivers are required for your computer to talk to different devices, such as printers, video cards, and webcams. If you don’t have the proper drivers installed for your devices, you will get various errors when you try to interact with these devices.

What are drivers?

Computer drivers are software that facilitates communication between your computer and hardware devices like webcams and MP3 players. Drivers are the reason that you are able to open and operate your hardware when you attach it to your computer. Each driver is specific to the hardware it is associated with, and different operating systems need their own driver for the same device. Sometimes drivers can be found online, and sometimes drivers come on a disc with your device. Still other drivers are a part of your operating system package.

Why are they important?

Without a driver, your computer won’t recognize a new hardware device. The driver is needed for the on-screen prompts that allow you to perform functions using the device. For instance, if you plug a smartphone into your computer, the driver is what allows you to access the contents of the smartphone such as music and contacts. A printer driver is what lets you send data from a word processing program or image editor to the printer.

How do they work?

A device driver communicated through a computer bus or the communications subsystem. Your computer invokes a routine or action from the hardware, and the driver translates the code and sends the appropriate command to hardware. The operating system often first sends commands to the logical layer of driver code, and then the logical layer calls on the physical layer to carry out the specific action that’s been requested. When the hardware device sends a signal back to the computer operating system, it uses the physical layer of code, which in turn communicates with the logical layer to relay the message back to the computer.

What are the different kinds of drivers?

Device drivers are usually either kernel mode or user mode drivers. A kernel mode driver uses codes that grant complete and uninterrupted access to all of your hard drive’s hardware components; this type of driver can directly access your computer’s CPU without an interruption call. Video, card, and plug-and-play drivers are usually kernel mode drivers. A user mode driver only gives the driver limited access and privileges to the hardware components on your computer system, and executes actions in the user space. Because a user mode driver has limited access, it can’t crash your entire system like a kernel mode driver if something goes wrong.

How do you acquire them?

Some devices will automatically search online for the appropriate driver and install it when you plug in your device – iPods, for instance. Other hardware, like printers, often comes with an installation CD which includes the driver. If you lose the disc or want to download the driver online, the manufacturer’s website will usually offer a free download of all drivers. The manufacturer’s website is also a good place to go if you want to check for any driver updates, as sometimes your hardware will stop running properly if the driver becomes too outdated.

How do you install drivers?

There are many different brands of drivers, each with their own instructions. In most cases, a driver can be found within a few minutes. If your operating system or hardware are extremely outdated, however, you may not be able to use the most current driver version. Here are step-by-step tips for getting some of the most popular drivers.

HP Drivers

HP has drivers for most of its products available on the official website. Before you get started, figure out exactly which make and model you have. For instance, you might own a printer that begins with “LaserJet” and then has a series of numbers.

 

    1. Go to hp.com and click on the “Support and Drivers” option near the top of the screen. Enter the name and model of your product in the “Enter a product name/number” field and click “Search.” Click on the search result that most closely matches your product’s name and number.

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    1. Choose a language from the drop-down menu and then click on the link for your computer’s operating system.

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    1. Click on the “Download” button next to the exact driver that you want to install. The .EXE file will automatically download and save itself to your desktop. Double-click on the desktop file.

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Nvidia Driver

Nvidia hardware includes video cards, graphics chips, graphics processors, wireless communications processors, and digital media players. The company makes drivers found in video gaming consoles that include the Sony Playstation 3.

    1. Go to nvidia.com and choose your country from the homepage. Hover over the “Drivers” tab in the top toolbar and choose “All Nvidia Drivers” from the menu. You can choose “GeForce Drivers” if you are looking for a driver associated specifically with a gaming console.

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    1. Either manually choose a specific driver using the drop-down menus, or click on the gray “Graphics Drivers” button to run a scan of your computer for any necessary Nvidia graphics drivers updates.

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  1. Click the arrow next to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” in the left panel to expand it. Then, click on the “Edit” menu tab on the top toolbar and select “Find” from the drop-down menu.

Acer Drivers

Acer has a range of different PCs, which include desktop computers, laptops, and mobile tablets. Drivers you might use with Acer products include printer drivers, sound and video drivers, and web camera drivers.

 

    1. Go to us.acer.com and click on the “Support” option. Choose “Drivers and Manuals” from vertical toolbar on the left side of the menu screen.
    2. Go to us.acer.com and click on the “Support” option. Choose “Drivers and Manuals” from vertical toolbar on the left side of the menu screen.
    3. Enter the model number and serial number of your computer, which can typically be found on a rectangular sticker that has bar codes on it. This sticker is often on the underside of a laptop and the back of a desktop hard drive tower. If you can’t find this information, use the prompts to choose your device. You will still need to know the product line, model number, and other basic information about your device.

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    1. Once you’ve chosen the right device, you will see a list of possible drivers. Click on the orange button to the left of the driver you need to start the download.

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