After reformatting or repairing your computer, you will have to reinstall the drivers of your hardware devices for them to properly function. Drivers are small programs that communicate with the computer in order for a device to function with the computer’s operating system. Hardware devices that have drivers that need to be installed to the computer include Ethernet adapters, video cards and audio devices.
- Check the status of the hardware device. Click “Start” and then “Control Panel.” Double click on “System” and then click “Device Manager” under the “Hardware” tab. Scroll through the hardware devices listed. A yellow question mark or exclamation point beside the name of a device indicates that there is a problem.
- Right click on the device and click “Properties.” Under the “General” tab, looks the status of the device. When a device driver is missing, the status will tell you that “the device is not working properly.” This may mean that the driver has not been installed, the device is malfunctioning or the currently installed driver is corrupted.
- Click on the “Details” tab and take note of the make, model and version of the device. You will need this information in searching for the driver of your device. A hardware device usually comes with an installation CD, but in case you lost the installation CD or it is corrupt, you will have to download the device driver from the Internet.
- Place the installation CD into the optical drive (CD/DVD-ROM) and run the installer. If you do not have the installation CD, open a web browser and navigate to the manufacturer’s website. For example, if your device was manufactured by MSI, the driver might be available in MSI.com. Type the make, model and version of the driver that you need in the website’s “Search” box.
- Download and save the EXE file (installer) to a local drive in your computer. If the device driver you are looking for is not available from the manufacturer’s website, try to download it from Driversplanet.com or Driverzone.com. If they are still not available from these sites, there are several other download sites that you can visit.
- Run the EXE file to install the device driver. Follow the instructions until installation is completed. Restart the computer. Navigate back to the “Device Manager.” If there is no more yellow exclamation point or question mark beside the name of the device, the installation was a success.
- Double-check the status of the device by right-clicking on the name and clicking “Properties.” Under the “General” tab, the status should be “The device is working properly.” If it says otherwise, you may need to update the device driver
- Update the device driver by clicking on the “Driver” tab and selecting “Update Driver.” Follow the instructions of the “Update Hardware Wizard,” then reboot the computer. If the update does not solve the problem, the device may be malfunctioning and may need to be replaced.
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