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Manually Fixing Windows Vista Drivers

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This page discusses and how to properly identify and download them. It also explains the importance of keeping your drivers up-to-date and some of the challenges with updating . Note: You can automatically download the correct by downloading the DriverUpdate™ Utility below.

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Please Note: While the recommended solution to easily updating and repairing drivers is to simply Download the Automatic Driver Update Tool, this step-by-step guide will help you with manually troubleshooting and attempting to fix the driver problems for yourself. Be Advised: You should use extreme caution when attempting to repair drivers manually.

Challenges to Improving Drivers

Developers share their own set of problems with drivers as well. Coding on the hardware level is extremely complex. The kind of programming it takes to write instructions for communication between circuitry demands unique skills and powerful logic. Driver developers are challenged by the demands for increased performance and they are challenged even further when required to achieve performance without losing neither stability, nor compatibility.

Yet another challenge developers face is compliance with the changes that Windows Vista instituted with it's arrival. Vista requires drivers to adhere to a much stricter set of policies than previous versions of Windows. UAC(User Account Control) also posed a new challenge to driver developers on multilple levels. Drivers for Windows Vista would be remarkably different in operation than they were previously in Windows XP.

However, despite all the improvements made to drivers, many user's have been unable to enjoy the benefits of up-to-date drivers due to the simple fact that they can not find, download or install the updated driver packages.

The Device Manager

Microsoft recognized this issue and stepped in. The device manager for Windows was first introduced in Windows 95. The device manager offered users a Control Panel snap-in that enabled them to view and maintain the drivers on the computer. However, many users are unaware of the existence of the device manager and many that do are unfamiliar with it's functions or how to use the information that it provides.

The device manager enables users to see their devices and the drivers that go with them. It also provides an automated driver update utility. The driver update utility works by querying Microsoft's driver database for the most current drivers. Although, this database is often out-of-date itself.

How To: Update Drivers Using the Windows Vista Device Manager

To begin...

  1. Click Start

  1. Type into the search field: device manager

  2. Hit ENTER

  3. A new window titled Device Manager will appear.

    Within this window you can see all of the hardware devices that make up your computer. Listed in a hierarchy are categories of devices. Clicking the arrow next to each category will expand the tree and reveal additional entries within them. These are the actual devices that are connected to the motherboard.

Windows 7 Device Manager

  1. Expand one of these categories by clicking on the arrow next to it. Double-click on any one of the devices within the expanded category and yet another window will appear, showing all the details about the device. Within this window are a few tabs that each show additional information. Click the Driver tab to view more information about the driver.

Device Manager, hardware device window: viewing the Driver tab

  1. In the Driver tab, you can see the details of the current driver you are using for this given hardware device. Information may include the driver developer, the driver version, and the driver date, and it's digital signer.

  2. To attempt to update the driver for the presently viewed device using the Windows Vista device manager, click the Update Driver button.

  3. Click Search automatically for updated driver software. Windows will now begin Searching online for software by querying it's databases throughout the web.

If Windows finds a more current driver, you will notice that Windows will begin Downloading driver software. After downloading the driver, Windows will notify you that it is Installing driver software. It will notify you when it is finished by showing this message: Windows has successfully updated your driver software. Acknowledge this message by clicking the Close button. Proceed to the next driver if you wish or close the device manager if you are finished.

If Windows does not find a more current driver than the one that you are using, you will receive this message: The best driver software for your device is already installed. Acknowledge this message by clicking Close.

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Release Date: 10/16/2012
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