Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
What Is A Driver and Why Won't Mine Work?
A driver is software, a program, that allows your computer to
communicate with hardware or devices. Without drivers, the
hardware you connect to your computerfor example, a video card or
an audio card, printer etc will not work properly. Think of it
like driving a car. It doesn't help to just turn it on if it's
only going to sit there in the parking lot. It needs to know
where to go and how to get there and what to do.
It Looks Like I Have One, But It's Not Working--- Why?
There are several reasons why you can have a driver installed but
the device doesn't work. If it was working but now it's not the
file - driver - may have gotten corrupted. The resolution is to
reinstall the driver. If you have installed a new version of
Windows it may not work with the old driver. You will need to
download a new driver for the specific version of windows you're
Where Can I Get One?
The best why to get the proper driver for your device is to go to
the manufacturer's website and download it for the particular
operating system (ie windows vista) you are using. If you have a
laptop start by going to Google or another search engine and
SEARCH for the brand name of your laptop, ie "toshiba". In the
results look for "support" or "downloads". If you dont' see
that listed in the search results then just to to the main site,
ie toshiba.com and then look for a tab or link (usually at the
top of the page) that says SUPPORT or DRIVERS & DOWNLOADS.
Once you get on the proper page of the site you will need to match
the exact model of laptop you have and the operating system you
are using. It will then take you to another page that has a list
of drivers and other downloads available for your laptop. Look
for the one you need and download it.
If you are needing a driver for a desktop or an add-on device for
your laptop, such as a printer, then SEARCH on Google or Bing
for the manufacturer's (name) site, ie "epson". Again you're
looking for SUPPORT or DRIVERS and Downloads. Click on that link
and then put in the model number and operating system to get the
On occasion your machine may not like a new driver but will work
if it is "rolled back" to an older version or you may need to
download an older version. If you are downloading an older
version you will still want to make sure it is one for the
operating system you are using now.
If everything has been working correctly you may wish to turn off
the auto-download updated drivers in your WINDOWS UPDATE so that
it doesn't automatically replace the driver with a new one.
By the way, it is NOT necessary to update some things immediately
when they come out! That includes not only drivers but also such
things as Internet Explorer. I prefer not to be a "beta-tester"
for some things without my knowledge, particularly when what I've
been using works fine. Often there are still kinks being worked
out in the new versions but if you wait a short while they will
start being reported and hopefully the bugs will be fixed, then
you can download it. It's not a bad practice to search google
for " (updated product's name) and problems. For example you'd
put this in a google search __ "interent explorer 9" problems
____ which will give you a return of sites that talk about
problems other's have had with the product.
NOTE: there are always some people/machines that will have a
problem with something that most others don't, so don't
necessarily assume that one bad report means the software is bad.
However if you see repeated reports of the same problem again
and again you can pretty much guess that it's the software that is
causing the problem! If that is the case I would avoid updating
it until you've searched again at a later date and find either no
current mention (look at the dates) of repeated problem or reports
of a fix.
Posted by mszona on
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