A device driver refers to a program (software) normally developed by the hardware manufacturer to allow it to interact with the computer system. This driver program is used by the different components and applications in the machine to execute a specific task like printing, DVD reading and writing, or connecting to the Internet among others. Device drivers are generally specific to the underlying Operating System and hardware, which means that the correct version must be installed to ensure proper operation of the supported device. You can do this by either re-installing the original driver for your device or to upgrade to new drivers.
Here are the steps on how to reinstall a device driver:
Upgrading drivers for pre-existing devices
- Log on to your computer as an administrator
- Click Start, right-click My Computer, and click Manage
- Under System Tools, click Device Manager
- In the right pane, expand any of the categories to find the hardware you need to reinstall. Right-click the device, and then click Uninstall
- In the Confirm Device Removal dialog box, click the OK button
- If you see a message asking if you want to restart your computer, click Yes. You can also manually restart your computer
- After the restart, Windows should automatically detect and reinstall the hardware.
- Open Windows Device Manager. In the Device Manager locate the device you wish to update the drivers for.
- Right-click the device and click Properties.
- In the Properties window click the Driver tab.
- Click the Update Driver button.
- In the Hardware Update Wizard point Windows to the location of the updated drivers on your hard disk drive.
- Once drivers have been installed, reboot.
After you computer has restarted, Windows will use the previous version of your driver. If you're still having difficulties getting the device to work properly, it's possible you're encountering a hardware issue and not an issue with the drivers. Refer to the troubleshooting steps for your hardware device for additional help and information.