A device driver is a software package designed for a specific operating system that instructs the operating system (OS) how to use a particular hardware device. Each device has its own set of drivers that are needed to work. Common devices that need a device package include video cards, graphics, cards, Ethernet adapters and modems. Most hardware manufactures periodically create updated device drivers to fix bugs and help keep the hardware running smoothly. It's best to update these drivers often to keep your computer running optimally. Fortunately, Windows Vista will allow you to update drivers automatically, or you can download them and install them manually.

Things You Will Need

  • An internet connection
  • Computer with Windows Vista

Step 1

If hardware or device did not come with a disk to install drivers you'll have to find them yourself. Click Start, in the bottom left corner. On the right side of the menu, click Control Panel. Locate and click the System Maintenance.

Step 2

Locate and click Windows Update followed by Check for Updates. This step requires internet access so that Windows can search for updated drivers.

Step 3

Click View All Available Updates. By default Vista only shows "Important Updates", you can click "View All" to see all available updates.

Step 4

Click the boxes next to each driver you want to update or install then click Install. You may need to restart your computer at this point.

Step 5

Windows should automatically detect the hardware and devices you have connected to the computer. This may take a few minutes for the device to work. Some devices have there own setup option that will pop-up.

Step 6

If when you connect the hardware or device you get a pop-up message, click on the Locate and Install Driver Software (recommended) from the Found New Hardware program.

If the driver still doesn't work with these drivers, refer to the manual on how to download and install the drivers manually from the manufactures website.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not delete or change device drivers because this could prevent Windows from detecting the device or hardware