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Installing Step 3



Drivers are like dictionaries for the operating system to translate the language of a given piece of hardware. They allow the operating system to control that component and understand the information that comes back from it.

There are two ways to install drivers. The easy way is to just insert the CD's that came with the various components and let them install by themselves. Although easy, installing drivers this way can mean you get unwanted software on your system that manufacturers include in the install. Although not malicious this software will often run constantly in the background taking up memory. Installing from the CD will also mean you won't be getting the latest drivers.

The second method for installing drivers is to let windows search for the drivers it needs, allowing it to only take the drivers and skip anything else. It is also recommended that you download the latest drivers from the website of the components manufacturer, often found under the 'support' or 'downloads' section of their site. The following steps will take you through this second method for installing drivers.


Installing Drivers Steps

  • Go to start > control panel. Once in the control panel, make sure you are looking at the "classic" view, with lots of little icons. If not, click on the "classic view" button in the sidebar.
  • Go to "system" and then in the side bar choose "Device manager ". If you are in windows XP, the device manager can be found under the tab "hardware".
  • The device manager lists all the hardware in your computer, down to the different components that make up your motherboard. Each piece of hardware listed needs its own driver. If a component doesn't have a driver or if the driver of a component is not correct, the device manager will mark it with a yellow circle with an exclamation mark in it. Most likely you will have a number of items with yellow circles and exclamation marks, most likely under "unknown devices". These are our components that have not had their drivers installed yet.

  • To install the driver right-click an item in the list and select "update driver software" (or just "update driver" in XP). Windows will then ask you weather you would like to "search automatically" or "browse my computer" for the driver software. Select "browse my computer " and navigate to the place where the drivers are, whether that is the CD or the place you have downloaded the drivers to.
  • If windows finds the correct driver it will install it automatically and give you confirmation that the hardware has now been installed. You may need to restart your computer before it will work correctly.
  • Note. Some drivers that are downloaded (graphics card drivers for example) will come as an install file. This means you cannot install them as above and instead must just run the install and let it take care of everything. In this case doing an automatic install should be no problem.

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