What is a driver, first of all? Besides the ordinary definition of a person who drives, what does the word driver mean in computer’s context? Well, there are all sorts of computer drivers. They are an integral part of computer mechanics as they ease the communication between a computer’s software and its hardware. If you bought a brand-new computer or laptop and installed Windows, there’s a good chance it needs drivers configured. Install Windows 7/8/10 Some operating systems core files already contain drivers for all computer manufacturers. Whereas other operating systems need to have their drivers installed manually. There are drivers for all sorts of computer parts i.e. sound, display, USB, etc.
For example, in Windows 10, whenever you connect a new peripheral and this is a not so known device, then Windows 10 will automatically download its driver in the background, install it and get your peripheral rolling! All your computer hardware, from the motherboard to webcam needs to drivers to function in their optimal state. Sometimes, you don’t have the right driver for audio sound and when you do install the right driver such as Realtek High Definition Audio Drive, your sound is all fixed up.
If your computer’s working properly, the display is all nice and all peripherals are working sufficiently fine, you don’t need to worry about drivers and all. However, if there are any display or sound problems or your computer doesn’t recognize an external device, there is a pretty good chance that updating or installing respective drivers will do the trick.
In this post, we will discuss how to download official Windows 7/8 and 10 drivers properly.
Installing Drivers: What You Need To Know
There are a couple ways to go about finding drivers. In past, we used to use CDs/DVDs for that. Nowadays, the internet is everywhere and downloading is how most driver installations are done. You can just manually identify and download the drivers your PC needs. That’s a daunting task, sure. After all, not all of us are tech geniuses. But since you are reading Dekho Geeko, there is always a better, smarter way to do things. That’s why… I will introduce you to a couple driver utility programs, which will do driver configurations themselves. You just click a couple times, sit back and relax.
For now, let’s see how to determine the drivers you need. There are a few pre-requisites you need to know:
- Your PC manufacturer
- Model number
- The drivers you need
PC manufacturer is the computer brand you use, what model number is this PC on and the drivers your computer needs. It’s all pretty basic.
Second, you need to know the manufacturer’s official site. Because they are the ones to design and update drivers and manufacturer’s sites are the first ones an updated or new driver gets uploaded to. Although Windows Updates are configured to be integrated with manufacturer’s sites for downloading any updates to drivers, automatically. But.. in case, that does not happen or you lack the Ethernet Controller driver or Realtek 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN driver, in which case the internet won’t work and the said downloading won’t take place.
How to Find Out Manufacturer Name & Model Number
Usually, following are the computer manufacturers most prevalent: HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, Compaq, Asus, Microsoft, etc. If you know what brand is your PC, that’s good. If not, this information is usually monogrammed on the laptop lid or desktop PC’s cover. As for the model number, it might just well be inscribed somewhere on your laptop/PC. If not, not all hope is lost and you can just get a software such as Speccy and acquire detailed hardware particulars.
It’s a free, easy-to-use software utility that’s also immensely lightweight. It features a whole set of information about your PC like the manufacturer, model number, memory/RAM, storage, processor, operating system and so on.
Here is how to install Speccy:
- Download the software from CCleaner
- Click open its executable file
- Install the program
- Open the program, done!
If you want step-by-step instructions, just watch this video I made as a fun a while back.
Identifying What Drivers You Need To be Updated/Installed
Now you know your PC’s manufacturer and its model number. It’s time to see if what type of drivers you need installed and which ones need updating. For this task, you can open a built-in Windows program that features a list of installed/known drivers against their respective categories. The program is called Device Manager. To access it on Windows 10, just press Windows + X and click on Device Manager.
Once the program opens, you will see a program similar to this:
There are categories for all parts of the computer like Bluetooth, keyboards, display, monitors, processors, network adapters, etc. If a driver is out of date, it will be highlighted automatically.
Downloading From Manufacturer’s Sites
At this point, a group of major manufacturers’ drivers downloading sites will be enunciated. You can visit the website corresponding to your manufacturer and make a search against your PC model number. There are several drivers for every peripheral device, various versions of them and all. As drivers get updated as Windows get evolved and new updates and patches are delivered. It’s due to this reason using the official manufacturer’s site is a wise step; you don’t get outdated drivers.
- Acer: Provides drivers for laptops and devices developed by Acer.
- Hewlett-Packard: HP laptop series i.e. ProBook, EliteBook, envy and HP printer driver needs are covered on this site.
- Dell: Dell offers drivers for Latitude, Inspiron, XPS series and any other Dell products you might have.
- Lenovo: For any Lenovo device, this should be your ideal stop.
These are the major manufacturers and their official driver directories. If your PC manufacturer is not on the list above, just do a Google search in the following format: manufacturer + model number + drivers, and you should be in the right hands.
The steps and solutions described above are all cool and fine. They may sound complicated for a layman though. I mean, how can you expect them to know what drivers are, where to get them, download them and install them, all in one go? You certainly cannot expect a novice person to attempt such a herculean task honestly. If it were me, I would want a magic wand sooner than I would even want to attempt this charade.
Third Party Software
Good thing – You are on Dekho Geeko. And here, we always look forward to exploring the unknown and discovering new and simple ways of doing things. The thing is, there is a magic wand you can use to magically install and update drivers. By magic wand, I mean driver utilities such as Driverpack, DriverEasy, etc. These utilities wield their server powers, where they store tens of thousands of drivers for all the major manufacturers and these drivers are constantly updated as soon as updates come.
DriverPack Solution is a tiny executable file; once you open that, it automatically determines your hardware needs, finds you suitable drivers and installs them on the go.
Personally, I use DriverPack Solution as it’s established as a brand and rarely do I get problems.
However, since they are third-party and not affiliated with any manufacturer, I cannot guarantee their drivers are safe and sound. Use them at your own risk.