Alfred is a long-time teacher and computer enthusiast who works with and troubleshoots a wide range of computing devices.
Count yourself lucky if you still have bundled software for your PC following re-installation of Windows operating system. The software DVD that ships with your new computer is supplied by the PC manufacturer at the time of purchase. Most often, the driver DVD is missing.
Luckily for owners of newer computers, the recovery partition is a life saver when Windows installation goes south. The recovery partition allows you to re-install the operating system and device drivers without much of a hustle.
Even then, disk drive replacement requires that you seek other options when you have to install everything from scratch.
When faced with Windows driver nightmare, the following driver sources will come in handy:
- Windows driver update
- AIDA 64 (Previously Everest)
- DriverPack solution
1. Windows Update
Windows update is supported in Windows 7, 8 and 10. Support for updates in Windows XP and Vista was terminated in 2014 and 2017 respectively.
In order to run driver update in supported Windows versions, you must be logged in as administrator. The update tool is accessible via Control Panel. (see image below)
Simply click Check for updates and Windows will take care of the rest. Windows should check for available updates for your computer, and prompt you to allow it install them.
Usually, Windows will check for missing drivers, search the internet for them, and prompt you to download and install them.
During a typical update, Windows not only installs missing device drivers, but also security updates and other program features.
2. Driver Installation Using AIDA 64
Once installed in your computer, AIDA 64, formerly Everest, is a small tool that can be used to, scan through devices and lets you know which ones need driver update.
AIDA 64 is shareware, so you get to use it free of charge for just over ten days. I doubt you need more than one day of this tool, but it is always good to give support to software developers.
NOTE: The original Everest software has since been replaced by AIDA 64.
Everest/AIDA 64 Software For Windows XP
Windows XP is still used by very many people. Statistics show a declining but still impressive number of computers still running XP:
- Run the Everest setup file
- When done, double click it's icon on the Desktop, or access it from Program Files under Start menu. It all depends how you configured your installation.
You should now have something similar to the image below:
As illustrated above, you will need to install Display, Multimedia and Network device drivers.
- Display is for graphics drivers, to enhance picture quality of your computer.
- Multimedia provides for sound drivers.
- Network drivers permit networking and internet services.
In order to install graphics drivers,
- Click on Display to expand its options.
- You will be provided with another list from which you will choose Windows Video.
- And voila! There is the driver name for your device. (See image below)
You will have identified your device name and all you have to do is google it up or simply go to the manufacturer website to download the driver. More often than not, a friend of yours or the tech guy next door could be having a copy of the device driver in question.
Do the same with multimedia and network drivers. Depending on what other drivers you need for your PC, just go back and scroll through the list of generic device names in the Everest.
AIDA 64 For Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10
AIDA 64 is preferable when scouting for Windows 7 and 8 driver identity. The procedure is similar to steps used in Windows XP driver installation.
AIDA 64 should be able to see and give details relating to all devices in your computer.
A word of note here is that most drivers that work with Windows Vista are good enough for Windows 7, and those that work for Windows 7 should work well in Windows 8. But thumb and rule here is to let Windows 8 download its own device drivers. Only step in when online update fails.
You shouldn't also mix 32(86) and 64-bit drivers. Make sure to download appropriate drivers for your system.
Fortunately, the installation will not go very far if you downloaded wrong platform drivers and tried to install them. You do not want to waste time and data downloading wrong drivers though!
3. DriverPack Solution
For the uninitiated, DriverPack solution is the best answer to Windows drivers.
It is a fully featured assortment of drivers for Windows starting with XP.
Driverpack Solution is an automated installation that limits you to one or two clicks while the driver software pack does the rest.
The driver pack comes in two flavors:
- DriverPack Online
- DriverPack Network
- DriverPack Offline
DriverPack Online is a small installation and will scan the computer before scouting online for missing drivers. Once located, the drivers will be downloaded and thereafter installed in the computer.
DriverPack Network is an is a little larger and ships with a large number of network drivers.
DriverPack Offline is quite large in size. DriverPack 17, for example, is 13 gigabytes in size and comes ready for 32 and 64 bit systems.
Once inserted in a computer, the DriverPack Solution autoruns and promptly initiates driver installation.
You may want to click Expert Mode in order to select individual drivers.
Tick the Settings checkbox in order to take advantage of selective Expert mode driver installation. The option allows you to tinker with various driver options.
With the Expert mode you can select individual drivers for quick installation, as shown in the image below, You can also transfer relevant drivers to the computer before installation.
Finally, DriverPack solution enables quick online driver download and installation just in-case it misses out a driver for your computer,
DriverPack solution allows you to also toggle other options:
- automatic driver installation
- software installation
- utility installation
© 2012 Alfred Amuno