Hardware

Take the guesswork out of finding drivers

So you've just installed Windows and now it's time to update the drivers for the modem, sound card, NIC, video card, etc. Here's how one member learned to simplify this task with advice from our Technical Q&A.


A utility that could determine the required drivers for a machine would be a great tool. It would eliminate the guesswork and cumbersome searches for manufacturer specs. But does such a tool exist? In this week’s update from the Technical Q&A, a TechRepublic member finds a site with a solution thanks to another member.

Got drivers?
Modijayesh01 writes, “Soon after installation of Windows 9x, we need to find [the] right drivers for [the] modem, display, sound, NIC, and so on. Is there any utility available which gives information [regarding] which driver will be required?”

With the help of the TechRepublic community, this user’s search quickly bears fruit. As usual, our members, battling in the IT trenches, find a handy application that performs just this task.

First stop—the Web
Soulrider recommends a Driver Detective v2.0, which is available for download from DriversHQ. While this utility allows you to easily update the drivers that are already installed on a PC, Modijayesh01 needs an application that will scan a PC's hardware and the list the appropriate drivers.

Syruphine points Modijayesh01 in another direction writing, “I think this utility works....Go to this site to download.” Unfortunately, this page didn't have exactly what Modijayesh01 was looking for either.

Member TheChas suggests Modijayesh01 check out the Web pages of Craig Hart, a computer technician and programmer from Melbourne, Australia. In his post, TheChas writes, “Craig has [the] software [you're looking for] and links to other software to poll the PCI bus for the card IDs.” TheChas also recommends Belarc Advisor and Sandra but warns, “I don't know if [they] report properly until the drivers are installed.” Success at last: Craig's pages provide just what Modijayesh01 is looking for.

Your last resort—open the box
All of the previous advice comes in the form of downloadable utilities. But as with any IT endeavor, a backup plan is always recommended. Mdelyea reminds Modijayesh01 that the old-fashioned method of determining required system drivers is still a viable option. “If all else fails, open the PC and look at the cards.”

A word of thanks
Modijayesh01 sincerely writes, “Thanks to all the colleagues who have responded to this question. TheChas has really helped [me] find a good utility. Craig's site is really helpful.”

Drivers, drivers, everywhere…
When was the last time you needed to install several drivers at once? How did you determine what was required? Where is the best place on the Web to find drivers? Post a comment to this article and let the IT world know. Or visit our Technical Q&A to join the discussion.

 

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