Windows Server optimize

Updating device drivers in Windows Server 2003's Device Manager

Updating drivers allows you to add new features to your devices and, ideally, get your devices to perform better on your Windows Server 2003 system. Here's how to update an existing device driver through the Device Manager.

It's always a good idea to keep an eye out for updates to the drivers for heavily used devices. By updating drivers, you can add new features to your devices and, ideally, get your devices to perform better on your Windows Server 2003 system.

Follow these steps to update an existing device driver through the Device Manager in Windows Server 2003:

  1. Open the Computer Management Console by right-clicking My Computer on the Start menu and selecting Manage.
  2. In the left pane of the console, select the Device Manager Object under System Tools. Device Manager's list of installed devices will appear in the right pane of the console.
  3. Expand the category of the device for which you have downloaded an updated driver.
  4. Right-click the device in the list and select Properties.
  5. Click the Driver tab.

Be sure to compare the properties of the existing and new drivers to ensure the new one is a later version. To do this, click the Driver Details button on the Device Properties screen to display information about the currently installed driver.

To obtain additional information about the new driver, right-click the DLL or SYS file for the new driver and select Properties. This will display the date of the new driver. If you select the Version tab in the Properties dialog box, you will see the version of the new driver. To get the extra information, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Update Driver button to start the Hardware Update wizard.
  2. On the first screen of the wizard, you will need to choose to install the software automatically or from a list or specific location:

  • Automatic Installation uses a CD to find the driver file.
  • From A List Or Specific Location allows you to specify the location of the driver file.

(Because many driver updates are downloadable, I will use the wizard option for a Specific Location for this example.)

  1. On the next screen in the wizard, you can choose one of these two options: Search For The Best Driver In These Locations (Removable Media, Specified Locations To Search For A Driver File), or Don't Search, I Will Choose The Driver. Search For The Best Driver In These Locations includes Removable Media and Specified Locations To Search For A Driver File.

Either method can work with equal results. The Search method may work best if you stored your downloaded driver files on another server or have downloaded them previously and do not remember exactly where they are stored.

  1. Click Next to continue.

When using the Search method, Windows Server 2003 will install a compatible driver if there is one on the system. If it finds more than one driver, the wizard will display a list of the drivers found and ask you to select one. If no drivers are available, the server will try using Windows Update to obtain the driver.

When using the From A List Or Specified Location method, the wizard will display a list of devices found and known drivers for these devices. To locate a downloaded driver, select the device in the left pane of the list, and click the Have Disk button. Then, browse to the location of the driver file for this device and click OK.

  1. Once you select the driver, click Next to install it and follow the remaining prompts within the wizard.

Note: To fully install a driver and complete the process, you may need to restart the system.

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Derek Schauland has been tinkering with Windows systems since 1997. He has supported Windows NT 4, worked phone support for an ISP, and is currently the IT Manager for a manufacturing company in Wisconsin.


Derek,  I have a Minolta printer, model: Minolta QMS Magicolor 2200.  There is no Win 7 driver for it.  So I am trying to see if I can install it on my WHS 2007 machine, share it, and hopefully be able to print from the other computers on my home network.  But I cannot find the windows server 2003 driver either.  Any help you can provide as far as where to find the driver or installation procedure would be greatly appreciated.  I have tried a couple of Windows XP drivers to no avail.