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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Drivers? We don't need no stinkin drivers! (maybe)

So you've decided to upgrade your operating system to Windows 7 or you are one of the lucky individuals whose pc just went on the fritz and you've had to re-install your Operating System.  You were able to install your OS without a hiccup and now your pc is good as new, right?  Maybe, maybe not.  One of the first things I recommend after a clean installation of any OS is to double check your system properties (right-click on My Computer and select properties) and check your Device Manager to see if you see any dreaded yellow exclamation or question marks (a.k.a Unknow Devices).  If you do, then this means you don't have the proper drivers (just a piece of software that tells your hardware what to do) installed for some piece of hardware in your system.  I've found that Windows 7 does a pretty good job at finding most of the drivers, but you still run into a specialized piece of hardware or one that is just too old.  Sometimes Windows doesn't gather the correct version of the driver that is needed by your particular piece of hardware.  Ah...the wonderful nightmare that is Driver hunting.  Luckily, there are some good tools out there that can make this task a bit easier and less stressful.  One such tool is a program called Driver Pack Solution.  This helpful program has saved me numerous times and is quite user friendly.  Previous versions used to come up in Russian, which would automatically make one think it was some sort of intrusive program or virus.  (Afterall, the Ruskies don't exactly have the best reputation in history when it comes to being trustworthy.)  After some updates (it's up to version 11.8 now), it is now much better.  It does tend to change your homepage to it's own, but this is easily remedied by your browser options.

As all good pc techs know, you can never back up data too many times.  Especially when it comes to your system's drivers.  There is one utility that has eliminated numerous headaches for us when it comes to backing up a machine's drivers or re-installing drivers after upgrading or re-installing the OS.  Double Driver is a simple, effective utility that allows you to do all of these tasks.

So if you guys ever have trouble with some drivers or if some of your hardware just isn't cooperating, try these utilities or send me a message and I'll be more than glad to try and help you out.

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