Drivers Tips and Tricks

Should You Use a Driver Cleaner Before You Install a New Driver? by Kelly Lynn

  Should You Use a Driver Cleaner Before You Install a New Driver? Gamers usually like to keep on top of driver updates for their graphics cards. It's a good idea because with each improved driver version comes the possibility of improved gaming performance. Most gamers automate the update process. They set the software that comes with their graphics cards to automatically check for updates, download and install them. Some gamers, though, like to be extra thorough. Rather than take the automatic route, they like to first uninstall the old driver themselves, and then run a separate piece of software called a driver cleaner. Only then do they bring the new driver in. What does a driver cleaner do? Each time you install a driver, it doesn't simply get placed in one location. Rather, the installer … Continue reading

Make Your Computer Start Up Faster: Get Rid of Driver Bloatware by Kelly Lynn

  When you install a new graphics card, sound card or even a mouse on your computer, Windows is usually able to make it work by applying a generic driver from its inventory. If you want the latest driver, though, you need to either use the disc that comes with the device or download a driver direct from the manufacturer. When you apply a driver from either one of these sources, it usually comes with a good bit of bloatware -- control panels, startup applications and so on. More often than not, the features offered in these applications are mere fluff. They tend to add to your startup time, too. You could have a better user experience if you could simply get the driver and leave out the bloatware. Here's how you do it. Look … Continue reading

Where Do You Find a Driver for an Old, No-Name Device? by Kelly Lynn

  New devices for Windows computers always come with the requisite drivers as part of Windows. You'll find them on a disc in the box or on the manufacturer's website. With many older devices or with ones that come from generic, no-name manufacturers, you could come up empty-handed. A device that doesn't have the right driver is usually useless -- it shows up on Device Manager as an Unknown device , marked by a yellow triangle with an exclamation point inside. Unless you get the driver and get it to work, you won't get any use out of the device. How do you find it then? If the device has labeling that mentions a brand name and model number (not something you can expect to find on every device), you … Continue reading

Are the Drivers Included in Windows Good Enough? by Kelly Lynn

  Many kinds of add-on components for computers require special software called drivers to be able to work with Windows or any other operating system . In versions of Windows before XP, the only way to get this software was to use the disc supplied by the manufacturer of the hardware. Ever since Vista, though, Windows has come with drivers included out-of-the-box  for an ever-increasing range of hardware components. When a supported device is connected, Windows directly calls up the right driver from its vast catalog and applies it, allowing the device to be used without fuss. There's a price to pay for convenience Windows' inventory of drivers is meant only to quickly make devices functional. The inventory isn't usually kept up-to-date with the latest driver release by every device manufacturer.  … Continue reading