ARCHIVED: How do I obtain and update my device drivers?

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A device driver is a program that allows an operating system to communicate with hardware devices. To view the hardware devices on your computer, as well as the status of each device's driver, open your ARCHIVED: Device Manager.

Note: The following instructions require you to have a working Internet connection. If you do not have one, see Connect to the internet at IU.

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Updating drivers in Windows 8, 7, and Vista

  1. In Windows 8, press Win-q and select Control Panel. Alternatively, in Desktop view, move the mouse to the bottom right corner of the screen and select Settings, followed by Control Panel.
  2. In Windows 7 and Vista, from the Start menu, select Control Panel. For Vista, on the left-hand side, select Switch to Classic View.
  3. Click or double-click the Device Manager.
  4. To update all drivers, select your computer's name, and, from the Action menu, choose Scan for Hardware Changes. This should install any missing drivers.
  5. To update a specific or working driver:
    1. Double-click the type of device (e.g. network adapter), and then double-click the device itself.
    2. In the window that opens, from the Driver tab, choose Update Driver....
    3. Click Search automatically for updated driver software. For Vista, also select Always search online.
    4. Click Close or Finish to finish the installation.

  6. Restart your computer.

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Updating drivers in Windows XP

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel.
  2. On the left-hand side, click Switch to Classic View. Double-click System.
  3. From the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.
  4. To update all drivers, select your computer's name. Then, from the Action menu, choose Scan for Hardware Changes. This should install any missing drivers.
  5. To update a specific driver:
    1. Double-click the type of device (e.g. network adapter), and then double-click the device itself.
    2. In the window that opens, from the Driver tab, select Update Driver....
    3. If you are asked whether to allow Windows to search for software by connecting to Windows Update, choose Yes, now and every time I connect a device.
    4. Select Install the software automatically.
    5. Click Finish to complete the installation.

  6. Restart your computer.

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Updating drivers in Mac OS X

Updating Mac drivers is usually a fairly straightforward process. For drivers not distributed by Apple, see the relevant manufacturer website for your driver; a number of these are listed below.

For drivers that are either part of OS X (e.g., AirPort drivers) or are distributed by Apple (e.g., drivers for Canon cameras), use the Software Update utility, as follows:

  1. From the Apple menu, select Software Update....
  2. In the window that opens, the individual update choices should be shown; if they are not visible, click Show Details.
  3. Check the respective box for each driver or piece of software you wish to update.
  4. When you are finished selecting the software to update, click Install in the bottom right corner of the window.

    If the software you selected requires a restart of your computer, you will then be directed to do so.

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Downloading drivers online

If you experience a hardware problem, you may need to obtain new device drivers manually. If you do not already have them, you can download most drivers and their updates from your computer manufacturer's support site; typically, you enter the specific model of your computer, and then find the appropriate drivers to download and install.

Note: Before attempting to download drivers, make sure the correct driver for your network adapter is installed. If it is not, download the drivers from a networked computer, save them to a portable media device, and then install them on your computer. If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at Indiana University, you can download drivers in the Student Technology Centers (STCs).

Support sites for some common computer manufacturers:

General sites for obtaining drivers:

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This is document ahlq in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 12:43:27.

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