Since computer drivers are the software that helps all the other software programs to run, the computer user needs to make sure they are working correctly and current. How do you get computer drivers? Often when you purchase a new printer or other hardware for your computer, the company web site will be listed to go to and install the proper driver. New computers often come loaded with a lot of software including the needed drivers. These will often be generic drivers that perform the basic tasks you will need. If you want a driver that has extras needed for gaming and so on, you may want to find drivers with more features.
If the computer is all set up and running fine, don’t mess with the drivers. The saying “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” applies here. Sometimes downloading a different driver can affect the stability and functionality of your computer. If this happens, it takes a lot of effort to get the computer working perfectly again. If one is a computer novice, it may mean hiring a computer expert to fix everything and that costs money. A good practice is to wait until there is a problem before updating the drivers in a computer. Trouble signs can include a printer not working properly with the computer, everything slowing down including computer games, e-mail messages being dropped or internet connection being unstable.
Everyone who uses a computer experiences the messages that pop up about computer updates being available or having been automatically installed. When one presses the install button, programs are updated. When this happens it is important to make sure the affected driver is still in sync with the updated version of the program. This is one time it may be necessary to update a computer driver. Wanting increased speed and new features is another reason to update drivers. Video drivers need to be updated more often than many other drivers to get performance increases for new games.
Three places to look for new drivers to download:
- The chipset manufacturer’s website. This is the company that designed the program, game, video, or sound chip. They will have the newest drivers with the most features.
- The hardware manufacturer’s website. This is the company that manufactured your hardware.
- Windows. Going directly to Windows for generic drivers is good for basic things like printers.
- The CD that was included with the newly purchased device. This is not the best alternative because they may be outdated before the computer is purchased and hooked up. The exception would be the ethernet drivers which help one to connect to the Internet where one can download all the new drivers online.