Normally, the device drivers for windows 7 are installed automatically when the windows are installed. But, at times you have to reinstall some of these drivers either because of file corruption, when the windows do not install the driver automatically or when a device is plugged in to a computer for the first time. You can obtain these drivers online from manufacturer’s site or any other site; at times the device comes with an installation CD that contains the drivers. The following article will guide you to the driver download process for windows 7.
Device Drivers CD with the Device
A number of times when you plug in a device into a computer it is installed automatically but when it does not you may need to manually install the driver from the installation CD that came along with the device. Look for the device driver CD in the packaging of the device and insert it in the computer. Now prompts will show up which will guide you throughout the installation process.
Device Drivers from Manufacturer’s Website
The best place to look for a device driver is the website of your device manufacturer. In general, navigation of such websites is somewhat easy. A number of times you can find the website link on the packaging of the device but if there isn’t any then you can simply search for it on any search engine. Once you are on that website, enter your device’s model number and it will give you a list of drivers for different version of windows. Select Windows 7 from the list and download and install the driver.
Device Drivers offered on other Websites
A lot of other websites provide device drivers for those people who are in dire need of them and in a number of cases, these downloads are free but some websites do charge some fee. These websites are among the best sources for downloading device drivers for those devices that are no more supported by their manufacturers. Normally this kind of website has a driver directory from where you can select the desired device driver. Or in the search box available of the site enter the name of the manufacturer along with the model number. Now select the device driver which is for windows 7, download and install it.
Device Drivers Download Process and Installation
Before actually downloading a particular device driver, make certain that you have cross checked the manufacturer’s name and model number from the hardware device or the device packaging. The driver must match both of these to function properly. If you download and install a wrong device driver, you may get some of the functionality but not complete.
Some of these downloadable drivers install automatically when they are downloaded. In some cases, it is mandatory to install the driver on the hard drive of your computer. In general, the driver download process for windows 7 is easy and simple that merely needs few steps that are given through prompts.
Beginning on February 14th at midnight, the Windows 7 expiration process will start–with infrequent warnings first, then more frequent notices, then forced restarts every two hours, then a complete expiration and a black desktop. Here’s the full schedule from Microsoft’s blog:
“On February 15th, people still running the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) will receive a notification reminding them that starting March 1st, 2010, their PC will begin experiencing bi-hourly shutdowns. These shutdowns will continue through June 1st, 2010.
“On June 1st, 2010, a non-genuine experience is triggered where your wallpaper is removed and ‘This copy of Windows is not genuine’ will be displayed in the lower right corner above the taskbar. This means your PC will no longer be able to obtain optional updates or downloads that require genuine Windows validation.”
Several users have reported an issue in which Windows Backup (under Windows 7) fails with error 0×81000031. The program may also display the message:
“Check your backup Windows Backup failed while determining libraries location of one of the users included in the backup [...] BitLocker Drive Encryption cannot be used because critical BitLocker system files are missing or corrupted.”
This problem may occur when Windows Backup attempts to backup Windows 7 Libraries. In order to avoid the issue, simply exclude Libraries by using the following steps:
- Open Windows Backup, then choose “Change Settings”
- Select the drive you want to back up
- In the “What do you want to back up?” window select “Let me choose”
- Deselect all Libraries and deselect “Include system image”
- Select the files you want to back up — usually this would include your user folder C:/Users/username
Microsoft offers an alternative fix that requires creating a Windows 7 system repair disc.
Some users have reported an issue in which Windows 7 reports an incorrect processor architecture. For instance, the system may identify itself has an AMD-based chipset when an Intel chipset is actually present.
This can cause problems with drivers–if the system installs drivers for the wrong architecture–in addition to other issues.
This problem can sometimes be fixed by going to your motherboard manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest Windows Vista driver then installing it. If you have problems installing this driver (or any other), try installing it in safe mode via these steps:
- Right click the driver installation .exe
- Under “Compatibility” choose “Run this program in compatibility mode….” then choose Windows Vista SP2
- Choose “Run this program as an administrator” under the “Privilege Level”
- Click Apply then OK
The Windows 7 roll-out, while smooth overall, hit a rough patch with some users. Problems run the gamut, from minor networking issues and gaming hiccups, to more serious boot failures and BSODs. Here’s a look at the top 7 annoyances plaguing early Windows 7 adopters, and the associated fixes.
1. Installation Fails
You won’t get much further on this list, or with Windows 7 in general, if the installation fails. Several users have experienced a problem in which the installer gives the error message “Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the Setup log files for more information.” Generally this error occurs in situations in which multiple disks are connected to the system. In order to eliminate this issue, disconnect any disks that are formatted as “dynamic disks.”
Meanwhile, some users have encountered an issue in which Windows 7 installation fails at the very end of the process, with the system rebooting automatically as soon as the Windows 7 splash screen appears. The system then displays a message indicating that it was not shut down properly.
This issue is, in most cases, due to a graphics card driver issue. One potential remedy is as follows:
- Turn your system off
- Disconnect your monitor from the DVI port and instead connect it to the VGA port on your system (this will require a different cable)
- Turn your system back on and reinstall Windows 7–the process should complete properly
- Disable Windows Update automatic update (in control panel>System>Automatic updates)
- Go to your motherboard or graphics card manufacturer’s website and download the latest Windows Vista driver(s); install the driver(s).
- Turn your system off and connect your monitor via the DVI port again
Yup, they still exist in Windows 7. The most common cause of blue screens of death (BSOD) at startup, under Windows 7, is an antivirus software conflict. In some cases, this problem may be caused by a conflict with the Kaspersky Antivirus package. Follow these steps to disable the software.
Some users are also experiencing crashes or blue screens of death (BSODs) under Windows 7 when attempting to wake systems from sleep (hibernation). The first response to this issue is generally to disable sleep mode, but there is another fix.
Enter your system’s BIOS mode. This is accomplished by pressing a specific key repeatedly as soon as your computer is turned on (or right after it is restarted). For many computers, the key is F8, but it may be F1, F2, F10, the Delete (del) key or the Escape (ESC) key. Consult your computer or motherboard’s manual or try different keys until you find the right one. Next check your HDD or storage settings. Turn off SATA and reboot normally.
Windows 7 may repeatedly, inexplicably pause or stall–either for several seconds or up to a minute or more. This problem can be caused by a variety of issues, including problematic drivers, bad RAM and more.
Here are a few fixes that have proven successful for a number of users experiencing this problem:
Check performance tools First, try the simplest fix. Navigate to: Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Performance Information and Tools > Advanced Tools. In some cases, this screen will display the problem files, which can sometimes be removed to eliminate the pauses.
Update BIOS A BIOS update may resolve the problem. Here are instructions for updating the BIOS on Intel motherboards, and here are instructions for other motherboards.
Check for bad RAM Faulty RAM is one of the more pernicious and elusive causes of frequent system pauses. See our guide for checking for bad RAM and eliminating the issues it causes.
Uninstall hardware drivers In some cases, this issue appears to be caused by installation of incompatible hardware drivers. Try uninstalling any recently installed third-party drivers then restarting. To do this, click the Start button then navigate to Control Panel > System and Security > Device Manager. Right-click any recently installed third-party items and select “Uninstall” then restart.
End processes Processes spawned by some third-party drivers can also hang the shutdown process. Try opening the task manager (control-alt-delete) and ending any processes related to third-party devices or other hardware connected to your computer, then re-attempt the shutdown.
Switch your antivirus software Antivirus software can be a performance boon, protecting your system against things that can slow it down, or a bust, actually slowing down your system itself. If you’re still using the antivirus software that shipped with your system, try switching to one of the many free alternatives and tweaking your antivirus settings. Some restrictions can severely impact performance and do not deliver an real security. For instance, although there is some risk involved, you can try excluding certain frequently used or memory-intensive processes from your antivirus protection list. Never do this for Web browsers or other network-connected applications.
5. Check for unnecessary services Click the Start button, type services.msc and press return. Here you’ll find a bevy of services, processes and programs–some critical, some not. Disabling certain items, especially those that launch at startup, can provide a real speed boost, but don’t get trigger happy; disabling the wrong process can result in stability problems and other issues.
To disable a service, right-click it, then select properties and choose “Disable.” This article provides a decent rundown of services and their purposes. When in doubt, thoroughly inspect the description of a service.
Several users have reported that various USB devices (including digital cameras, hard drives, the PlayStation Portable [PSP] and others) are not recognized by Windows 7. In some cases, devices show a “Please Wait” message, but never interact properly with the computer. In other cases, hard drives appear as empty when they actually contain data, or other functionality is missing.
There are a number of potential fixes for this issue:
Switch USB ports A surprisingly effective fix is to simply switch the USB port to which your device is attached. For instance, if your computer has both front and back USB ports, try switching from the front to the back or vice versa. Otherwise, just connect the device to a different port from the one to which it is currently attached.
Disconnect and reconnect Although this fix is almost too obvious to mention, many users overlook it. Simply disconnect the USB device for a few seconds, then reconnect it, ensuring a secure, snug fit.
Uninstall third-party USB programs Go to the Control Panel and select “Add/Remove Programs.” Remove all third-party device drivers in the device manager, then restart your computer. Try reconnecting the problematic devices and check for resolution of the issue. If you need to re-add any third-party drivers, you can obtain them from the manufacturers’ websites.
Update drivers Make sure you have the latest drivers for each device. These can usually be obtained from the manufacturer website. As mentioned in the previous fix, you may want to try deleting all currently installed drivers before installing the fresh, new versions.
Delete the INFCACHE If you are running Windows Vista, you may want to try deleting the INFCACHE.1 file, which stores device-to-driver association information. To do this, open a Windows Explorer window and type c:\windows\inf then press return, and locate the file “INFCACHE.1,” then follow these steps:
- Right-click on INFCACHE.1 and select “Properties”
- Click on the “Security” tab, then click “Edit.”
- Click “Add,” then type the name you would like to give to the user group.
- Set the new group to “Full Control” then click OK.
- You can now delete the file INFCACHE.1
You should now restart your computer and check for proper operation of the device. You may need to re-download the device(s) driver from the manufacturer website.
Several users are experiencing an issue in which Windows 7 will not install, delivering the error message
“Load Driver A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB flash drive, please insert it now. Note: If the Windows installation media is in the CD/DVD drive, you can safely remove it for this step.”
This problem generally occurs right after pressing the “Install Now” button.
Change BIOS boot order The most successful fix for this issue is to set the optical (DVD) drive as the first boot device in the BIOS. To do this, first enter BIOS mode as follows:
Enter your system’s BIOS mode. This is accomplished by pressing a specific key repeatedly as soon as your computer is turned on (or right after it is restarted). For many computers, the key is F8, but it may be F1, F2, F10, the Delete (del) key or the Escape (ESC) key. Consult your computer or motherboard’s manual or try different keys until you find the right one.
Find the screen or option for changing the boot order. Follow the instructions for changing the boot order. This is sometimes accomplished by using the + or – buttons.
Update ITE ATA driver Failing the above, try booting back into Windows Vista or XP. Launch Windows Update and install the ITE ATA driver update before attempting the upgrade. The upgrade advisor may not find this driver.
Switch from SATA to AHCI Follow the aforementioned instructions for booting into your computer’s BIOS, then check your HDD or storage settings. Turn off SATA, switching to AHCI, and reboot normally, then re-attempt installation of Windows 7.
For other installation problem fixes, see our previous post “The 7 Biggest Windows 7 RC1 Problems (and Fixes)”