Windows 7 Driver Problems? Check for Alternates

Some Windows 7 users are experiencing issues in which drivers suggested by Windows Update break functionality with certain devices.

One user, for instance, applied a new driver update–suggested by Windows Update–for his ATI Mobility HD 3650 graphics card, installed in a Lenovo W500. After applying the update, his screen went blank, displaying only the cursor. The system could only be accessed by disabling the graphics card. The fix, in his case, was to apply the alternative drivers for the ATI card, available directly from Lenovo’s site.

So, if you have a problem with a driver included with Windows 7, or installed through the automatic update mechanism, try seeking out alternative drivers from manufacturers’ Web sites — both the manufacturer of your computer, and the manufacturers of specific devices.

Also, note that the presence of antivirus software scanning can block proper installation of drivers that are necessary for device function. Try turning off any antivirus or anti-malware/spyware software temporarily while you install or update device drivers, then turn it back on.

You may also want to try installing your device drivers in admin mode. To do this, right-click the driver installation .exe file (e.g. setup.exe) then select “Run as Admin.” Proceed with installation.

Many Windows Vista-compatible drivers offered on device manufacturer websites work well with Windows 7. Check for any Vista drivers and install them on your Windows 7 system. This procedure is especially useful for users who were running Windows XP or another version of Windows other than Vista before installing Windows 7.

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