Installing Drivers

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Layzie Bone
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If you're having to reload windows on your computer you'll want to follow these simple steps when loading drivers, the order that they are installed can impact the performance of your computer.

The First driver you should install is the CHIPSET driver, this may include AGP/PCI-e, IDE, CPU and other system drivers.
Then you should load the Video Accelartor or VGA driver for your video card
Then if there are no other special drivers that you have, then load audio and lan if needed.

In some cases Windows may already have drivers for your hardware devices. To check to see what drivers may already be installed check device manager:

To do this in Windows 95/98/ME

Find the My Computer icon on your desktop, right click on it.
In the Menu list, choose Properties.
Click on the Device Manager tab.

To do this in Windows 2k, XP, 2003

Find the My Computer icon on your desktop, right click on it.
In the Menu list, choose Properties.
Click on the Hardware tab.
Click on Device Manager.

To do this in Windows Vista.
Open My Computer, on the left pane Click on System Properties.
On the left pane, click on Device Manager and click Continue when prompted permission.

Any hardware that has an exclamation (!) or a Question Mark (?) need your attiention.

A (!) on a device means that there is a problem with the device driver, currupt files, missing drivers, or problems with the device itself. Often faulty hardware will not load properly if there are problems with it.

A (?) on a device means that the computer cannot identify a device or the driver hasn't been loaded for the hardware.

A (X) on a device means that the device is disabled in Windows, right click on the hardware in Device Manager to enable it.

Diagnosing drivers. Having trouble with finding a driver here are a few terms that may be helpful.

PCI Simple Communications - Most likely a modem
PCI Device - Often a chipset driver but could also be any PCI card
Mutlimedia Audio Controller - Most likely a sound card
Multimedia Video Controller - Most likely a TV tuner or Capture Card, Video Camera or Webcam
Network Controller - In laptops most of the time this is the Wireless LAN
Ethernet Controller - A NIC or Network Card
VGA Controller - A Video Card
USB Composite Device - A Flash Drive, or certian USB Device, such as a printer

Unknown Device - This means that Windows cannot classify nor identify the device, in some cases this isn't a big deal, as long as all your devices are functioning properly.
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