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Update Drivers Automatically

Updated on June 21, 2010

Understanding Drivers

What are drivers?  You may have heard that you should update your computer drivers but aren't sure what this means...

Your computer is made up of many different devices and components.  Each of these devices requires special instructions from your operating system (Windows,Unix, etc) to function properly.  These instructions come from specialized software called drivers.  When a driver is missing, outdated or corrupt, your computer will no doubt have problems.  A few common issues I deal with are:

  • Printer won't print.
  • No sound from computer.
  • Videos stop playing properly.
  • Lag or Artifacts in 3D games.

These frequently occur on a system that needs driver updates.  Surprisingly a whopping 97% of computers drivers are not updated regularly.

Updating Your Drivers

Not too long ago, the only way to update drivers was a slow painstaking manual process. I remember devoting hours a day to driver updates on computers I worked on. The process went something like this.

Identify each device on the system that potentially needed driver updates. This, more often than not, required opening the computer case and having a look inside at devices and serial numbers. Some devices were easier than others to identify but many took considerable searching. Once the devices had been identified I set out to locate the latest drivers. So I would start the process of visiting each manufacturer website (if available) and start hunting around for the drivers. This could take hours alone.

But I have a driver CD, can't I use this? Fact is, the drivers on the CD/DVD you may have received with your printer, sound card, etc are going to be out dated. These may be fine to get you up and running but you'll need to update them to avoid any future problems.

Updating Drivers Automatically

These days, updating your drivers has been make fast and simple.  You can simply download an automatic driver update tool and scan your system for updates.  These tools identify each device in your system, locate the latest drivers for each device, and allow you to update them in moments.  This can turn hours of work into minutes.

So unless you are a complete tech wizard who loves doing everything manually, I highly recommend keeping your drivers updated the easy way.

Comment on "Update Drivers Automatically"

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    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Thanks for the info. I am a total idiot on the computer. If it wasn't for my family and a tech savy friend, I'd be lost.

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