Best way to update drivers?

To keep your PC running smoothly it is sometimes best to update the drivers for the major components of your system. Updating drivers for components, like your graphics card, sound card and drivers most users don’t think of the system board drivers, most new releases give an improved performance to you machine

Firstly I would download the new driver to your PC, and these are obtained from the product supplier or for system board drivers from the motherboard manufacturer. If you are unsure how to find these details there are programs which can give you detailed system information or you may be able to determine some products from your device manager. I will do a post during the week of a guide of how to find all the components on your PC but unfortunately cant list all the vendors as there are hundreds.

In most cases the best way to update is to remove the original driver first, although in some cases this is not advisable. Graphics card drivers are best installed by removing the previous driver first. The best way is to go to your Control panel and locate the Programs and Features menu (for Windows 7) or the Add Remove Programs (for Windows XP). In the list will be just about every program installed, for ATI cards you will be looking for ATI Catalyst Install Manager and for Nvidia you are looking for NVIDIA Graphics driver. I would also recommend updating the PhysX System software for NVIDIA at the same time. There are other graphics chips but these two hold the major share in the market at the current time. Once you have clicked uninstall on these items the PC will ask you to reboot and when the PC has restarted your machine ‘should’ install VGA drivers to all you to view the screen. The desktop may look a bit different to you normal screen but this will be rectified once the new driver is installed. When the PC has finished booting up locate the driver package you downloaded and double click to install it. There are normally some self explanatory buttons to check / click  like getting you to agree to the terms and conditions, and once the install is complete the machine will again ask you to restart and you should have the lasted driver software installed.

Drivers I wouldnt recommend installing in this method and just install over the top are ones related to SATA or RAID controllers (these are used to access hard drives)  – I have had numerous people who once have removed the sata drivers cant boot there PC into windows. Whilst it is fixable it can be a pain to inexperienced users.

Some people will disagree with uninstalling drivers first and say they have had no problems others will agree – but my theory is that removing them first will remove all the files to do a clean driver install and make sure all files that are in both drivers are updated and not skipped if the file already exists. Windows Update also is another way to update drivers but I have found that some of these are slow to be updated but if you are happy with this method I would recommend to carry on using it.

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