Drivers are software components that
Windows Vista uses to communicate with hardware accessories. Windows
Vista typically has dozens of drivers active at any given point,
allowing it to communicate with your graphics card, hard disks, sound
card, USB devices, and other accessories. Without a driver, hardware
cannot function properly. Additionally, you might have problems with
hardware if a driver is outdated or unreliable.
The following sections describe how to work with drivers to solve hardware problems.
How to Find Updated Drivers
or hardware vendors occasionally release updated drivers to improve
hardware performance and reliability. Many updates are available
directly from Windows Update. To find and download any updates
available for a computer, follow these steps:
Click Start, click All Programs, and then click Windows Update.
If available, click Check For Updates.
If Windows Update displays any optional updates, click View Available Updates.
Windows Vista displays any driver updates if available, as shown in Figure 1
. Select the update, and then click Install.
Figure 1. You can use Windows Update to install updated drivers.
Windows Update downloads any selected updates, creates a system restore point, and then installs the updates.
hardware manufacturers might release updated drivers directly to users
before they are available on Windows Update. Check manufacturer
websites for updated drivers.
How to Roll Back Drivers
you update a device driver, your computer might have problems that it
did not have with the previous version. For example, installing an
unsigned device driver might cause the device to malfunction or cause
resource conflicts with other installed hardware. Installing faulty
drivers might cause Stop errors that prevent the operating system from
starting in normal mode. Typically, Stop message text displays the file
name of the driver that causes the error.
Vista provides a feature called Device Driver Roll Back that might help
you restore system stability by rolling back a driver update.
can use System Information or the Sigverif tool to determine whether a
driver on your computer is signed and to obtain other information about
the driver, such as version, date, time, and manufacturer. This data,
combined with information from the manufacturer’s website, can help you
decide whether to roll back or update a device driver.
To roll back a driver, follow these steps:
Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Manage.
Under System Tools, click Device Manager.
Expand a category (Network Adapters, for example), and then double-click a device.
Click the Driver tab, and then click Roll Back Driver.
You are prompted to confirm that you want to overwrite the current
driver. Click Yes to roll back the driver. The rollback process
proceeds, or you are notified that an older driver is not available.