Topics and tasks in this chapter
Choosing compatible drivers
Discovering whether you're running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows
Automatically installing a new driver
Running a driver's installation program
Installing drivers that refuse to install
Finding a new driver
Updating an old driver
Rolling back to an earlier driver
Sometimes upgrading a computer goes as smoothly as throwing a well-catered party. You install the new part, and Windows instantly recognizes it, announcing its name in a merry pop-up window for everybody to see. Windows embraces the latest arrival, hands it a drink, and immediately introduces it to all parts of your computer.
Other times, well, it's a party disaster. Windows snubs the part when you plug it in, and the computer turns a cold shoulder, as well. Or when you turn your computer back on, your computer responds with an antisocial error message that ruins the fun for everybody.
Installation problems rarely lie with the part itself, but with its driver — the software that lets Windows put the part to work. Although Windows 7 comes with thousands of drivers, some of your computer's parts will probably go unrecognized. This chapter shows you how to go about finding and installing competent drivers. If a driver doesn't seem to be doing the job, you discover how to replace it politely, with a minimum of hard feelings on everybody's account.
And if the new driver does an even worse job than the old one, heaven forbid, ...