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Archive for February, 2014

Why Won’t My Device Drivers Install?

February 17th, 2014 No comments

Developing your skills as a computer owner is the only way to ensure you can get through minor issues without having to hand your device to a repair technician. Polishing up your device driver management skills could leave you frustrated if all your attempts fail to install the proper files. Keeping your device drivers updated is crucial for system safety, so you will need to build these skills now rather than later. You only need to take a few troubleshooting steps to discover why you are experiencing the problem. Fixing driver issues can save you a lot of time and money over paying for repairs every time a device has a hard time connecting.

Mismatches and Mistakes

The majority of driver installation errors arise from simple mistakes, making them surprisingly easy to solve. All too many experienced computer users have clicked on the wrong link for a download and ended up with a file they didn’t want. Double checking that the file you received is the one you wanted in the first place only takes a moment and could save you a lot of hassle. Other issues arise when you download a driver designed for a different operating system or type of processor. Check all of the following points for compatibility when choosing your download:

  • Version of Windows – XP drivers rarely load at all when used on Vista or 8 computers
  • Type of processor – Check if your computer uses a 32-bit or 64-bit processor by visiting the System tab in the Control Panel
  • Driver version – Some driver versions only work with specific firmware upgrades available for the device
  • Latest updates – You need the best version of the driver file that works with your device to avoid bugs and glitches

Most third party websites fail to list all of the details for each driver they provide. Looking for a website specializing in Windows XP drivers or stick with the manufacturer’s websites to make sure you have the information you need to make the right decision.

No Connected Device

It may seem smart to try and install needed drivers before investing in a device or connecting it to your computer. However, this is a little more difficult than you might expect. It takes a little more work to start the installation process without triggering it by connecting your new webcam or printer. You must download an executable installer file in the form of .EXE or .MSI in order to even attempt it. With just a .DLL driver file, you must attach the device to install the appropriate driver. If the computer doesn’t recognize the device when you attach it, there may be an issue with the port or the hardware itself.

Lack of Administrator Privileges

The administrator account on a computer is often the only one authorized to make changes to the system files. This means that trying to install important drivers from a limited user account often backfires and leaves you unable to use your newest device. Log in to an account with administrator privileges before starting up any installer packages to give the program a chance to add files to the System folder and write registry changes. Computers with only one account tend to have administrator allowances already added to the login credentials, and you can change the privileges of your current account to give yourself the necessary access from the Control Panel.

Problem Solving: Safe Mode Installation

When driver installation fails, the process should reverse automatically and remove all of the files. This means you are ready to start a new installation when you locate a better match for your system or solve the problem preventing the process. Try starting the installation in Safe Mode to give it a better chance of working this time around.

  • Shut your computer down with the Start menu. Gather your driver installer files and place them on the Desktop before completing this step.
  • Start the system back up again with the power button. Press the F8 button at the top of your keyboard shortly after the boot screen appears, but before Windows itself loads and displays the colored flag. It may take you a few tries to get the timing right on this step.
  • Choose either Safe Mode with Networking or without, depending on your preferences. It is generally best to choose the network-free option if you are adding drivers for devices related to networking, such as wireless adapters and Ethernet ports.
  • Run your installer and complete the driver installation process. Shut down the computer again, then restart it without pressing F8 to boot into normal mode again.
  • Test your driver and device.

Problem Solving: Automatic Driver Scanners

You can also put an end to installation problems with Windows XP drivers by using the right kind of driver assistance software. While there are many programs that use a collection of files to match your device to the right one, not all of them can scan and detect what you have attached to the computer. Pick a driver installer package that scans and automatically picks drivers for you if you aren’t sure what is causing the installation issues with another file. Without this kind of support, you may end up dealing with an endless loop due to the same exact driver.

Categories: Driver FAQ, FAQs, Troubleshooting Tags:

Using Your Logitech Webcam With Your Windows XP Computer

February 13th, 2014 No comments

Picking up a quality webcam opens up your opportunities for contacting family members across the globe or making new friends online. Using a brand name product from Logitech means you won’t be struggling to get a good picture out of a generic device from China. If you are looking forward to jumping on Skype for free video chatting, you need to get that webcam working on your Windows XP computer first. Creating a series of Youtube videos or vlogs is impossible until you have compatible drivers. All of the Logitech webcams plug in the USB port, but they each need a different type of driver file to work properly.

 

 

Check For The Model Number

As with every other device you might want to connect to your hard working computer, it is best to start your quest for driver files with an inspection of the webcam. Finding the exact model number on your Logitech device makes it much easier to narrow down what you have and which drivers you need for it. It could be anywhere from 8 to 16 digits, and most contain both letters and numbers. Try looking for the number on:

    • The clip or suction cup that anchors the webcam to your monitor or desk.
    • The back of the webcam body.
    • A plastic label wrapped around the cord.

Check The Pictures

Sometimes you just can’t find the original model number on the webcam you want to use. Logitech didn’t always make it easy to spot these digits on older models, so the devices most likely to work with XP computers are also the least likely to have an easy identifier. Visiting the manufacturer’s support page gives you a chance to compare your model with clear photos of each of the products offered for sale in the last few years. This is a less than ideal option because it’s easy to confuse similar looking models, but it is a last recourse for webcam owners that just can’t figure out what drivers they need.

Try A Driver Collection

If you locate the model number or match your webcam to the right photo, you can find the right Logitech support page and start searching for Windows XP devices. Don’t lose hope if there is no XP compatible drivers listed on that page. Since support for the operating system is being phased out by even Microsoft itself, all too many device manufacturers are removing or not making drivers for that OS anymore. This is especially likely for the newest webcams from Logitech. When XP drivers aren’t available from the website, try turning to a driver collection focused on XP instead. These automatic installation programs scan to check what device you have attached, then try to match it with a driver file from the collection. Check that you are downloading a software solution that includes drivers for Logitech. Sticking with a webcam specific download also increases your chances of finding the right file the first time. Don’t download one of these programs unless it is from a trustworthy source like XPDrivers.com.

Connecting The Device

        1. Start by locating the driver. Installing the file before the first time you attach the device ensures that it doesn’t accidentally get associated with the wrong drivers.
        2. Connect the device to the USB port. Wait for your computer to recognize it, and direct it to search for drivers automatically.
        3. If it can’t match the webcam and the files you have already installed, point the manual installation wizard to the relevant files where they are located on your hard drive.
        4. Attempt to start the webcam through the Scanners and Camera folder in the Control Panel. If it isn’t listed there, you may need to uninstall all of the files and hardware and start over with the correct files.

Of course, you may need more than just the driver files to use your Logitech webcam. These devices often rely on a software solution that goes above and beyond the simple drivers to keep transfers running smoothly when using high definition or specialty recording modes. Try to download a PDF version of the manual for your appliance before starting installation so you know exactly what you need in the end.

Installing Logitech Software

No matter what operating system you are running your computer, Logitech may require you to install software to access all of the features of your device. Most users will notice a definite improvement in picture quality after adding the right optional program. It’s unlikely that you will receive these software additions when using a driver collection installer to find XP compatible files. Most of the software required for webcams is compatible with multiple models, so it is a little easier to find these solutions without a long and drawn out search.

Troubleshooting Problems with Your Logitech Webcam

      • The device is not recognized by the computer – Double check the driver files you used. Uninstall the files and try again with a different set. Unplug the device if it is attached to a secondary USB port or extending hub and connect it directly to the computer via a primary port. Try a different USB port to rule out a dead connection.
      • The picture quality is lower than expected – Check driver compatibility. Install any recommended but optional software packages offered by Logitech for your model.
      • Can’t access a feature or recording option – Install the optional software to get access to anything not supported by the basic drivers.
      • Stuttering picture – Remove the webcam from a USB 1.0 or 3.0 port and plug it into a USB 2.0 port.
      • Camera is recognized but won’t respond – Test it with a different computer to rule out mechanical defects.
Categories: Cameras, Tips, USB Tags:

Finding Compatible Drivers For Older Digital Cameras

February 10th, 2014 No comments

Shopping around for a digital camera can leave you with a little bit of sticker shock if you want the power of a digital SLR or similar model for quality work. However, you can turn to gently used models that are just a few years old to save a lot of money while enjoying your artistic results. Buying a used digital camera on eBay is a good way to get into the photography hobby without having to shell out a lot of money to get the equipment you need. You could start a business selling crafts online, or create a portfolio of stock photography to offer buyers. Finding support and digital camera drivers for a Windows XP computer takes a little but of work, but it will pay off when you follow the right steps.

Original CD

Start by giving yourself a head start with a camera package that includes the original installation CD. Many used sellers track down these discs to help you install support files for your new camera.. This is also an sign that the camera has only had one user, which indicates it is likely in better shape than a model that has passed through multiple hands already. If you can’t find a product you want that includes the original driver CD, head to the manufacturer’s website. Companies like Nikon, Canon, and Fujipix all offer downloads of various necessary files when you know what kind of camera you are using. The website will also include information on finding a model number, which allows you to pinpoint exactly which driver files to download.

Native Support From Windows XP

Don’t assume that your older digital camera needs drivers before giving the XP native support a chance to kick in. Simple point and shoot cameras often allow the computer to read it without needing any further installation. It is well worth a try to plug in your digital camera with a USB cord and see if you can open its storage as folders on a drive. If you have purchased a computer requiring more than a USB connection to transfer files, it is unlikely you can use a specialty dock without finding the corresponding drivers first.

Windows XP may recognize the digital camera as a Mass Storage Device. This means you can open it as an external drive. The camera will need to offer Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) or Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) support to do this. Check the specifications listed by searching the product name to find out if a particular camera model offers this mode. If you choose one that does, you won’t have to worry about finding and installing drivers to use it with a Windows XP computer.

Windows Update

You may be able to find and download the right drivers just by connecting the camera and letting Windows search for it. Utilizing Windows Hardware Wizard is always helpful when you aren’t sure exactly what the model number is for the camera you bought or received as a gift.

Using Windows Update:

  1. Connect your digital camera to the computer with a USB cord. If you don’t hear the chime telling you it has been detected, you may need to switch it on, depending on the model.
  2. Click on the Start Button. Select the All Programs tab, then find the Windows Update listing and click on it.
  3. Enter your Administrative account information if prompted by the computer.
  4. Click on the Check For Updates link on the left side of the window.

If the program locates updates for the camera, they will be listed in the center pane. Click on any relevant links to start the automatic download and installation process.

Once the Update has run, you should be able to use your camera successfully. Any issues mean an uninstall is in order before you attempt to manually or automatically install any more files related to the camera you are using.

Driver Scanner Software

All too many of the big name manufacturers have stopped providing the Windows XP drivers for some of their most popular products. When you only discover driver files for the 7 and 8 versions of the OS, you may need to turn to a driver scanner and collection software that includes legacy drivers. Compatibility is key if you want your digital camera to run correctly. Don’t download driver installers unless they are trustworthy to make sure you get the right results. Programs that install mismatching files will cause more problems than they solve.

Other Options For Transferring Your Photos

Even if you can’t locate the driver for an older camera you have purchased, you have other options for getting the files as you need them. Start by checking into what type of media the device uses for saving the files. Nearly all modern cameras rely on some kind of SD or Memory Stick to do this. If you find out what type of memory is used, you can buy a card reader that supports it. Connect the USB reader and insert the card to have it treated as external storage without needing to install a lot of complicated drivers. Of course, this won’t help for integrated storage. Check into Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Pictbridge transfer support for further options.