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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.

Three Ways To Connect Your Creative MP3 Player To Your System

January 13th, 2014 No comments

Although there are dozens of brands producing quality entertainment devices like MP3 players, Creative Labs stands out from other makers by offering such a wide range of quality devices. Many of their products are over a decade old and still in use. If you have chosen one of their popular models like the Zen, MuVo, or Nomad devices, you may need to find compatible Windows XP drivers to help your device connect with your computer. If you can’t find the drivers you need, it becomes impossible to upload new music files or play lists from your collection. With internet access, all you need to do is a little searching to find just what you need.

The Challenges Of The Driver Search

Finding drivers that work with the XP operating system can be a little tricky in 2014. The OS is well over a decade old, so Microsoft itself has set a date for ending support. Creative Labs has only limited support for their devices and these less used systems. You will have the best chance of locating appropriate driver files if you are working with a device manufactured in 2012 or earlier. The very newest models likely only come with files for Vista and above. Any simple flash drive based USB players from the brand should work with XP computers by utilizing generic plug and play code.

Don’t get discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn up the driver files you need. It can take a little perseverance to connect with what you need to get started using your MP3 player.

Searching The Site

Start your quest for Creative drivers at the company’s website. Creative Labs USA is where most XP users will want to go, but worldwide support is also available. Select the Support tab when you load the homepage to begin combing through the options. You will need to examine your device and identify it manually to get the right drivers with just one search.

  • Examine the front of the case for the name of the make and model of the device. Nearly all players have the information right on the front, such as the Zen line.
  • Flip the device over and check the bottom of the back of the case. You should see a range of icons and notes, in addition to the alphanumerical model number. Copy down the model number and enter it into the search box on Creative’s website.

Once you know what device you are working with, check out the support page that pops up. There should be multiple options listed. Look for files listed as compatible with Windows XP, which will likely come in the form of an automatic installing .EXE file.

Creative’s Software AutoUpdate

Model numbers and names can wear away, leaving you confused to the origin or exact identity of your device. You aren’t without options if this is the issue, and Creative has a tool to help users having a hard time looking for the right drivers. This software is easy to use, but it doesn’t always work. Back up your attempts with the Software AutoUpdate program with double checking to make sure it was correct.

  • Download the Creative Software AutoUpdate from the Support website. It is linked on the page of every MP3 player, so you can simply select any one of them to find it.
  • Install the software by double clicking on the downloaded installer. Once it is running, connect your MP3 player with a USB cord. Cancel any automatic pop ups from Windows, then let the software scan the device to identify it.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to download and install the recommended drivers.

Be prepared to remove the drivers and manually install a different set if the program is wrong. You should restart your system after the installation and give the MP3 player a chance to try and connect before ruling out any specific diagnosis. You may need to run the software two or more times if you seem to be having trouble getting a correct match.

Automatic Driver Scanners

You can also use a full range driver program to find and fix missing files for Creative devices. This is usually the best option if the website no longer lists XP drivers for your favorite player. If you choose a trustworthy tool, you can quickly scan your system and download the necessary files without all of the work. You may even gain access to less common drivers that are no longer available anywhere else. Legacy files are usually included in these kinds of collections. The XP Drivers tool supports a wide range of music players, including products from Creative Labs. This option is best for beginners uncomfortable with changing their driver files themselves.

Don’t Forget The Firmware

While your computer needs driver files to communicate with the player, the device itself also features software to manage and play the music files loaded on it. This is known as firmware. It needs updating just as much as the drivers do if you want reliable service on your daily commute or run. Creative will post firmware updates on the support pages along with driver files, so check out what is available. These files aren’t limited to specific operating systems but rather device versions, so check model numbers before attempting an installation. Your device will need to be connected and working smoothly with your computer prior to firmware updates. When both firmware and drivers are available, update them together to make sure all bugs and incompatibility issues are ruled out.

Categories: XP Drivers Tags:

Can XP Drivers Work On Vista?

January 9th, 2014 No comments

Driver files are highly specialized, with plenty of coding going in to each distinct version of a particular file. If you could open the drivers and examine them, you would find great differences in the files needed to make one device work with a Windows XP system and a MacBook Pro. While this does make it a little harder to get devices working when you can’t seem to locate a matching driver file, it is necessary to prevent a lot of communication errors between a printer or MP3 player and the computer.

The Trouble With Generic Drivers

There have been many attempts to create generic driver files over the years that have backfired or mostly failed. Since the various operating systems are so different in how they operate, it is hard to design a set of instructions that work on all of them. Executing an action on Windows XP requires different code than it would on Windows Vista. This means that a driver written for XP will do nothing on Vista – or possible create havoc by executing inappropriate actions when triggered by the device. Installing the wrong drivers can send the system into a complete reboot loop. Many users attempt to force trustworthy XP drivers to install through the Device Manager. The computer may warn you about the practice or complete it without complaint. If you aren’t sure that a file is designed for the version of Windows you’re using, get a fresh download rather than attempting to install it manually.

Generic Exceptions

This rule about driver complications is mainly true for complex devices like printers, MP3 players, scanners, external hard drivers, and similar accessories. Very simple items, including USB flash drivers and basic keyboards, communicate with all Windows operating systems just fine. These items are covered by generic drivers. You can tell if a certain accessory falls into the umbrella of generic coverage by looking for the Plug and Play designation on the packaging. Devices with this capability tend to work just fine with both XP and Vista without any concerns about downloading and installing new drivers. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to find devices more complicated than basic input or storage tools that can just start working with the computer without the download and installation of drivers.

Upgrading Your Operating System

Many people face a driver conundrum for the first time when they want to upgrade a computer with Windows XP to Vista or an even newer OS. Digging out the recovery or installation discs that came with the system will only provide you with a set of XP drivers if that is what was originally installed. Even if the system had an option to order with Vista pre-installed, the manufacturer was only allowed to send you discs for the OS you picked. Unless the system had a dual installation of the newer system, don’t expect recovery discs to be much help during an upgrade. You are going to have to go on the hunt for Vista appropriate drivers rather than relying on XP files.

The Generation Gap

It is perfectly possible for a computer running Windows XP to be incompatible for an upgrade despite being powerful enough to support it. Even if the processor and memory is sufficient, some older systems and components just don’t have support anymore. Check that the manufacturers decided to make Vista drivers for the computer and hardware you are trying to use. If they didn’t, there may be no safe and reliable way to force the newer operating system to work with the hardware. There is a generation gap between the two systems of quite a few years, so only expect the last few computers that shipped with XP to feature drivers and other forms of support for newer options.

Six Steps To Finding Vista Drivers

Always start by double checking that your computer can handle the higher demands of the newer operating system. Once you are sure it’s worth undertaking, you need to make a few preparations before popping the OS installation disc into the drive.

  1. Find a reliable driver program and save it. Look for a major installer that includes libraries for both XP and Vista drivers. If you run this program shortly after the fresh copy of Vista is in place, most to all of your drivers should be installed automatically.
  2. Make a list of all of the components inside the computer. You will likely need to hunt down drivers for each wireless card and graphics card separately, so use the Device Manager to examine what’s installed before attempting to make a switch.
  3. Check the manufacturer’s website for the computer and see if Vista drivers are available. If there are missing support files, head to the websites for the makers of each component. Use the exact model numbers reported by the Device Manager to make sure you are getting the right files.
  4. Don’t forget about 32 vs 64 bit system requirements. If you use 64 bit drivers for your XP installation, the same will be needed once Vista is the dominant OS.
  5. Load all of the drivers onto USB flash drives or burn them onto CDs. USB devices tend to be the best choice because the generic drivers that come along with the new version of the OS should mean that support is available after the initial Vista boot.
  6. Be prepared to roll back to your previous version of the system if there are unexpected incompatibilities. Having a second computer for driver and system file troubleshooting online is best when doing this kind of work. There can be issues with the installation itself, even if you have all of the right drivers and other files on hand.
Categories: Backup, Driver Tools, FAQs Tags:

When Should I Remove Drivers From My Computer?

January 3rd, 2014 No comments

Since drivers are such crucial system files, it is best to handle them very carefully. Overzealous removal of files that seem unneeded or outdated could cripple your system and leave your hardware on the fritz. Most users should leave their drivers alone, but problems popping up may require you to do a little selective trimming of the archives. It takes a few steps to fully remove driver files. However, virus infections and incompatibilities often call for the deletion of device drivers before brand new copies can be installed. Learning when and how to remove driver files is important if you don’t have a computer service department to fall back on for repairs.

Arguments Against Removal

It is a good practice to uninstall software and games when you’re done with them to keep your hard drive from getting cluttered. However, driver files are small and won’t take up significant room. There are far more benefits to keeping older version of drivers around than there are risks associated with them. If you keep your files, you can:

  • Easily rollback to a previous working version when an update causes all sorts of issues. Many new releases come with unexpected bugs, so rollback is one of the most powerful driver tools you can use on Windows XP.
  • Use System Recovery to reset your entire computer back to a point before a virus or bug took hold. If the drivers have been deleted since the last good working point, recovery will likely fail in at least one way.
  • Keep generic drivers from being installed for hardware you use every day. Removing a driver still in use often triggers an automatic installation that leaves you with limited to no use of the equipment.
  • Registry files are left behind after many types of incomplete driver uninstalling processes. Leaving these listings could mean that new items are incorrectly recognized as the old equipment. New sound cards or printers with no response are often linked to driver confusions.

Corruption And Malware

One situation that calls for uninstalling the older set of drivers is when malware or viruses strike. Many high level viral threats attack the system files to make it much harder for you to remove the infection. Being forced to delete your graphics card driver may cause the system to act up, but it could be your only option for eliminating the threat. Your anti virus software may ask to quarantine the file before deleting it, which will require a reboot. Make sure you follow the uninstallation process after quarantine, then clear the system with your anti virus program, before you attempt to install a new copy.

Driver Errors

You may also need to initiate a full removal of scanner drivers or similar files if you find that error codes keep popping up every time you start your computer. This is often the only indication that you are dealing with file problems at all. Keep an eye out for:

  • Code 18 – The driver is in need of reinstallation before the device can work properly again.
  • Code 38 – There are issues loading the driver files because existing instances are already open.
  • Code 45 – The hardware is not connected.
  • Code 49 – Too many devices have been installed into the registry. This is the code most linked to the need for immediate deletion of old and unneeded drivers.

New Equipment

When you want to replace a stock piece of hardware or an outdated accessory, you may need to completely remove old drivers along with the unwanted equipment. Leaving files in place often means a new video card or sound card is simply recognized as the previous version. This prevents the hardware manager from following the process for adding the right driver files for your upgrade. Again, deleting the physical drivers won’t take away the corresponding registry listings, so follow a full uninstallation if your new equipment recommends it. It’s smart to follow the process even if it isn’t recommended when installing anything attaching to the motherboard.

It is also recommended that you prune out some outdated drivers if you reconfigure your hardware and remove things that aren’t replaced. Leaving too many drivers behind will use up precious system resources and slow down the start up process. Each driver file has to be loaded during the boot phase, so excess listings can lead to slightly slower loads. This is barely noticeable on a modern system, but an older XP computer with limited memory and processing power could struggle greatly if it gets too bogged down. You may find a streamlined start after a careful survey of driver files that are no longer needed.

How To Remove Drivers In Full

A quick process is all it takes to remove driver files and the registry listings associated with them. You won’t be able to see the files for missing or disconnected hardware unless you take the right steps to unlock them says Tech Republic.

  1. Open your Start Menu by clicking the circular icon in the left hand lower corner.
  2. Select the Run option near the bottom.
  3. Enter the word “cmd”, without the quotes, into the Run box that appears. Use lower cased letters.
  4. When the Command Prompt window opens, type in “set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1” without the quotes. Press enter after to execute the command. Nothing will appear to happen, but the setting will change as soon as you see the blinking cursor move to the next line.
  5. On the next line, enter “devmgmt.msc” with no quotes. Again, press enter. At this point you will see the Device Manager opening – without you having to go through the Start Menu again.
  6. Open the View menu at the top of the Manager screen. Click on the Show Hidden Devices option.
  7. Check the updated listing on the screen. You should see any inactive or unused drivers as grayed out icons and text. Double check every device and listing before making any changes. When you find something you can verify needs removal, right click and select Uninstall to complete the process.

Ten Steps To Recovering An Older Gateway Computer

December 30th, 2013 No comments

An older Gateway computer makes for a fine gift to the local school, retirement home, or job center. You can also hand down unwanted systems to help younger relatives succeed in school. Recovering the system and restoring it to the factory settings ensures that none of your personal files or data is left on the hard drive while providing the new user with the best possible performance. The process is the same for both desktops and laptops from the manufacturer, and it is easy enough for beginners to complete.

1. Find The Model Number

Without the model number on hand, it’s a pain to try and figure out exactly what the system needs, especially if it isn’t responding at this point due to viruses or driver problems. Flip over any notebooks or laptops and check for a label on the bottom with a 10 or 12 digit number. Don’t be alarmed if there are letters mixed in to help distinguish your exact model. Desktop and tower units likely have a label on the back, but you may need to tip it over and look on the bottom.

2. Gateway System Recovery

Once you know your model from the number and a quick search on the Gateway support website, you can find out if your computer includes the Gateway System Recovery partition. This service was provided for all systems shipped after the end of 2004, so only the oldest systems should lack this kind of support. Each hard drive with this recovery option includes a hidden partition containing all of the drivers and operating system files, but you will need to burn them onto a CD or DVD in order to use them for re-installation.

3. Creating Or Ordering A Recovery Disc

If the system is working and accessible, you can create your own recovery discs to reset to the factory original settings. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start Menu icon.
  2. Navigate to the Programs tab, then select the System Recovery Access listing.
  3. Select the type of operating system, driver, or application restore disc you want to burn. Insert the appropriate media, then follow the disc creation steps on the screen.

You can also order driver recovery discs and supplies for reinstalling Windows XP from Gateway Support, but there are small fees and shipping costs associated with this option.

4. Using A Recovery Disc

Whether you make the disc yourself or find the original one shipped with the manual, you can use it to bring the system back to a fresh slate. Start by inserting the appropriate disc, then restart the system. These discs are designed to open when the computer boots so system files can be loaded. The boot screen should offer to open the disc and perform installation services. If it doesn’t, you can press F8 during the booting process to open the loading screen and choose the disc instead of the hard drive.

5. Operating System Installation

Installing a fresh copy of the Windows XP operating system wipes the hard drive, erasing the files that clutter the hard drive. This frees up space and can give plenty of storage for new material, but it also removes damaged and corrupted files to replace them with working copies. Take off anything you want to keep before beginning any driver or operating system recovery processes. Using these recovery discs leaves you with an older version of the XP kit, so run Windows Update as soon as possible after the computer starts once again.

6. Spot Missing Drivers

Once you’re working with a fresh copy of the OS, you can work to restore drivers and make sure you have them all. Open the Device Manager and check for the yellow warning icons that indicate problems. You can use the tools provided through the Device Manager to install files on your own, or try picking up a complete driver suite and get the best shot at solving all of the missing models at once. You may need to remove hardware and replace it if drivers can’t be found or if you suspect damage.

7. Reinstall Software

Computers that will be donated should be given away at this point, but owners that plan to keep and use older Gateway units can start reinstalling software now. Stick with browsers, word processors, and games that run on low resources if the computer is more than a few years old. You may find it quite bogged down and unable to smoothly complete tasks if you overload it with multitasking software and recent releases.

8. Upgrade The Memory

Nothing improves the performance of an aged Gateway computer like a RAM upgrade. Just a one GB upgrade is enough to make it easier for the processor to handle modern software. Find out what type of RAM you need by:

    • Checking the manual and documentation that came with your computer.
    • Searching with your model number on the Gateway website and noting the type of upgrades they recommend.
    • Visiting a memory manufacturer’s website, like Crucial.com, and using the automatic scanning programs provided to discover what you need to purchase.

9. Gateway Support

If something goes wrong, you may be able to look up the issue on Gateway Support. Older computers don’t qualify for free phone support, but customer service is available for various fees. Use the help center and the official forums to get help from experts to take care of your problems yourself and restore a computer that is far beyond the limits of its warranty.

10. Set Up Antivirus

Finally, protect your newly recovered computer with an appropriate antivirus program. When processing power and memory is limited, stick with simple programs designed to protect resources. You may find it hard to browse the web or work on tasks otherwise. Pick a suite offering spyware and malware protection as well so you don’t have to clutter up the space with multiple programs all running at once.

Categories: Driver FAQ, FAQs, XP Drivers Tags:

The Importance Of Official And Original Drivers

December 17th, 2013 No comments

With thousands of websites offering you seemingly endless ways to solve your driver problems, it can be tempting to just start downloading everything available. Unfortunately, many miraculous claims made by software makers are exaggerated. In the worst cases, supposed drivers turn out to act as little more than spyware that mines your personal data without your knowledge. Keeping your system safe and operating as it should be requires you to pick out the original and official drivers from the fake files and third party offerings. Separating the wheat from the chaff is the best way to keep viruses off of your home or work computer.

Software From The Manufacturer

 

The best source for drivers is nearly always the company that built the company or the piece of equipment. Turning to companies like Dell, Samsung, Sony, or AMD means that you are receiving the files originally intended to be distributed with the hardware. Seeking out software from the manufacturer has numerous benefits:

  • Gives you the best chance at getting updated versions of the drivers that solve important security hazards or glitches.
  • Prevents unwanted code from hijacking your system or damaging your driver files.
  • Offers a simple installation process because most manufacturers provide executable programs that guide you through the process.

Viruses And Spyware

There is another reason to stick to trustworthy sources when trying to replace drivers for common devices like scanners and printers. Some third party or fake files contain viruses or deliver spyware that compromise your safety. When you get a keylogger or hijacker file, it can take days or weeks of hard work to move it. The hidden files send your credit card numbers or other sensitive data to the thieves. You don’t want to deal with identify theft or fraud while trying to find an authentic version of your drivers to solve an error.

 

When To Turn To Third Parties

In some rare cases, you just can’t find a driver directly from the manufacturer. Companies go out of business each year, leaving you with no website to download drivers on. Many of the biggest producers also drop support for older devices usually found on Windows XP computers. If you have discovered that your manufacturer is no longer providing the files you need, you may be forced to turn to a third party to resolve your driver woes. This is only risky if you don’t stick to reliable third parties, like XPDrivers. Sources that report scanning from verifiers will help you avoid driver download websites that accidentally or purposefully spread malware and spyware.

 

How To Test The Safety Of Unknown Drivers

When you are pushed into choosing a driver file that comes from a third party, it is best to do a little testing and preparation before attempting to pick the right one. Installing some protection will ensure that your experiments don’t go awry if you accidentally download an infected one.

  1. Start with a good anti-virus program. You can find dozens of top rated options for free, including AVG, Avast, and Webroots. Install it before downloading a single driver file, even if you are using a trustworthy website.
  2. Run a complete virus and malware scan. There’s no point in trying to fix a driver problem when a piece of malware is running wild on your hard drive.
  3. Create a folder on your desktop and set it as your download folder for your browser. This process varies based on the anti-virus program you have chosen.
  4. Run a scan on all supposed driver files before executing them or unzipping archives. If the anti-virus or malware scanning software detects a problem, delete the file and look for an alternative.
  5. Install the drivers if there are no warning signs. Run the scan again after installation to make sure nothing slipped in with the other files.

The Power Of Collections

When trying to access original drivers that are no longer listed on the manufacturer’s website, it often helps to find complete collections of files for specific devices. A general mix of network drivers all packaged together in one set gives you a good shot at finding something that works. Stick to groupings of genuine content gleaned from the installation discs and websites rather than third party materials created later. You may gain access to rare or unusual files that would be impossible to find otherwise.

 

System Recovery Processes

There is one more simple trick for locating trusted drivers when the original maker is out of business. If you can find your original system discs or a system recovery CD created later, you may be able to restore the right files in just a few minutes. Using the XP System Restore process also helps. When driver files are removed or changed, the system can make a restore point prior to the event that allows you to rollback to a previous version later. Keeping System Restore enabled is the best way to reverse driver damage if you catch it as soon as it occurs. Follow these steps to check and see if you have this valuable service enabled.

  1. Open the Start Menu by clicking on its icon on your task bar. Look for the My Computer listing and right click on. Select and click on Properties.
  2. Select the System Restore tab. There will be two checkboxes – if they are checked, the automatic restore point process has been turned off. The boxes need to be clear to allow the establishments of regular check points.
  3. Click on OK after making any changes to commit them.

Look For Signing

Working with signed drivers is a good way to avoid fakes and forgeries. When you try to install a file or executable, Windows may warn you that the component is missing its signing. This should give you pause and redirect your plans to install the drivers. Signing allows the computer to tell when a file has been altered since its original authoring, according to Microsoft.

Categories: Backup, Driver FAQ, XP Drivers Tags:

Six Tricks For Finding The Right Drivers The First Time

December 12th, 2013 No comments

Whether it is overzealous deleting or viruses that wipe out your driver files, the search for new ones is rarely a fun occasion. These types of issues always seem to pop up right in the middle of work that is already past the deadline. If you need to get your computer working again fast to get back to your school paper or end of the year sales report, try at least one of these six tricks to find genuine drivers as quickly as possible.

 

Auto Scanners

For fast discovery of specific issues, nothing works faster than an automatic driver scanner program. Some manufacturers of video cards and sound devices offer them to help you discover which model you have from their line up. Others scan your drivers against long lists of identification checks, such as the program offered by us here at XPDrivers. Computer users that are uncomfortable with the idea of hunting down driver files on their own should turn to a trusted source for scanning and automatic driver help.

 

Use Windows Update

In many cases, there is no need to download any extra software at all to solve your driver issues. Windows XP includes a program known as Windows Update that connects to the Internet to solve numerous problems with the operation system or drivers. If the device is supported by Microsoft, you may find an automatic download and installation completing that fixes your problem in just a few minutes. It is well worth a try, especially when the problem involves a system file like the hard drive driver or motherboard files.

 

ID Numbers For Manual Identification

Sometimes Windows Update and automatic driver scanners just don’t seem to work. Running them turns up nothing, while your device continues to malfunction and cause serious issues with the computer. Many systems spiral into an endless loop of restarts and crashes when driver files become corrupted or go missing. Opening the Device Manager and writing down two numbers from the malfunctioning device can aid you in your search when you can’t identify the manufacturer or model number on your own.

  • Start the Device Manager by clicking on the Start Menu. Click on the Run listing to the right of the menu.
  • In the text box, enter “mmc devmgmt.msc” without quotes. Click on the Run button.
  • Look for the device that is listed as unknown or generic. This device may be listed as reporting errors or properly installed.
  • Right click on the listing and select Properties. Look for two pieces of information on the window that pops up. Record the four characters after the headings VEN_XXXX and DEV_XXXX. Go to Google and find a hardware ID database, then enter these two values into the search engine to discover the details of your mystery device.
  • Head to the manufacturer listed on the database. They should provide drivers for your device through their Support or Downloads pages.
  • Consider searching Google for the details of the driver if you can’t find a current website for the manufacturer.

Try A Collection

Sometimes you just need to overwhelm the problem with plenty of options. Loading a collection of the most common device drivers onto a flash drive or CD will give you a good chance at solving your dilemma. Pick a set based on the type of hardware you are having trouble with. You need to get lucky and match your device to one or more of the driver files included in the collection. If the right ones aren’t available, the software may attempt to connect to the Internet to access a larger database and give you a shot at finding rarer files.

 

Circumventing Crashes

Serious driver problems leave your computer stuck restarting itself over and over again. This hijacks your system and makes it impossible to access your files or complete important tasks. You can’t even work on replacing the offending drivers until you can break the loop. Try starting in Safe Mode to restore control over the system until the new files can be loaded.

  • Restart your computer through the Power options in the Start Menu. Press the F8 button on your computer as the system boots up to bring up the boot menu. Use your keyboard arrows to choose “Safe Mode with Networking”, unless your problem is related to a network device.
  • Let the system boot up in Safe Mode. Access your Device Manager and attempt to install new drivers if the computer manages to stay on without restarting once again.

Checking Compatibility

It is crucial to verify you are downloading or installing the right version of driver files before proceeding with the process. Using releases designed for another Windows OS or a completely different system altogether could further lock up the system. The file name will often contain a clue to the release version or intended platform. You may also have access to a wide variety of driver files due to using a collection or an executable for all systems. When in doubt, get a new version from the most trustworthy source you can find rather than install a model that might be incorrect.

 

Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget To Restart

Many driver issues seem impossible to solve because the computer user working on it simply forgets to restart the system after each attempt to resolve hardware errors. When you install a new driver or roll back to a previous version, restart the computer to let the registry update. Wait to check the Device Manager for further signs of trouble until the system boots up again. This also gives you a quick chance at accessing Safe Mode if your attempts to fix the problem lead to crashes or hang ups. Most scanners and installers also recommend restarting after the services run.

Categories: Driver Tools, Tips, XP Drivers Tags:

Four Options For Getting The Network Drivers You Need

December 9th, 2013 No comments

Starting up an older computer you find hiding at the back of a closet is quite exciting, but it can also leave you feeling frustrated. A Windows XP computer without the appropriate drivers can’t connect to the Internet. Ethernet ports are unlikely to respond if the system relies on a controller for the service, while the same is true for on-board wireless cards or even old-fashioned modems. Most users turn to the Internet to hunt down the drivers they need. If you are stuck with a computer that can’t access the web due to a missing network driver, try one of these four tricks for getting back into the loop.

 

Using Another Computer

Accessing another computer that you have downloading privileges on is the easiest and fastest way to solve your driver problems. This could be a friend’s laptop, a work computer without limited access, or another PC in the home. The computer you use to download the drivers doesn’t necessarily need to use the Windows XP system. You can use a Windows 7 or 8 device, even a tablet if it has built-in or flash storage, to retrieve the files and transfer them to the older system in need of help.Just be sure you know where you are downloading the driver files so you can find them for the transfer. Remember to download network driver files appropriate to the Windows XP computer and not the ones recommended for the system you are borrowing for the download.

Once you have your driver files ready to go, use a transfer medium to get them on the disconnect computer. A USB flash drive is the best option for most users because it is simple and works with systems of all kinds. Driver files are rarely larger than a few megabytes, so a one gigabyte drive will hold hundreds of files. A blank CD also works, but it is a waste of space to burn an entire disc just for one small network driver. Double-male USB cables are available to create a continuous link between two systems for file transfer without the internet or a local network. However, many users report problems with these cables when the two computers have different operating systems.

 

Try The Boot CD

It’s not always possible to borrow another computer for the recovery work. Hunting down a copy of the original boot CD for the system may give you a chance to load crucial system drivers like the network support files. Take care not to accidentally reinstall your operating system when using a boot CD. Navigate to options for restoring or repairing drivers and consider making a backup of your files before trying this method. Boot CDs are far less likely to contain the files you need than a system recovery disc, so look for that kind of support software first in the original paperwork provided by the manufacturer. This method will only work for hardware that came with the system – later additions require their own installation CDs.

You may be able to prevent the loss of network driver files by making your own boot CD with your driver files before doing a fresh install to deal with a virus or other problem. Selective backup of your network files aids the recovery process when you won’t have access to the Internet. Using a program to build install packages from your drivers or collecting the download files before going offline ensures you can save the files for both original and aftermarket hardware at the same time. Don’t wipe your hard drives until you have a plan for restoring the drivers after the system is recovered.

 

Invest In New Equipment

Working with outdated network cards or wi-fi adapters makes it even harder to get the driver files you need when you can’t get online. Ordering a new piece of equipment means you get a fresh driver installation. However, you will need to verify that any PCI cards or USB devices include drivers compatible with Windows XP. Many newer models only support Windows 7 and up. Plug and play devices designed to work with generic drivers give you the highest chance of success without further installation or download issues.

 

Contact Customer Support

Finally, don’t forget to contact the customer support line of the manufacturer of both the computer itself and the network device. If you are struggling to locate older drivers for a Linksys wireless card, a few minutes on the phone could mean an installation CD is on its way to you. Some manufacturers will happily provide these discs for free or a small fee to cover shipping. It is often possible to locate drivers that are no longer available for download by getting in contact with customer support. Get in touch with your IT administrator if you are experiencing these kinds of problems with a piece of leased or company loaned equipment – they can get direct resources from the manufacturer to solve the issue.

Waiting for a disc from the support team will still take much longer than buying a new device locally or using a friend’s computer. The support line may also be automated and offer no help with drivers, advising you to visit the website instead. In these cases, you will need to choose another option.

 

A Quick Guide To Determining Which Drivers You Need

Opening the Device Manager is the fastest way to find out if your computer needs new network drivers.

  • Navigate to the Desktop on your Windows XP computer. Right click the My Computer icon found there, and select the Properties option. Select the Hardware tab at the top, towards the right.
  • Click on the Device Manager button at the top. Let the list of hardware load, then look for any immediate caution signs in the form of yellow warning icons. Look for the Network Adapters heading and click on the plus sign next to it to see all of the devices installed on the computer.
  • If you are only finding generic listings for your Ethernet or wireless devices, you may need to consult your owner’s manual or call customer service to find out what the computer contains.
Categories: Hardware, Modems, Network, Tips, XP Drivers Tags: