Archive

Archive for the ‘Driver FAQ’ Category

Why Won’t My Favorite Game Play?

September 11th, 2013 No comments

Dedicated gamers often spend hours each day in their favorite virtual worlds, but even the most casual players deserve smooth play and proper display. In most cases, a well equipped and modern system will run both commercial and indie software without an issue. Completing installation should be all you need to do to enjoy a new experience. Unfortunately, numerous issues can get in the way of your enjoyment. If you can’t seem to get your favorite game to start up or run smoothly, turn to the drivers on your system first.

 

What Has Changed?

 

In many cases, gamers will play a game for weeks or even months without issue and then find it suddenly unresponsive one day. No matter the cause, you should always start the troubleshooting process by consider what actions and changes you have made most recently. Uninstalling or installing something can always trigger a host of adjustments that leave your favorite game out of commission. If you can make a complete list of all of your recent changes, you can work your way through them in reverse to see if that fixes the issue. A less time consuming option involves updating various types of software.

 

Starting With The Device Drivers

 

Few programs take as much resources up as games, and nearly all of that power is used for producing high quality graphics. Even games that are a few years old might be too much for your graphics card if it is running outdated or badly designed drivers. If you are receiving errors related to the display or if you didn’t change anything before the game stopped working, you are likely dealing with corrupted drivers. Replace the outdated versions with newer ones by:

 

  1. Clicking on the icon in the lower left corner of your window to open the Start Menu. Select the Control Panel from the right side of the menu, then double-click on the System icon.
  2. Give the Device Manager button one click to open it. Look for a heading labeled display adapters, then double click on it to expand it.
  3. Under the heading you should find at least one listing matching the name and manufacturer of your graphics card. If the information is incorrect, you may have the wrong driver installed. Driver issues may also trigger a yellow icon to appear on the listing.
  4. Double-click on the display adapter name, then navigate to the Driver tab at the top. This window should offer you automatic options for updating the driver through the Windows Update service.

 

Windows Update can only find drivers in the Microsoft database. If you can’t get updated files from the automatic process, you will need to head right to the manufacturer. Nvidia, ATI, AMD, and other consumer video card producers all provide numerous options for matching your hardware with the latest drivers. Visiting the website could give you access to a quick and small scanning program that retrieves exact information about your graphics card and why its not performing.

 

System Resources

 

Games also tend to fail because there simply aren’t enough resources to support it while running. This is a problem that tends to occur most after a fresh installation, but it can still pop up after weeks of successful play. Opening the Task Manager and watching it as you start the game can help you discover background progresses that are sapping your memory or processing power.

  1. Open the Task Manager by pressing the Alt, Ctrl, and Delete buttons all at once. A small window should pop up immediately.
  2. Click on the various tabs to monitor how your system responds to the start up process. If you see spikes in the CPU usage or memory usage during start up, this may be crashing the application without creating error dialogs. This appears like the game simply can’t run. In some cases, you may just need to shut off your antivirus software or turn off a few programs to get the game going once more.

 

Unless you have recently installed a program that runs in the background or contracted a computer virus, you should not experience sudden losses in system resources. Any sudden strain or slowness should be investigated promptly.

 

DirectX Errors And Issues

 

Once you know your display drivers are up to date and your hardware is running properly, you need to rule out problems with DirectX. This is a programming interface designed by Microsoft that game designers use to ensure a wide audience of players can access their content. These program files need to be installed and maintained separately of any games that rely on them. If you aren’t sure what version of DirectX you are running or signs of problems with the system, it is best to go ahead and update to the latest package. 9.0C is the last version that works on Windows XP, so using Windows Update to install it is the best way to avoid accidental downloads of versions that aren’t compatible with your operating system.

 

  1. Open your Start Menu, then click on All Programs. Look for a Windows Update listing at the top of the menu, then click it once.
  2. Click on “Check for updates” and allow the program to run. If you don’t have DirectX installed, the files will be downloaded.

 

Viruses and corruption can leave you with DirectX installations that don’t work. If you suspect this problem, consider uninstalling first and letting Windows update download a fresh package. This can only be accomplished with a full formatting and fresh installation from a recovery disc. DirectX files are a crucial system component, so it is not possible to remove them without a full system wipe. However, serious problems may require this kind of fix.

 

Installing the latest service packs for Windows XP is also recommended if you suspect DirectX issues with games. Each service pack includes numerous safety and security updates for these kinds of system files. You may be surprised to find that a game that won’t work suddenly installs and runs fine after you go through the process of updating to SP3.

What Are Computer Drivers?

April 17th, 2013 No comments

Your desktop or laptop computer may seem like a single object, but it is actually a complex system comprised of dozens of independent components. It’s easy to add new functionality to your computer by connecting any number of peripherals or upgraded components. However, the system requires instructions to use these new additions properly. Some are support by the operating system while others require you to download separate drivers and install them. Understanding the importance and function of drivers will help you determine what to do when changing your computer’s physical hardware.

Simple Programs With Major Importance

These small files may not seem that exciting, but they are crucial for the operation of your computer. Nearly every part comes with its own driver to communicate with the rest of the system. Video cards, webcams, gaming devices, sound cards, certain monitors, and printers all usually need an independent driver to communicate with the rest of the system. The driver is simply a very small program that is responsible for transferring data and commands to the device you have added. Without the right driver, the new equipment simply won’t work. It may fail to respond at all, or react unexpectedly to inputs.

Do I Need Drivers?

When you purchase a new computer, it’s likely that it will come with an operating system installed. It should also have all of the drivers to support the equipment included inside and outside the case. Operating systems like Windows 8 usually include general drivers to accommodate a wide range of generic equipment options, which include monitors designed for “Plug and Play” use and simple input devices like mice and keyboards. When you decide to install a better graphics card or add a joystick, you may or may not need more drivers. The packaging of your product should indicate whether you can expect native support or if drivers are included with the item.

Don’t Forget To Update

In a perfect world, the first version of a driver would work just fine with all computers. Unfortunately, many small glitches and bugs are only discovered after a new computer product goes on the market. Nearly every major peripheral manufacturer offers updated drivers for their products for quite a few years after the initial release. If you order a computer assembled six to eight months ago, the drivers for your integrated equipment could already be outdated. Running a driver update service can identify which files need replacement with new versions for increased stability and better function. It’s recommended that you search for updated drivers at least once every six months if you want to keep your system secure and running smoothly.

Choosing Drivers

While the generic drivers that are part of your operating system may work with nearly any mouse or keyboard, the small programs used for printers and webcams are usually extremely specific. Each model from a manufacturer may require its own specific driver. Downloading and installing the wrong driver will only make it harder for your peripherals for function properly. Drivers are also designed to work with just one specific operating system. A printer that works on a wide variety of computers will offer a driver for Windows XP, a separate file for Windows 8, and a completely different option for OS X.

Once drivers are properly installed, there’s no need to run them again. You don’t have to start the driver each time you want to use the device because the system will handle this for you. Drivers are a crucial part of a computing system and should be maintained like any other part of the computer.

Categories: Driver FAQ Tags:

How to Rollback a Device Driver to an Older Version?

April 9th, 2012 No comments

Many times Windows shows strange behavior and at times even shows the deadly BSoD due to corrupt or faulty device drivers. People like me want to keep their drivers up to date. But there may be times when after updating a particular driver, the system starts misbehaving.

At one time, this kind of situation caused all kinds of problems but then a feature called the Driver Rollback was introduced into Windows. So, now if you are in such a situation that updating a driver fails or causes problems, you can just roll back to the previous version of the driver. The following steps will help you perform the driver rollback easily. Read on.

1. Make sure that you are logged into Windows XP as an administrator or a user with administrator rights (i.e., an administrator equivalent).

2. Click Start, click Run and then type the command, devmgmt.msc into the Run dialog box and then press Enter.

3. When the Device Manager opens, click the (+) symbol next to the device title to show the device driver you were trying to update.

4. Now, right-click the device you were updating and then select Properties.

5. In the Device Driver Properties, click the Driver tab and then click the button labeled Roll Back Driver.

 

 

6. The driver will be rolled back to the previous version. Follow the instructions on the screen and your Windows XP should be back to normal. Device Driver Roll Back is available in normal mode or safe mode.

Anatomy of Windows Drivers

June 16th, 2011 No comments

Have you ever wondered why it sometimes seems so difficult to get a new gadget, a new device, or a new peripheral to work with your PC? Have you ever tried using a printer or a scanner and found that its functionality turned out to be just a bit more limited than you were led to expect? If either of these events has happened to you before, then you probably know by now that the main cause of tech headaches such as this is rooted in the Windows driver itself. So just what do drivers do anyway, and why are they so important?

What’s the Big Deal About Drivers?

There are literally hundreds of computer device and manufacturers around the world, each of them made to different designs and specifications. All of these devices need to work with Windows operating systems in order to tap the large market of PC users out there. The thing is, for a device to work with a certain operating system, the two need to speak a common language so that they can interact properly – this is what a driver does.

Drivers are software that allows hardware to be recognized and used by a PC running a certain operating system. This is why almost every piece of computer hardware sold usually comes with a CD that contains all the software you need to install and run it properly. With the right drivers any device, regardless of its age or origin, can be used with your computer without any problems.

Driverless Devices?

You might have noticed that some devices, especially common ones like USB flash drives and input devices such as a computer mouse seem to be what is commonly described as ‘Plug and Play’, meaning they work readily after being plugged into your PC without the need for the driver installation process. The truth is, these devices require drivers as well, it’s just that the drivers are already pre-installed in the Windows operating system itself.

Think about it. Way back then, when flash drives were new and Windows 98 was still the dominant OS on the market, you had to install a driver for every new variety of flash drive you plugged into your PC. The process was, to say the least, quite tedious and bothersome.

When Windows XP came out, generic support for USB storage devices was integrated into the operating system, which allowed users the freedom to use as many different types of flash drives as they wanted.

Update Your Drivers Regularly

Because they’re so important to the smooth function of your PC and its attendant gadgets and peripherals, it’s essential that you make sure that you get the latest versions of all your device drivers whenever you can. Updated drivers have the advantage of resolving any bugs and unlocking even greater capabilities from your devices.

You can also improve hardware functionality by updating your copy of Windows as well, since the regular updates and service packs Microsoft releases often include more generic drivers for common devices as well as better native support for other peripherals. Use our Driver Scan Tool to scan and update the drivers in your computer, it might very well save you problems down the road.

How to Update Drivers in Windows XP

December 3rd, 2009 1 comment

If Windows XP doesn’t install a device automatically, or if the hardware is having some kind of problem, you’ll need to know how to update/install drivers in Windows XP.

If you see a Device Manager Error, sometimes the solution is as easy as updating the driver. Updating the drivers for a piece of hardware will sometimes enable additional features for the hardware as well.

Here’s how to update drivers in Windows XP:

  1. Check the device manufacturer’s web site for the most current drivers available for your hardware. Note: Many drivers come packaged with software that automatically installs the driver. The manufacturer’s website will tell you if the driver download is packaged this way and if so, the steps below aren’t usually necessary.
  2. Open Device Manager
  3. Locate the hardware device you wish to update drivers for.Click on the [+] icon to expand the categories.
  4. After finding the hardware you’re updating drivers for, right click on the hardware’s name or icon and choose Properties. In this Properties window, click the Driver tab.
  5. Click the Update Driver… button. The Hardware Update Wizard will begin.

  6. Click the No, not this time button and then click the Next > button. When asked “Can Windows connect to Windows Update to search for software?”
  7. Choose the Install from a list or specific location (Advanced) button and then click the Next > button. When asked What do you want the wizard to do?” The next window that appears will be the Please choose your search and installation options. window containing several buttons and checkboxes.
  8. Choose the Don’t search. I will choose the driver to install button and then click the Next > button.
  9. Click the Have Disk… button on the Select the device driver you want to install for this hardware. window.
  10. Click the Browse… button on the Install From Disk dialog box that appeared.
  11. Click the INF file that displays in the file list and click the Open button.
  12. Click the OK button back on the Install From Disk dialog box.
  13. Choose the newly added hardware back on the Select the device driver you want to install for this hardware. window and then click the Next > button.

    If you’re prompted with a message warning you about the software for the hardware device not passing the Windows Logo testing, click the Continue Anyway button. Many drivers are not Windows certified but are still perfectly safe to install. (If you’re installing a driver obtained from anywhere other than the manufacturer of the hardware, click the STOP Installation button instead and obtain drivers from the manufacturer directly.)

  14. The Hardware Update Wizard will now use the instructions provided in the INF file from Step 11 to install the updated drivers for your hardware. Follow any additional instructions on screen to complete the driver update.
  15. After the driver update is complete, click Yes to the “Do you want to restart your computer now?” question on System Settings Change and other important areas of your computer. Restarting your machine is a good way to confirm that updating drivers hasn’t negatively impacted some other area of Windows. dialog box. Not all driver updates require a restart of your computer. Even if you’re not prompted, I always recommend restarting anyway. The driver update process involves changes to the Windows Registry (If a driver update causes an issue, you can always roll back the driver)
Categories: Driver FAQ, XP Drivers Tags: ,

Camera Drivers for Windows XP

September 28th, 2009 No comments

Need drivers for your digital camera? (If you want to download the pictures from your digital camera to save, print or email, you first need to install the drivers onto your  computer.) The drivers that you need usually come in the original camera box on a CD. You can also download them from your camera manufacturer’s web site.

To get the pictures off your camera, either take the memory card out of your camera and plug it into a card reader, or plug your camera into your computer using a USB cable. Most of the CDs that are included in your camera package also include an editing software and also a digital photo album.

Click Here for a list of popular digital camera manufacturers and the links to their driver download pages.

How to find the best driver for your hardware

September 12th, 2009 No comments

Are you confused about drivers? Do you have a device that keeps throwing errors or restarting itself? Ready to pull your hair out? Here are some tips on how to find the best drivers for your hardware.

Usually, the best drivers are found on the manufacturer’s website. Find the support page of the manufacturer’s web site. Most manufacturer’s will have a button for drivers and updates. Search for your device name/model number and the website will list drivers/updates available for you to download. If after downloading and installing the driver you continue to have problems, try sending the manufacturer an e-mail detailing the issues you are having. Many updates are developed because of user complaints.

If your hardware is fairly old, the manufacturer might not have the drivers for it in their database of drivers. Try searching the Internet for different websites that have drivers available for download. Include your device manufacturer’s name and model number, and you might find other people posting comments on message boards about what issues/fixes they have found for the same device.

Downloading the latest drivers for your device usually solves the problem. However, there are cases in which the driver will not work. Even a driver from the manufacturer’s website might not work (on rare occasions). You can try to roll back the driver to an older version. Sometimes it won’t have all the new features, but at least your device might work. Are you hesitant to try the older version of your driver? Newer doesn’t necessarily mean better, the best driver is the one your hardware performs best with! Again, try searching the Internet for message boards to see what other people have experienced.

Sometimes you will encounter a problem because the driver files are corrupted. You can solve this by just reinstalling the driver. (It isn’t necessary to upgrade or roll back your driver.) Errors can also be caused by faulty hardware installation. Hardware drivers from the manufacturer’s website should be trusted and preferred over drivers picked randomly off the Web!

Categories: Driver FAQ Tags: ,

Digital Camera Driver Downloads

August 1st, 2009 No comments
Categories: Driver FAQ Tags: , ,

UAA Bus Driver For High Definition Audio

The “Microsoft UAA Bus driver for High Definition Audio” needs to be installed for you to use your PC’s High Definition audio feature.

To find out if it is working correctly, follow these steps:

Click Start, then Right Click on My Computer

Click Start, then Right Click on My Computer

Click on Properties then click on the Hardware tab. Next click on the Device Manager button

Click on Properties then click on the Hardware tab. Next click on the Device Manager button

Towards the bottom of the list,you should see a heading called "System devices". Click the plus sign next to it to expand more listings. Look for a line that says "Microsoft UAA Bus driver for High Definition Audio"

Towards the bottom of the list,you should see a heading called "System devices". Click the plus sign next to it to expand more listings. Look for a line that says "Microsoft UAA Bus driver for High Definition Audio"

If you see a yellow exclamation mark ( ) next to the ‘Microsoft UAA Bus driver for High Definition Audio’ listing, then there is a problem affecting the UAA Bus driver on your system. To fix the issue, first try installing Windows XP Service Pack 3.

If installing Windows XP Service Pack didn’t correct the issue, or you are using Windows XP Service Pack 1 or 2, Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003, then you will need to download a special Microsoft UAA Bus driver update (see related links, above, for the download link) and restart your system.

After installing the patch, go back to the Device Manager and check the status of your Microsoft UAA Bus Driver. If the Microsoft UAA Bus driver has appeared without the yellow symbol (pictured right), you should now be ready for the next step of installing the High Definition audio driver. You need to first determine which High Definition audio controller is on your system, then visit the manufacturer’s site for an update or for further instructions. To check the status of the audio driver on your system, open the Device Manager again and click on the heading ‘Sound Video and Game controllers.’ Once again, a yellow exclamation mark means there is a problem and it’s time to hit the Troubleshoot button or download a new driver.

If you are still experiencing issues after downloading the drivers, (remember you need to restart your computer), go back to the Device Manager, right click on the ‘Microsoft UAA Bus driver for High Definition Audio’ entry and select Properties. Click on the ‘Troubleshoot’ button and follow the prompts. In most cases this will help find a solution. Alternatively, right-click and select ‘Update driver’ while your computer is connected to the Internet.

Categories: Driver FAQ, Troubleshooting Tags: , ,

What are Driver Errors?

A driver is a small file that helps a computer communicate with a certain hardware device. (Such as audio/video controllers, printers, scanners, etc.) It contains information the computer needs to recognize and control the device. In Windows-based PCs, a driver is often packaged as a dynamic link library, or .dll file.

Most driver errors occur because:

  • They are incompatible with the operating system
  • There is a missing or busy resource
  • There is something corrupt in the driver or the operating system component causing buffer errors in the system
  • The driver is poorly designed with low frame rates which can reduce your system stability and performance
  • The registry entries may be corrupt or incorrect

Here are some examples of common driver errors, generated due to a missing or damaged driver file.

STOP: 0xc0000221 [Unable to load device driver] DriverName

STOP: 0xc000026C [Unable to load device driver] DriverName

STOP: 0xc0000221. Bad image check sum, the image NV4_disp.dll is possibly corrupt. The header check sum does not match the computed check sum.

Most often, the error message won’t indicate the cause of the problem. You’ll have to isolate the problem by checking the device settings.

To check your device settings, follow the instructions below:

Click on Start, and then right click on My Computer

Click on the Start menu, then right click on My Computer

Click on Properties, then click on the Hardware tab. Next Click on Device Manager.

Click on Properties, then click on the Hardware tab. Next Click on Device Manager. The Device Manager provides you with information related to devices installed on your system. You can browse through various component categories to identify the device with conflicts. Double-clicking the problematic device will enable you to open a new dialog box that will give you information related to the nature of the problem.

Most hardware problems are due to a faulty device driver. To fix these problems, you can choose to upgrade to a new driver version, rollback to an older version, or reinstall the device driver. You can also use the recovery console to replace the corrupt driver file with the original file.

To reinstall the driver, open Device Manager and navigate to the hardware you need to reinstall. Right-click the device and select the Uninstall. Next, select OK and then Yes to restart your computer. When you restart your computer, your Windows system will automatically detect the hardware and attempt to install the driver for it.

To upgrade the driver for your hardware, click here to run a free scan, then download the updated driver. Install the driver software and restart your computer.

To rollback a driver to a previous version, first identify the hardware in the Device Manager window. Next, right-click the hardware and select Properties. In the properties dialog box of the hardware, select the Driver tab, and finally click the Roll Back Driver button to restore the previously installed driver.

If all else fails, restart your computer with the Windows XP CD-ROM and select ‘R’ from the Welcome to Setup screen to open the Recovery Console. Login using the administrator password and run the command “cd windows\system32\drivers”. Next, rename the damaged driver file by running the “ren DriverName.sys DriverName.bak”. Now copy the original driver file from the Windows XP CD-ROM to the Drivers folder by running the command ‘copy CD-Drive:\i386 DriverName‘. Finally, exit the recovery console and restart the system.

If none of the above suggestions fix the problem, you might have to reinstall or replace the hardware. If the errors still persist, then you might need to restore or reinstall the operating system.

You can also  scan your system registry using a reliable registry cleaner software. This software helps you to eliminating unwanted and corrupt entries from the registry, thereby enabling you to prevent the occurrence of frequent errors on your PC.

Categories: Driver FAQ Tags: , , ,