Posts Tagged ‘Device driver’

The 6 Best Ways to Update Your Drivers

October 28th, 2013 No comments

Drivers are an integral part of Microsoft operating systems: software components that help your computer use its various hardware features … or any new devices that you buy and attach.

This makes drivers very important for managing external data as well as internal functions. Over time, they can steadily lose their relevance if they’re not updated. Generally speaking, you don’t need to update a driver if nothing is wrong, but if you’re noticing problems with important devices or functions, it may be time to search for an upgrade.

Here are some of the most common ways to find the right driver installations, and important considerations for each method.

1. The device itself

From USB to printer drivers, most devices include a download that automatically provides the necessary software when you’re first connecting the device to your PC. Sometimes (although this is increasingly rare) you have a CD with software included on it.

You may be prompted to visit a company website and download from there. Typically, driver software that comes with a device is not very dependable; it tends to be old and obsolete compared to online versions. But if your device is not installing properly, reinstalling the original drivers could be the solution to your problem.

2. The operating system

If you want an easy way to update drivers, look at your Windows operating system. In the Device Manager or a related Windows tool, you will see all the drivers that need to be updated, and you can ask Windows to update your drivers itself.

This does not necessarily mean you will get the latest drivers, but it will provide you with the best updates that Windows can find, and compatibility will probably not be an issue.

3. An aggregation website

Fortunately, others have already done a lot of the work for you. If you want a driver for any external advice, try using a generic search to see what pops up. Some sites will help you quickly locate the right drivers for your operating system with a minimal amount of fuss. They’ll get your downloads in a short amount of time with easy instructions. If you can find a site that does the work for you, use it!

4. Your computer brand site

Sometimes it can be more difficult to locate the driver that you want. In those cases, it’s time to visit the website from which you bought your computer or the brand website that your device belongs to. Dell, HP, Logitech, Lenovo … you get the idea. They may have driver downloads available or at least provide a quick link to the right place to find them.

5. The chipset manufacturer

If you’re determined to get the latest driver for internal functions, visit the manufacturer of the chipset for your computer. The most common manufacturers are companies like Nvidia and Realtek.

These brands have the latest drivers up in record time, since they’re the ones responsible for bringing it to market. Search for your particular chipset model to locate the right drivers. However, you may want to approach this option carefully: the very latest driver updates may come with bugs or compatibility issues. It may actually be preferable to get an older, smoother version.

6. The hardware manufacturer

If you want to go a further step down the supply chain, you can look for the hardware manufacturer itself — the company that makes the actual video card, motherboard, or other hardware component. You can’t get any closer to the source than this.

Many of these manufacturers offer advanced update options that let you customize the update in various ways, to add features or ensure compatibility … as long as you know what you’re doing.

Dealing With Code 37 Error

May 27th, 2012 No comments

Code 37 is one of the errors displayed whenever the Device Manager in your computer encounters issues. It will be displayed as:

Windows cannot initialize the device driver for this hardware. (Code 37).’

If this happens and you want to learn more of the details of this error, you can do so by checking the Device Status from the device’s properties option.

Do keep in mind that this type of error is exclusive to the Device Manager and if it occurs elsewhere in Windows, there is the possibility that it is a system error code, which should not be troubleshooted as a Device Manager issue.

What causes Code 37 error?

The Code 37 error message is displayed whenever the driver for a specific hardware that you are trying to install cannot be accessed by the computer.

How to troubleshoot Code 37 Error

1. One of the first steps that you can do to troubleshoot Code 37 error is to restart your computer, since there is the possibility that the error is caused by a temporary problem with the device.

2. If you have recently installed a device or made changes in the Device Manager before the Code 37 error message was generated, there is the possibility that this caused the error. To fix this, all you need to do is undo any changes and restart your computer. You can also remove or reconfigure the device you have recently installed, roll back the driver to the recent version before you updated it, or use the System Restore to undo all recent changes in the Device Manager.

3. One of the most common reasons why Code 37 is generated is the corruption of the registry values in the CD/DVD ROM Drive Class registry key. If this is the case, you can fix this by deleting the upper and lower filters registry values.

4. Another possible solution for the Code 37 error is to uninstall and reinstall the device drivers for your hardware. Do keep in mind that reinstallation of the driver is not the same as updating it, since the former involves complete removal of the installed driver and allowing Window to install it again.

5. You should also try updating the device driver to fix the Code 37 error.

6. If all the suggestions above did not work, the next best thing that you can do is to replace the hardware device that is causing the Code 37 error.

Fixing Code 31 Errors

May 22nd, 2012 No comments

The Code 31 is a Device Manager error code and displayed in the following way:

This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. (Code 31)’

If this happens on your computer and you want to learn more of its details, you can check the information out in the Device Status area by clicking on the device’s properties option. Do keep in mind that this is an error that is specifically for the Device Manager and if it shows elsewhere in Windows, there is the possibility that it is a system error code which you cannot troubleshoot as one of the issues of the Device Manager.

What causes Code 31 error?

There are many reasons why a Code 31 error message is generated your computer and when this happens, Windows is prevented from loading the needed driver for the hardware device that you are trying to access. The good thing is, you can easily troubleshoot Code 31 error, regardless of what the root cause is.

Troubleshooting Code 31 Error

1. One of the first things that you would do when troubleshooting a Code 31 Error would be to restart your computer. This is because there is the possibility that the Code 31 error is caused by a temporary issue with the Device Manager, which can be easily resolved by rebooting your computer.

2. If you have recently installed a new device or changed settings in the Device Manager, then there is a possibility that these have caused the Code 31 Error message to be displayed by your computer. if this is the cause for the Code 31 error, all you need to do is revert back to the original settings and restart your computer. If this doesn’t solve the issue, try the following:

  • Roll back the driver to the most recent version before updating it
  • Remove or reconfigure the device you have recently installed
  • Use system restore to undo all changes that you made in the Device Manager
3. You can also try deleting the Upper and Lower Filters registry values since the corruption of the two registry values in CD-ROM/DVD Drive Class registry key can also cause Code 31 errors.
3. You can also try deleting the Upper and Lower Filters registry values since the corruption of the two registry values in CD-ROM/DVD Drive Class registry key can also cause Code 31 errors.
4. Update device drivers by installing the latest drivers which you can get from the manufacturing company.
5. If all else fails, you may need to replace the hardware which causes the Code 31 error.

Roll Back Drivers In Different Windows 7 and Windows Vista

April 17th, 2012 No comments

Rolling back a device driver in Windows means returning it to the previous version the was last installed for the said device. This is one of the troubleshooting options that you have if in any case a driver update fails to fix occurring problems of if it cases new ones. Basically, this means returning the driver to a working version, or uninstalling the latest driver that you have downloading and automatically reinstalling the previous one.

The specifics on how you can use the Driver Roll Back features depend on what Operating System you have, so below is a short and easy to follow instructions on how to do roll back drivers in Windows 7 and Windows Vista:

Roll back drivers for Windows 7

1. Open Device Manager from the Control Panel of Windows 7, or you can type ‘Device Manager’ in the search box to access it

2. Navigate through the different hardware categories in Device Manager to locate the hardware device that you want to perform roll back the driver for. You can do so by clicking the [+] or the > icon under the major hardware categories.

3. After successfully locating the hardware device, right click on its icon or name and check out its Properties, and click Driver Tab>Roll Back Driver buttons

4. When a message that states, ‘Are you sure you would like to roll back to the previously installed driver software?’ is displayed, click the Yes button. This will restore the previously installed driver.

5. Click Close button, which is located at the bottom part of the device properties screen.

6. When a display message stating, ‘Your hardware settings have changed. You must restart your computer for these changes to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?’, click Yes to automatically restart your PC. Once Windows 7 starts again, the device driver that is previously installed for the hardware device will load.

Roll back drivers for Windows Vista

1. Open Device Manager from your computer’s Control Panel to locate the hardware device that you want to perform a roll back device drivers for. You can do this by navigating through major hardware devices and clicking the [+] icon to see other devices available.

2. Right click on the icon and choose Properties>Driver>Roll Back Driver

3. When a message stating, ‘ Are you sure you would like to roll back to the previously installed driver software?’ is displayed, click the Yes button to perform a roll back driver on the said device. This will restore the previously installed driver. Click the close button.

4. When a display message stating, ‘Your hardware settings have changed. You must restart your computer for these changes to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?’, click Yes to automatically restart your PC. Once Windows Vista starts again, the device driver that is previously installed for the hardware device will load.

device driver update is one of the most important steps that you need to do is you want your computer to perform at its best however, downloading the wrong file can sometimes happen. When it does happen, you can always perform the roll back driver option to troubleshoot the problem.

Device Manager In Windows: How To View A Device’s Status

April 12th, 2012 No comments

Viewing the current status of the hardware in your PC is important to ensure that everything is working properly. Doing this in Windows XP is easy and once you see a yellow exclamation point beside its icon in Device Manager, then you might just have a problem.

Checking the status of different hardware devices can be done by going to the Device Manager and checking out the details available. If there are any problems encountered by your computer, a detailed error code will be displayed, as well as suggestive solutions for troubleshooting the hardware issues you are encountering.

If you are unsure on how to check a device’s status in your computer, below are easy to follow steps on how to do it.

1. Open the Device Manager  from the Windows XP Computer Management utility option. There are still other ways to do so, including typing ‘Device Manager’ in the search box

2. After opening the Device Manager, search for the hardware device you like to check by clicking the [+] icon from major hardware categories.

3. After successfully locating the hardware you would like to check, right click on the text or icon and choose the Properties option, where you can see the device status. This will display the information and current status of your chosen hardware device.

4. If the device is working properly, the status will read:

The device is working properly. If you are having problems with this device, click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooter.

5. If the device is not working, an error message will state:

Error Message (Code 00) Click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooter for this device

The reason behind the importance of checking a hardware device’s status every now and then is not only to make sure that it is still working, but also to know whether or not it needs a driver update. By updating its driver, you can ensure that it will work the way you want it too and at the same time, enjoy new features offered by the manufacturing company.

Resolving the "Unknown Device" error in Windows XP / 2003

January 17th, 2011 1 comment

For some reason you had to reinstall Windows. Most of the devices attached to the computer were recognized by Windows and the drivers installed automatically. But, when you check the Device Manager to see whether all the drivers are okay, you find a yellow question mark section labeled ‘Other devices’, which is already expanded. Under that, you see a device for which Windows couldn’t install a proper driver.

Sometimes the device is identified correctly, but Windows doesn’t have the correct driver for it. At other times, the device isn’t identified at all and you’d see an "unknown device" listed. Since Windows doesn’t say what the device is, how do you know, what driver you need to download and install? Everyone won’t take the cover off the computer case and inspect. Even if you can, you may be just lazy to open the computer. Still, you may not know what the device could be. What do you do in such a case?

This "Unknown Device" can be seen as a yellow question mark, if you open the Device Manager. There may be more than one device under the question mark.

Most of the time, the device would have a unique ID burned into it. This ID can be used to find information about the device.

How to find this ID?

Open the Device Manager. Open the properties for the "Unknown Device" and then click the ‘Details‘ tab. Select ‘Hardware IDs‘ from the drop-down list. There may be many lines of junk. You only need the first line. It contains all the information needed to find the correct driver.

Taking the following example, VID stands for vendor ID and the number following it is 03E8. Put this into the PCI Vendor and Device List database’s Search box and then click Search. Once you know the device name and manufacturer, you can search a driver for it, download and install it. Here’s a video about using PCI database.

Unknown Device Identifier is a small freeware program from Huntersoft, which identifies unknown devices, not recognized by Windows. It searches working drivers on the Internet and contacts hardware manufacturers or vendors directly.


It comes in handy when you reinstall your operating system and cannot figure out what to do with all those devices with yellow question marks in the device manager.

Unknown Device Identifier is a nice program. It’s easy to use and is a great help to people who need to install drivers for undetected devices on their computers.

Troubleshooting RealTek AC97 Drivers

March 14th, 2010 4 comments

RealTek AC97 Troubleshooting

Audio drivers for your computer can come in many different types depending on the computer  and operating system you are using. One typical audio driver that is often found on many PC  systems is the Realtek AC 97 Audio driver. When there are problems with sound from your PC, you will need to troubleshoot your sound card  to find the cause. This can involve many steps so to help with the process of troubleshooting RealTek on your system we have compiled the following steps:

  1. Check the BIOS settingsThe first thing you need to consider when encountering problems with RealTek AC97 is the settings on the BIOS, especially if the computer is newly-bought. The audio controller for your computer may be disabled. You may also encounter this issue when you have recently reset your BIOS settings to defaults, or when you just upgraded or “flashed” your BIOS.To go to the system BIOS, you need to restart your computer. Then, while the computer is performing some memory tests, press the F2 (or delete) key repeatedly until you see the BIOS screen of your computer. The following image shows how the BIOS screen looks like:

    RealTek Bios Settings

    BIOS utilities may differ in interface and parameters, depending on the manufacturer. The above figure displays an AwardBIOS setup utility. If you there is anything unclear with your BIOS setup, consult your manufacturer’s documentation.

  2. Clean the Prefetch and Temp Folders (Windows only)Some temporary files that your operating system has created may prevent your AC97 driver from functioning correctly. In order to remove those files, you may need to log in to your system in safe mode. To enter safe mode, restart the computer, and while the system is performing memory tests, press F8 repeatedly until you see the Windows Boot Menu. Select either Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking in the menu. Note that if you see Windows XP loading without displaying the boot menu first, then your computer will enter in normal mode and not in safe mode. You will need to repeat the procedure all over again, until you have successfully entered the Windows Boot menu and selected safe mode as the boot option.You may need to restart the computer after cleaning the prefetch and temp folders.

    Realtek Safe Mode

  3. Reinstall the Device Driver The reinstallation of a device driver generally involves two steps:
      • Uninstallation of the driver
      • Fresh installation of the driver

    To completely reinstall a driver, the uninstallation of the current driver is necessary. This is to ensure that all driver files will be replaced.

    To uninstall the RealTek AC driver, go to the device manager by clicking on Start and giving a right-click on the My Computer or Computer icon. Then, click on Manage. The Computer Management window would appear. Click on Device Manager and the window would display all the devices installed on your computer. Click on the plus (+) sign before Sound, video and game controllers. Right-click on the AC97 audio controller. Then, click Uninstall.

    RealTek device Manager

    There is another way of going to the device manager. Click on Start->Run. Then, type devmgmt.msc. Press enter and these steps will lead you to the same device manager.

    For a Realtek install, you may use the driver installation CD, download the latest RealTek ac97 driver from the manufacturer, or run a system scan to automatically update the RealTek AC97 Drivers. When installing the driver from the CD, simply insert the CD into your optical drive. You will then given the necessary instructions in installing your device driver.

    Alternatively, a RealTek 97 driver download is available at the Realtek website, or at third-party Realtek download sites. You should be able to find there the correct driver for your operating system, especially a Realtek driver for Windows XP. If the downloaded file is in compressed (ZIP format), you will need to extract the ac97 drivers first. Then, simply run the setup application and follow the installation instructions.

    If the controller is missing in device manager, it means that the driver is not currently installed on your computer. Skip the uninstallation phase and proceed with the installation of the driver. If the controller is followed by a yellow question mark (?) or exclamation point (!), there is a problem with the device driver currently installed on the system, and the instructions in this troubleshooting step must be strictly followed.

    Before uninstalling the Realtek driver AC97, make sure you already have a copy of the driver installation files so you wouldn’t end up with a driverless device. Uninstalling the driver for a device would render that device completely unusable by your computer.

    You will need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. Restart right after uninstalling the driver, and after reinstalling it.

    Reinstalling a device driver is a lengthy process. If you don’t want to get involved with this procedure for some reason, you may run this automated driver scanner to install the correct driver for your sound card with less effort on your part. This is particularly useful when the driver CD is missing, or you encounter issues with a Realtek download.

  4. Reinstall the Chipset DriversIn some computer systems, chipset drivers also play a part in the performance of your audio device. If you still encounter a problem with the device after installing the driver, you may need to reinstall your computer’s chipset drivers.To reinstall the chipset drivers, simply follow the instructions as mentioned in the previous troubleshooting step (Reinstall the Device Driver). The only difference is that you need to find where the chipset drivers are located in your device manager. They are usually found under Display Adapters.
  5. Download the Latest Updates for Your Operating SystemIf the device is still not working after performing the steps mentioned above, you may need to perform an update on your operating system. Your operating system will usually notify you if there are critical or important updates that would need to be downloaded and installed on your computer. For windows users, you may update your OS by clicking on Start->Control Panel and then selecting Windows Update.
  6. Test another sound cardIf you have reached to this point in troubleshooting and the device is still not working, you may need to test the functionality of your sound card. Remove your sound card and replace it with a similar device that is known to be in good condition. If the newly-installed sound card solves the issue, the other sound card is faulty and may need to be replaced. Otherwise, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

    If you are using a sound controller integrated into your motherboard, or if there is no alternative sound card available, ignore this troubleshooting step and proceed to the next one.

    Each type of computer has its own architecture. For instructions in removing and installing the sound card for your computer, consult your manufacturer’s or distributor’s documentation.

  7. Reinstall the Entire Operating SystemReinstalling the operating system may not sound good. But if the previous troubleshooting steps did not resolve the issue with the AC97, this procedure may be necessary.

    If this is the first time that you are going to reinstall the operating system, you may need to ask for professional help. Contact one of your computer or operating system manufacturer’s technical support staff for assistance.

    Make sure you backup your important files first before performing this step, since this procedure will wipe out everything in your hard drive.

  8. Flash the BIOSEvery device on your computer has its own driver. But how about the motherboard? The fact is, the BIOS is somewhat the “driver” for your entire motherboard.  It synchronizes almost every hardware installed on your computer system. Flashing the BIOS is similar to updating your operating system e.g. Windows update, etc., except the fact that with this procedure, you are dealing with your BIOS and not with your OS.Before flashing your computer’s BIOS, you will need to determine where your computer system came from. If your computer system is custom-built, visit the manufacturer of your system’s motherboard for the BIOS updater application. If your system is pre-built by computer manufacturers such as Dell, Asus, or HP, visit their website and see if there is an update available.

    Make sure you have performed the previous troubleshooting steps before going on with this procedure. You may skip reinstalling the operating system and do this right away, especially if you do not have the time or the resources needed to install a fresh copy of your OS into your computer. However, this is not advisable. If your BIOS experienced an error during flashing, the process can ruin your motherboard. This is the reason why flashing the BIOS is one of the most feared steps in computer troubleshooting. Should you feel uncomfortable in performing this procedure, you may need to request assistance from professionals.

  9. Replace motherboardProvided that all of the above-mentioned troubleshooting steps have been performed, and the problem still persists, this may mean that your motherboard is unable to handle your AC97 device correctly, and may need to be replaced.

CD drive or DVD drive is missing in Windows XP

February 23rd, 2010 2 comments

Q. Help, my CD drive or DVD drive is missing?

A. I am taking this to mean your CD/DVD drive is not recognized, so you can’t play a CD or DVD.

You probably have either corrupted or deleted Windows registry entries. To solve this problem, you need to use the Registry Editor. ***Note: By using Registry Editor, you are modifying the registry. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click here to read the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. In the navigation pane, locate and then click the following registry subkey:
  4. In the right pane, click UpperFilters.
    *** Note – You may also see an UpperFilters.bak registry entry. You do not have to remove that entry. Click UpperFilters only. If you do not see the UpperFilters registry entry, you still might have to remove the LowerFilters registry entry. To do this, go to step 7.
  5. On the Edit menu, click Delete.
  6. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
  7. In the right pane, click LowerFilters.
    *** Note – If you do not see the LowerFilters registry entry, unfortunately this content cannot help you any further. Try contacting Microsoft for additional support.
  8. On the Edit menu, click Delete.
  9. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
  10. Exit Registry Editor.
  11. Restart the computer.
  12. Click Start, click My Computer, and then see whether the drive is listed.

If you still can’t play or access a CD or DVD at this point, next try to reinstall the programs. If that doesn’t work, check to see if there are updates available at the manufacturer’s website. Some examples of programs that might be affected are:

  • iTunes software by Apple
  • Nero software by Nero Inc
  • Roxio Creator software by Sonic Solutions
  • Zune software by Microsoft

Additionally, you  can try to remove and reinstall the device drivers.

Do the following to remove and reinstall the device drivers:

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click System and Maintenance, and then click System,
  3. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
  4. In Device Manager, expand DVD/CD-ROM drives, right-click the CD and DVD devices, and then click Uninstall.
  5. When you are prompted to confirm that you want to remove the device, click OK.
  6. Restart the computer.

After the computer restarts, the drivers should be automatically installed.

Code 39 Error Message

January 21st, 2010 1 comment

Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)

This is a Device Manager error code. A Code 39 error is usually caused by a missing driver, or by a Windows Registry issue.  A Code 39 error can apply to any hardware device in Device Manager. A Code 39 error usually appears on optical drives like CD and DVD drives. Any of Microsoft’s operating systems can experience a Code 39 Device Manager error.

Possible Solutions:

  1. First try to restart your computer. There is always a possibility that a Code 39 error might be caused by some fluke with Device Manager or your BIOS.
  2. If you recently installed a device or made changes in Device Manager prior to seeing the Code 39 error, undo whatever changes you made to see if the Code 39 error goes away. (Depending on what changes you made, this could mean removing the newly installed device, rolling back the driver to a previous version or using the System Restore to undo Device Manager changes. Remember to restart your computer after undoing changes.)
  3. Delete the UpperFilters and LowerFilters registry values. A common cause of Code 39 errors is the corruption of two specific registry values in the DVD/CD-ROM Drive Class registry key. You can also try deleting similar values in the Windows Registry if the Code 39 error appears on hardware other than a DVD or CD drive.
  4. Reinstall the device drivers. Remove the currently installed driver and then let Windows install it over again.
  5. Update the device drivers. If there is an update for your device drivers, it might fix a Code 39 error.
  6. Replace your device. It is possible that either your device isn’t compatible with the version of Windows, or there might be a malfunction with the hardware of your device.

Updating Windows XP Drivers

November 15th, 2009 1 comment

Why should you take the time to update your Windows XP Drivers? Here’s what you need to understand what you are updating and what it will change:

Windows XP uses drivers that corresponds with your computer and programs every time you use open your computer to do something. To make sure your computer and devices are performing to their max, you need to make sure you have the latest drivers installed on your computer. This includes hardware like mouse drivers, keyboard drivers, graphics card, system essentials, other hardware, internal hardware, motherboard and Windows drivers, etc. There are too many drivers to list , but if you are curious what drivers are installed on your computer currently, look at the ‘System and System 32’ files in your Windows root folder (usually on your C drive).

Anything with a shell or .dll extension is a driver that will Windows XP will be using to launch your applications.

One of the most common problems you will see for computers that don’t have the latest Windows XP drivers installed is the Device Manager error codes, which happens when a hardware fails to install properly.

XP is programmed to have a list of drivers for each manufacturer stored somewhere in the root drive. Driver files are normally small, as they consist normally of only instruction and constructed code. So, Microsoft is able to constantly update and add new device signatures into its data banks and suggest new updates for you to install to your computer. (This is known as the ‘automatic update’ service, where the main Microsoft server will download the files into your computer (which will more than often require a restart) and update it.