How to Install and Find Drivers
are probably the most essential thing to a computer after
the hardware and operating system, but it's amazing
that even the most experienced PC user often overlooks something so important. It's only
about installing the proper drivers, but also regularly updating them. Why you ask? Well as
bugs are fixed and new technology is released, newer drivers usually improve performance
or fix compatibility problems.
Why is it such a daunting task for some people to
install drivers? Well it really isn't too hard, but most average users haven't been told
about the importance, and may not be 100% sure about what to
In this guide we'll be using Microsoft's Windows
2000 as the operating system, however the general rules apply to Windows
Pro Device Manager
The motherboard drivers are probably the most important driver for a computer, because
all system components must interact with this piece of hardware. It's not
really important who made the motherboard but rather what chipset it uses. VIA chipsets need
VIA drivers, Intel chipset need Intel ones.
It's true that Windows natively supports many
different chipsets already, however it doesn't have drivers for the latest ones. If
you recently purchased a computer it might have come with Windows pre installed
but many people do opt out of the OS to save because they might have
another licensed copy of their own already.
what happens after installation of the OS? If your computer has a older parts
you're in "luck" because the OS will undoubtedly already have native support for that
Here's an example; if your
motherboard is using the Intel 440BX chipset or maybe VIA's MVP5 chipset, drivers aren't
needed because Windows already has them in its driver database. If it's something
newer such as the VIA Apollo133A (694X), AMD 761 or the Intel 850, you'll
need to install your own drivers because Windows has no idea what these chipsets
What is the first thing you as a user should installed
after the operating system? Before any other drivers for video cards, or whatnot you should install the
motherboard's drivers. Why? It's because your motherboard connects everything together so Windows
needs to know what this piece of hardware is first and how to use it properly
before it can communicate with your videocard, soundcard, etc.
You should already have a CD that came with the computer,
or with the motherboard if you are upgrading components which will have all the
necessary drivers in one location. If you don't, here are a
few links to the major chipset makers where you should be able to find the
correct drivers for your system.
AMD chipsets are a little more
difficult to install because most motherboards using the AMD751/761 don't use an
AMD southbridges, but rather a VIA one. What you have to do in this case is
install the VIA 4in1 drivers minus the AGP driver since
there's no VIA Northbridge. After the 4in1 (which is really only 3in1) would
you install the AMD AGP Miniport drivers.
After this step, you can install your
drivers anyway you'd like. Its always best to get the videocard drivers installed next
so your display looks proper. That's rather easy as you should have a driver
CD that came with your computer, or videocard. Just insert it into
your CD-ROM and follow the installation instructions.
Like your motherboard drivers,
they may be a bit outdated so we have included a list
of all the videocard chipsets out there.
Please note, 3dfx is no longer in business,
the drivers linked above are the last ones they posted. There are
several 3rd party drivers that can be still found on the web for their cards though
and S3 no longer supports their older chipset such as the S3 Trio, S3 ViRGE,
etc. Windows does have support for those chipsets.
After installing the videocard drivers, you should install you should try to install your soundcard.
Again, you should already have the drivers, but below are links to the most
If your computer has
other peripherals such as modems, NIC's, etc. installed in your computer you
should install each of those until everything is covered.