How to use Windows 7's automatic driver update utility
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Windows 7 can find and download two kinds of updates for devices connected to your computer:
Driver is software that allows your computer to communicate with hardware devices.
Without drivers, the devices you connect to your computer—for example, a mouse or external hard drive—won't work properly. Windows can automatically check if there are drivers available for new devices you connect to your computer.
For hardware that you've connected to your computer in the past, updated drivers might become available at a later date; but those drivers aren't installed automatically.
Windows can download high-resolution icons for many hardware devices that you connect to your computer, along with detailed information about them, such as product name, manufacturer, and model number—even detailed information about the sync capabilities of a device. This is much more detailed device information than was previously available in earlier versions of Windows. These details can make it easier for you to distinguish between similar devices that are connected to your computer, such as if you have several different portable music players and mobile phones. Additionally, they make it easier to check the capabilities of a device.
Checking and Installing Windows 7 updates
Windows Update occasionally will notify you that optional updates are available. This could include drivers that become available after you finish installing hardware or devices. Optional updates aren't installed automatically. To get all the available updates for your devices, periodically check for optional updates. To install these optional updates, go to Windows Update in Control Panel, check for updates, and then view and install driver updates that are available for your computer.
- Click the Start button. The Start menu is displayed as shown.
- Click Control Panel from the Start menu option. The Control Panel folder is displayed.
- Search for Windows Update folder and click the Check for updates link. The Windows Update folder is displayed.
- Click the Check for updates button. Windows 7 searches for available updates.
- If no new updates are available, the following window is displayed.
- If updates are available, the following window is displayed.
- Click the View available updates link to choose required updates to install.
- Select the checkboxes to choose the corresponding updates, and click the Install button.
You will have to wait a few minutes for the complete installation. Once installation is successful, the following window is displayed.
- Click the Restart now button to restart your computer and complete the installation.
NOTE: Access Start>Control Panel>Windows Update> Change Settings to change the Windows 7 update options.
Manual update of Windows 7 Specific Drivers
Please perform the following steps to install or update Windows 7 drivers.
- Click the Windows Pearl (Start) button. The Start menu is displayed as shown.
- Type 'driver update' in the Start menu search box, and press the Enter key. The search results are displayed.
- Click Update Device Drivers link in the Control Panel section. The Device Manager window is displayed.
Note: The device Manager tool is a central place to manage all the devices your system has and devices which are connected via different ports (Serial, Parallel, USB, Firewire and eSATA ports). The device manager categorizes the system devices and represents them in a tree structure.
- Click the '+' sign to expand a specific device. In this example, we are going to update the "Microsoft PS/2 Mouse” device under "Mice and Other pointing devices” group.
- Click the '+' corresponding to "Mice and Other pointing devices” group. It expands as shown.
- Select the "Microsoft PS/2 Mouse” device and right-click the same. The right-click menu is displayed.
- Click Update Driver Software from the menu options. The Update Driver Software – Microsoft PS/2 Mouse wizard is displayed.
- Select Browse my computer for driver software option. The next screen of the wizard is displayed.
- Click the Browse button to locate the device driver update files on your computer. Ensure the "Include sub folders” checkbox is selected and then click next button.
- Locate the drivers on the local computer drive and/or folders and click Ok.
- Click the Next button. The Update driver software will search for the drivers files in the folders and sub folders selected in the previous step.
The Update driver software tool compares the current driver software version and install newer version. If the current driver software version is newer then the tool ignores the update and displays the following screen.