Locating Problem Hardware and Drivers
If you’ve ever installed a newer driver for a piece of hardware like a camera, printer, or modem and then had problems after installing it, you know firsthand how dangerous bad drivers can be. Installing an incorrect driver for a device doesn’t just affect the hardware you’re installing the device for. It can also wreak havoc on the entire system, causing unexpected blue screens or causing applications to shut down for no apparent reason. If you suspect a newly installed driver has caused a system problem, you can remove that driver and replace it with a different one. You can also use the rollback feature of Windows and instruct your system to use an older version of a driver.To solve a driver-related problem, follow these steps:
1. Isolate the hardware device that is causing problems for your computer. This can be a little tricky if you have recently installed more than one hardware device, such as a camera and a scanner. If this is the case, disconnect all of the hardware devices that you have installed recently and then connect each device, one at a time, and test to see if you can find the device that is causing problems for your system.
2. Once you find the problem device, you should reinstall the hardware driver for it. Use the installation disk that came with the hardware device and follow the instructions carefully. It is possible that device driver files became corrupted and reinstalling them can solve your problem.
3. If you have an Internet connection, you may want to visit the Web site of the company that produces the device you are reinstalling the driver for. Many companies offer driver updates for free, and their Web sites are likely to have the most recent drivers. Find the driver you need, download it, and install it.
4. After you successfully install the new driver, reboot your computer to ensure that the new driver gets initialized properly.
Tip: When trying to diagnose your driver problems, don’t forget to use the Web. If you are having a problem with a hardware device, it’s likely many other users are having the same problem. Companies who produce hardware devices often post troubleshooting sections on their Web sites to make it easier for you to play detective and solve tricky problems.