How to find device drivers for your PC

Are You Having Trouble finding and Installing a Driver for your Computer Hardware? It’s simpler than you think.  Today I’d like to share some of my Secrets on how to find device drivers

How to find and Install a Missing Driver or Unknown Device Drivers for your Computer.

 

What is a Driver?

A driver is software that allows your computer to communicate with hardware or devices. Without drivers, the hardware you connect to your computer—for example, a video card or a printer—won’t work properly. – Microsoft.com

 

Install Device Drivers for your PC

It seems that a lot of people have trouble searching for or find device drivers after they had re installed an Operating System.  Unfortunately some older hardware do not provide plug and play functionally, where you simply plug in the hardware and it works.  In some older versions of Microsoft Windows and computer hardware you had to go and search Google, In my experience it was not as easy as just going to your manufacturers website and enter your model number and find your driver, sometimes it still did not work right.  So I will showing you a method, that I have been using to find the right driver and how to install it.  

 

How to Install and find Device Drivers without internet access?

If you are unable to install a driver  and have no way of connecting to the internet, there are some other options.  I have written about this in my previous blog here.

 

How Do I find out what Device Drivers I need to download?

It is quite a simple process to find the correct driver.

If you are looking for an Ethernet adapter driver, for example: your HP Computer do the following:

Step 1

Go to control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager, You will see a list with Drivers which are missing and not installed with yellow Asterisks as shown below. 

 

find device drivers

 

Step 2If you need a driver such as “PCI Simple Communications Controller” and you are unsure what it does. No problem,

we need to right click where it says PCI Simple Communications Controller, and select where it says properties

 

find device drivers

 

 

Step 3You will then see 4 Tabs in the PCI Simple Communications Controller Properties dialog Box.

Select the tab that says Details.  You will see a drop down menu, select the menu and then select Hardware Ids as shown below.

find device drivers

 

Step 4Now comes The Secret to finding the right Driver for your Computer

In the list you will see a list of numbers and letters.  You should see the word VEN in the list and DEV

note down the VEN number in this example its 14F1 and the DEV is 2F30 as shown in the example below

 

find device drivers

 

Step 5Start your favorite web browser such as Mozilla Firefox and go to http://www.pcidatabase.com/

This is a website where you can search your device drivers.  You will find about 95% of all drivers at this website.   The VEN Number stands for Vendor.  The Manufacture of the Driver and the DEV stands for Device Number

  • enter your VEN Number in the Vendor Search field.
  • When I did the Vender Number search, I found my Device Driver in the search results.  It will give you a link where you can download it.

 

find device drivers

 

step 6Save the file to your computer.  Then you will need to unzip the contents of the zip file, (if it is saved as a zip file) I recommend using 7zip

 

 

How to Install Your Driver for your PC

1 Once you have unzipped the file, open the file where you have saved the executable file, and then start the executable file.

 

find device drivers

 

2 Follow the Wizard dialog Box to complete the Installation progress.

 

find device drivers

 

3Once the wizard is finished, there may be some balloon message appear saying that new hardware has been found and that it is installing the new hardware.  .

Click the balloon message icon and allow it to install the new hardware.

 

find device drivers

 

You may need to restart your computer after the process is completed.  Save all opened applications before continuing and restart your Computer.

 

Checking to see that the Device Driver has been successfully installed

To check that the driver has been successful.  Click Start > go to Control Panel > Go to System, Go to Hardware Tab, Click Device Manager and click the driver that your Computer had found.  In this case it was a PCI driver for a Modem.  In the Driver Manager List we can see that it has been successfully Installed.

 

find device drivers

 

We can see in the list that we still need to install two additional drivers.  Follow the procedure again starting from How to Find out what Driver I need to download? and you should have no trouble.

 

Final Thoughts in How to Install a Driver for your PC

I hope I have helped you with this Tutorial in How to Find device drivers for your PC.  You can find about 95% of the drivers from http://www.pcidatabase.com.  This method can be used in any version of Microsoft Windows Operating System. 

Top Tip: Sometimes in the search results at http://www.pcidatabase.com/ they will not give you a direct website link, you will have to go to the manufacture website to download the driver that is listed in the search results.  

If you have found this article to be useful, please like and share a like.  What are your experiences when downloading drivers.  Has this method worked for you? Have your say by leaving your comments below.

 

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Anthony Rousek

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Technology Enthusiast, blogger and Microsoft Certified Professional

Anthony Rousek
Technology Enthusiast, blogger and Microsoft Certified Professional
  • Doug Thwaites

    PCIdatabase.com unfortunately shutdown near the end of 2017 I have since built a replacement DeviceHunt.com.

    Hope it helps.