Tech Tips

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How to Determine Which Device Drivers are Installed

This Tech Tip explains how to determine which device drivers are installed on a computer, this will help determining if the drivers need to be updated.

Open Device Manager

Press the Windows key (between the Ctrl and Alt keys on the left hand side of the keyboard), and the R button together. This will open the Run Command

We will use Device Manager to determine which drivers and devices are installed.

They the following into the Run dialog :

Click OK

The Device Manager will open

We need to determine which graphics card is installed, and which drivers are installed. So we double click on the arrow next to Display adapters

The graphics card will be shown. So in this example, we have an Nvidia Geforce 9600GT graphics card

To determine which drivers are installed, double click on the graphics card name

The Properties dialog will appear, click on the Driver tab to see the driver details

The driver version will be shown, but this is where it gets a bit more complicated, as the number shown is not actually the driver version, you take the last 4 numbers ie, 3.697, you replace the decimal point with a zero, and then move the decimal point one place to the right. So the actual driver version is 306.97 (note this way of determining the version number is for Nvidia cards only)

You can then go to the manufactures web site to download the latest drivers, always install the drivers from the manufacture, not from Windows Update.

The other graphics cards that can be installed, are from Intel and AMD. New laptops might have 2 graphics cards installed, in this case both drivers will have to be updated.

I do not have any computers with AMD or Intel graphics cards, so once you know the name of the card and have an idea of the driver number, go to the manufactures web site and see if there are newer drivers.

Printer Name and Drivers

Open Device Manager (use the process listed above)

if the Printer is not listed, go to the View Menu select Show Hidden Devices

Double click on Printers, the installed printer(s) will be listed. Double click on the printer

On the Properties Dialog click on the Settings tab, then click on the Devices and Printers Folder

The various printers and other devices will be shown, right click on the printer who's drivers version you need to check, and then select Printer Properties.

The Printer Properties dialog will appear, this will look different for each printer, and for different versions of Windows. Look for some information about the printer drivers. in this driver, its easy, the drivers have an About tab

Then go to the manufactures web site and see if there are any new drivers for the printer.

Select the correct printer model and download and install the drivers.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You cannot install 32 bit drivers on a 64 bit version of Windows and visa versa, so make sure you download the correct drivers.


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