Troubleshoot & fix Device Driver Problems in Windows 10/8/7

Windows 10/8/7 has inbuilt driver support for a multitude of devices, but there are many hardware devices that require special drivers to work properly, and that’s why if a hardware that is installed in or attached to a computer doesn’t work properly, it’s often because of a driver problem. I have tried to provide solutions to some common driver problems.

Fix Device Driver Problems in Windows

If you installed a new hardware device and it’s not working properly. These are several things you can try:

  • Make sure that the hardware device is compatible with your computer and with your version of Windows. If the device isn’t compatible, you will need to find the correct driver. Check the information that came with your device. You can also search for the device on the Windows Compatibility Center website. This website contains a comprehensive list of computers and devices that have been tested to work with Windows 7.
  • Many devices require special drivers to work properly. Be sure that you have installed any software discs that came with the device.
  • Restart the computer, restarting might be necessary if the driver requires it, or if the driver didn’t install correctly.
  • If the device is a universal serial bus (USB) device, disconnect it and then plug it into a different USB port. Windows should detect the device and install the drivers and notify you if the device drivers didn’t install properly.
  • Updated drivers might be available through Windows Update. When you check Windows Update, click View available updates to determine if an updated driver is available for your device. You may also check up on the manufacturer’s websites for updated Drivers.

My device used to work, but now it doesn’t.

These are several things you can try!

  • Updated drivers might be available through Windows Update. When you check Windows Update, click View available updates to see if an updated driver is available for your device.
  • If you can’t find a new driver through Windows Update or the manufacturer’s website, try reinstalling the software that came with the device, which might contain drivers.

You installed latest device drivers using Windows Update, and in future you want it to happen automatically:

It’s important to set Windows to download and install updates automatically. But even if you have Windows Update set to automatically install important updates for your computer, it still might not be set to install all the updated drivers it finds for your hardware. To automatically get available driver updates for your hardware, set Windows to install recommended updates.

To set Windows to install recommended updates:

  1. Click to open Windows Update.
  2. In the left pane, click Change settings.
  3. Under Important updates, click an item in the list.You can decide which updates to automatically download and install.
  4. Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates check box, and then click OK. If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    You can also allow anyone using your computer to install updates by selecting the Allow all users to install updates on this computer check box.

You can set Windows to automatically install important and recommended updates or important updates only. Optional updates aren’t downloaded or installed automatically. To get all available updates for your devices, periodically check Windows Update for optional updates.

If you feel the need, you can refer this post, to identify computer hardware problems.

Additional resources:

  1. List of Windows Device Manager Error Codes & their Solutions
  2. Troubleshoot Driver Problems using Driver Verifier Manager & Device Manager
  3. Identify computer hardware problems with Hardware Identify software.
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Nitin Agarwal is an MVP alumni and a Pro Blogger. He was awarded as Most Valuable Professional for 3 times by Microsoft in Windows Expert - Consumer category. He is immensely inspired by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and APJ Abdul Kalam.