Just when you thought, you had the basics of computer operation under control your printer quits working and the little flashing alert tells you your driver is out of date! Drivers? What in the world is a computer driver and where do you find them?
Drivers are a bit of computer software that tells your hardware how to interact with a specific device. Take for instance your sound card, it is an installed piece of hardware in your computer, but your computer “brain” may be unsure of how it is supposed to work. Sound card drivers will tell your operating system how to convert specific data into audio output. This is just one example, there are drivers for just about every hardware piece in your computer and especially so for anything you hook up externally.
You may be thinking, that is all good but since my computer has been functioning properly for a year or better, why should I worry about drivers? As you may know computer technology is moving at a lightening pace, which means there constant changes to software, components and more. This often translates into updated drivers from different manufacturers. Sometimes they are for better performance or security, but many times, they are simply to fix errors and bugs in older software.
What to Do?
This brings us to the original question, what do you do when you get a notification about missing or outdated drivers? In the old days, you would need to figure out which component requires driver updates, you can usually find this information in your device manager. Next, you must go to the internet, search for the manufacturers website and sift through the drivers download page. This might not sound like a big deal, however if you download the wrong driver or go to the wrong manufacturer, you could have more problems than you started with.
This is where driver robot comes to the rescue. Driver robot is another piece of software that you install on your computer. Once the program is up and running you can set it to check periodically for driver updates. In a few minutes time driver robot can scan your system, locate out of date drivers and search for the proper updates.
After your initial scan, driver robot will quietly work in the background to keep all of your drivers up to date and your computer functioning properly. Why waste hours of your own time seeking out an individual driver when you can have a computer program do it for you in less time and with fewer errors?
Do you really need driver robot? If you have a computer or laptop you will eventually deal with driver issues, and in some cases, they can be a real pain to locate. You may not need the program per se, but if it is a choice between optimal performance or tearing your hair out, the choice becomes pretty clear.
December 2nd, 2013 in
Sometimes purchasing new hardware or software for your computer or laptop can appear daunting. But with some time and a little patience, you can be successful at completing the task at hand and setup your own driver checker utility. Often when using computers, our hard drive space gets full or it needs a new one all together because of technical issues. It is often more affordable to install and repair a computer ourselves if we have the right tools and instructions.
External hard drives
If you have just purchased a new hard drive for your computer or laptop, it will need drivers in order to operate. Often when you buy a hard drive, it might come with preinstallation software (if it is a plug and play). Although, if it was a hard-drive that you had to install yourself, you might have to download drivers too. Before you begin searching all over the Internet, first read your manual that came with your hard drive to be sure that it doesn’t already have preinstalled software.
After you have read your manual and find that the hard drive needs driver, then you may need to directly download them. If you have a plug and play hard drive, it may be quite simple. When you plug a hard drive into the USB port, your computer/laptop will automatically search and install drivers and any updates. This is the quick way to install drivers for external hard drivers.
Internal hard drives
Check the company website
However, if you don’t have an external hard drive, but an internal one, you will need to install drivers manually. One way to locate a driver, is to search for the company website and download it directly from there. If it’s a DELL, HP or any other brand, simply type the name of the company into a Google search or see if the company has a website in the manual that came with the hard drive. Often a company has drivers directly on their website that you can download at no extra cost.
Get the model and series number
You will also need to know the model and the series of your hard-drive. Write down all of this information somewhere nearby or find it the manual. All of the device’s information should be in the manual if you are unsure. Once you have went to the company’s website, locate the driver page and find the device that matches your series and model type. There will be links to click on that will allow you to download them. If you are unable to download the drivers directly to your computer, you can also place them on a flash drive too.
Once you have either downloaded the drivers onto your computer or transferred them from your flash drive, you can click on the icon to install them. Installation is usually automatic after you click on the icon. It may have a few instructions for you to read or steps to follow, so be sure you go through the entire process. Once the drivers have installed, your new hard-drive should be working correctly.
Technical support and warranty
If you are ever in doubt, most companies offer a phone number for technical support too. Be sure to note the warranty of your hard-drive. If you ever have any trouble and it is under warranty, most companies will replace your hardware at no extra cost.
November 26th, 2013 in
When you own a computer/laptop, you need to make updates to the software on a regular basis. Software and hardware needs update installation in order to protect it from new viruses, spyware and compatible with any other new driver detective software that you may install. Updating new drivers and software can actually be quite simple by following just a few simple instructions.
Automatic software updates
Before you start checking other websites, your computer can actually check for new updates and drivers that it needs. If your computer is running Windows as its operating system, usually programs such as Windows Defender that runs in the background will notify you when new updates need to be installed.
Hardware driver updates
For your hardware devices such as mouse, keyboard, webcam or any other ones, you can click on “devices and printers” in your start menu to update drivers. Right click the device that you would like to check and select “properties”. Then click on the “hardware” tab in the small window that pops up. Then click on “properties” again. Then select the “driver” tab. If the driver needs to be updated, then you will be able to select, “update driver.” If you aren’t able to select it, then the driver is currently up to date. You can follow these same steps for all of the devices on your computer. This is the best and most simple way to make updates on your computer.
Check online and update manually
If you are unable to update your computer drivers automatically, you can also update them manually. You can search for your device by typing in the series and model and then place “driver” after it. Try using search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing to find websites that have drivers for the devices you need. Sometimes, Microsoft.com also has drivers for various hardware and software for your computer too.
How often should you check for updates?
It is a good idea to scan for updates every few months. This can help make sure that all of your hardware and software is connecting properly with your computer. Without the right drivers, none of them will connect with your computer. This goes the same with your virus/spy-ware software too. Virus and software should probably be updated every couple weeks or at least once a month. In the “technical world,” things are constantly changing, and it’s best to always stay on top of everything.
November 26th, 2013 in
Ever noticed that when you are looking up something online, later on you start getting advertisements for the same product or service you were looking at? These may appear in the spaces around your email, or even on your social media websites. This is a form of Adware. Advertisers use your internet searches to target you for their websites, even if you didn’t look at their sites specifically. From there, they can start sending you advertisements for their particular products and services, phishing for your business.
There are basically three types of Adware. If you buy software, these software companies may include embedded advertisements. Usually, these are designed to try to get you to buy more products from them, based on the type of product you bought. For example, let’s say you bought a new graphics card for your computer. This product would include the drivers and other software for installing and getting your card up and running. The software may also include advertisements for ‘better’ graphic cards, or new sound cards, etc., to try to get more money from you.
Another type of Adware is the type of Adware that piggy backs search engine results, like those mentioned at the beginning of this article. These advertisements aren’t really something you can do much about, other than just not clicking on the particular link, especially if you aren’t familiar with the site. Eventually, they go away.
The last type of Adware is especially dangerous. This adware is linked to Spyware, designed to phish for your vital information. If you click on one of these ‘ads,’ the spying program it is linked to now has access to your computer, inserting viruses, Trojans, and other malicious software. Once attached to your computer, it can gather all sorts of personal information. These can include but are not limited to recording your passwords, getting your personal account information for your bank, or credit cards, etc. They can tap into your social media websites and track your friends and family. With this information, they can access your accounts, steal money from you, or even steal your identity.
Luckily, these days most Spyhunter 4 antivirus software is sophisticated enough to eliminate these problems. However, it is important to understand these pirates are constantly updating their tactics, trying to stay one step ahead of antivirus software. To make sure your computer is safe, you need to update your antivirus programs on a regular basis. You can adjust your updates from the settings tab on your antivirus software, more here: http://spyhunterexposed.com .
November 25th, 2013 in
Installing programs on your computer is all well and good, but what do you do if you need to uninstall something? There are many different reasons for needing to do so, of course. For example, perhaps a program you used once is no longer necessary, or maybe it has been replaced by a newer version. There are so many possibilities, as you well know, and with that being the case, you need to find a way to get rid of the program without damaging your computer. For this, you will need to get rid of the program as well as the registry entry.
What is a Registry Entry?
Picture a room full of items whether they be books, toys, or potted plants. Then say you have a card catalogue that lists every item in the room, as well as its location. This would be the registry, and using it will help you to find items in the room more quickly. Suppose however that an item has been removed from the room, but not from the registry. In this case, it will be much harder for you to find other items. This is why you need to remove old, defunct registry entries! The same goes for your computer as it keeps a reference for every program you install. This makes it easier for the computer to determine which programs are and are not there.
How to Properly Uninstall a Program
Programs like Perfect Uninstaller serve to provide you with a solid method for uninstalling your software. You will obviously find that there are programs within Windows designed to remove programs, but not all of them do the complete job. Once the folder is removed and the program wiped from your hard drive, it will be important for you to make sure any related subfolders are removed along with it, and that the registry entries in question are removed. Once you do so, you will find that your computer runs much smoother.
Uninstall programs like Perfect Uninstaller come with cleanup programs that will aid in keeping your computer under control. Before you uninstall anything from your machine, make sure you are aware of the consequences, and know what you will need to do in order to get the job done. It’s a pretty simple process so long as you pay adequate attention and know what you are up against!
November 25th, 2013 in