How to install Drivers
A lot of users install their drivers incorrectly by using a driver installer tool or Windows Update. Do not use any of these methods. Driver installer software in the best case scenario will install a faulty or outdated driver. Worst case scenario, it might break your Windows install and/or cause a BSOD . Windows Update is just inherently bad when it comes to updating drivers. It struggles to properly identify hardware and often installs older driver.
What drivers do you need?
In the installation tutorial, we mentioned that the absolute bare minimum of drivers is the network drivers. After installing Windows, you most likely only need drivers for whatever hardware is not working on your PC.
i.e if your Wi-Fi is working, but your Bluetooth and Audio don't work properly, you only need to download your Bluetooth and Audio drivers; there is (mostly) no point in downloading the Wi-Fi driver.
-If you are using an Intel CPU, make sure to install Dynamic Tuning Drivers.
-If you are using a laptop and have a dedicated NVIDIA or AMD GPU, make sure to also install your iGPU drivers; type in your CPU model and add iGPU drivers at the end on Google. You will not be able to adjust brightness nor screen refresh rate otherwise.
Locating your drivers
The best way to find the driver of non-functional hardware is to simple Google it. The general idea is that you should only download drivers from the official website of the hardware manufacturer.
On PC, most of the hardware modules are on the motherboard, so you need to just Google
<your motherboard model> drivers. There, open the link that takes you to the motherboard manufacturer's website. You might get a list of drivers directly, otherwise the drivers are usually under the Support section or a similar one. If you can't find it, look around on the website; you'll eventually find your drivers.
For example, if you have an ASUS PRIME H610M-K D4 motherboard.
First, you should Google
ASUS PRIME H610M-K D4 drivers.
There, let us say you choose the ASUS Global search result. So it brings up the motherboard webpage.
Now you look around and find a
Support page next to the
Tech Specs and
Review pages. Click the Support page.
There you can see a tab of the page called
Drivers & Utility. From now on, I think it is obvious. Click on that tab, select your OS, and download the drivers you need.
Another trick if you cannot find the drivers you need is to look around on a different version/language of the website. After googling, the first result will probably be the official website of the manufacturer in your region, in your language. Other top results usually include the global version of the website; look around on those too. I have seen a vendor where the hardware drivers were not available on the local region website, but they were present on the global version.
On a laptop, the steps are almost exactly the same. Since the laptop's motherboard does not have a name, you Google the laptop's model similarly to the motherboard example.
For other hardware that is not part of the motherboard, you should look up the manual of the hardware for a guide, or check the manufacturer's website for drivers if they do not work.
i.e an external controller, wheel or USB device.
These drivers should only come from the manufacturer's website, and it is either NVIDIA, AMD or Intel.
Go to the official NVIDIA website, click the
Drivers button on top top of the page. Select your GPU, and then the type of the driver (Game Ready or Studio Ready driver, read more here). After that click
Search and download the first option.
Go to the official AMD website, and down the page select your hardware, click
SUBMIT, download the driver compatible with your operating system.
- Given that you must know at least the name of your CPU, search for its specs.
- Open the result, which takes you to the ark.intel.com website.
- There on the left side of the page should be a menu option called Drivers and Software. It will take you directly to the graphical drivers. From here it should be trivial. Download and install.
If you cannot find your CPU on the ark website, you can go on a different method, but it is more "unstable", meaning this guide cannot take you through every step exactly:
- Find the
Processor Graphicssection on the specs page, there you can find out which integrated GPU you have. Take note of that or copy the name.
- Google the name of the iGPU, for example
Intel HD 630 drivers
- Open one of the Intel website in the search results, and sadly here is the part where this guide says that you need to find the driver on the Intel website on your own. It is because depending on the search engine and the iGPU, the search results can vary and there is not really one, clean method. Intel's website is so messy.
Installing the driver
This is the easiest part. If the driver is for the motherboard, it usually comes archived or compressed. Extract it, and find an executable file, usually called
setup, with the extensions
.msi. You just run it, and follow the on screen instructions.
Other hardware's drivers are often a standalone
.exe file. You just run those files, and follow the on screen instructions.
Continuing the PC motherboard example from the previous step, if you downloaded the audio driver, you need to first extract the zip file of the driver.
Then find and execute the
setup.exe. The installer wizard will walk you through the installation of the driver. After finishing, it usually offers to restart the PC.
Restart it. Or if the timing of the restart is not good for you, you can delay it, but do not forget to do it later, because until you restart, the hardware will not work.
When installing an NVIDIA driver, refer to the Post-Install guide for additional debloating and tweaking of the driver.
If the downloaded driver is not working try the following:
- Did you restart after installing the driver? If not, it probably will fix it.
- Try to find and install an older driver.
- Check out the last resort
A last resort
Again, USE THIS ONLY AS A LAST RESORT, if you really cannot find a properly working driver for your hardware. Do not jump to this option directly.
You can use Snappy Driver Installer Origin.
- Download SDIO from their website
- Extract the zip file
SDIO_auto.batand accept the license
- Once the Welcome window pop-ups, click on
Download Indexes Only
- Here, only select the drivers that you need and could not find in any previous tries
- Click on