Drivers are programs that hook directly into Windows and control the essential tasks of communicating your instructions to a hardware device and then relaying data back to you.
Windows Vista (and Windows 7) already includes a library of drivers, for components like sound cards, storage controllers, display adapters, etc as well as for external add-ons such as printers, keyboards, scanners, mice and other pointing devices, digital cameras, and removable storage devices. This core library is copied during Vista Setup to the protected system folder, C\ System32\ DriverStore. Incidentally, there are nearly 2.2 million Drivers are included in and for Vista.
To Know what hardware drivers are installed on your computer and to view their details :
Rt-click Computer > Manage > System Tools > Computer Management > Device Manager
Searching For And Updating Vista Drivers.
In Vista, the Device Manager is tied to the Update Driver Software Wizard, which in its turn is configured by default to search Windows Update. Plug and Play devices will launch the ‘Found New Hardware Wizard’. The prompts for ‘Searching Device Driver’, in Windows Update, can be limited from the Control Panel. Click Start > Control Panel > System Maintenance > System > Advanced system settings > select the Hardware tab >Windows Update Driver Settings. Here you can choose one of three options:
- Check for drivers automatically.
- Ask me each time I connect a new device before checking for drivers.
- Never check for drivers when I connect a device.
I usually stay online first, and then plug in the new hardware; and then I let Vista do the rest!
See, when you install a new Plug & Play compatible device, Vista checks the driver store first to see if an appropriate driver is available. If yes, installation proceeds immediately & automatically.
If Microsoft Update detects that you are using an older version of a particular Driver, it will immediately offer to update the driver with a compatible newer version..
If no compatible one is available, it will prompt you to search for driver software. Vista, will by default, install drivers from trusted publishers without prompts. In other cases, you will be presented with a consent dialog box.
And finally, if a signed, Vista compatible driver is not available for your device, you try to find and use a driver signed by WHQL, and originally written for Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Server 2003.
For information on How To Uninstall, Roll Back or Update Drivers, click HERE.
But I suggest you update drivers only if you are currently experiencing issue. If it aint broke, why fix it.
You can always update manually directly by visiting the mother sites. I’m therefore listing below some of the driver update sites.
Free Vista DriversBackup Your Drivers.DriverMax is a freeware program which allows you to easily reinstall all your Windows drivers. No more searching for your drivers on discs or on the web or inserting one installation CD after the other. Simply export all your current drivers (or just the ones that work OK) to a folder or a compressed file. After reinstalling Windows you will have everything in one place! One utility I find very useful!
Remove Unused Device Drivers From Windows.
Did you know that unless you uninstall a device driver on a Windows machine, that it still may be sucking up valuable system resources? In this TechRepublic Link are step-by-step instructions on how you can view and remove these unnecessary devices…”
You can also use shareware Driver Cleaner to achieve it. SlipStream Drivers into your Windows installation.
The DriverPacks BASE is an easy to use tool to slipstream the DriverPacks (huge collections of drivers of a specific category of devices such as Graphics or Sound) into your Windows installation files. It can be used in more than 15 languages and allows you to easily choose the slipstream options, as well as the options for the DriverPacks Finisher.
The DriverPacks Finisher will also be slipstreamed into your Windows installation files and will handle all exceptions (such as control panels for drivers) nicely. You can also choose to extend the default Windows driver library, so that you will never have to go and find drivers again.
DO VISIT THE WINDOWS CLUB