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How to find the correct driver.

This Tutorial addresses:
Let's start with the How Not To!

Most sites that appear on a Net search for a driver will try to con you into paying a fee or, what could cost more, persuade you to let it have access to your system. You don't know what else they could be taking while they're in there so use the information you already have to track the right driver and the safest place from which to download it. That's invariably the manufacturer's own website.

That information is to be found in the Properties of the device in question unde the Details tab so go into Control Panel then straight to Device Manager if you're working in Windows Vista, 7 or 8. In XP go into System, then click the Hardware tab then the Device Manager button.

Find the device in the list - it has a driver problem so it probably stands out from the rest with a yellow question or exclamation mark beside it. Right click it and select the Properties option then click the Details tab. In the header box of the centre pane, scroll to HardwareIDs then take a note of the four characters which follow VEN for Vendor and the four after DEV for Device.

In your computer, or another if you have connectivity problems, go to http://www.pcidatabase.com and input those details in the relevant boxes and you will see the list of all the relevant manufacturer's products but sadly, they aren't in order. Use Internet Explorer's Edit menu then Find to type in the DEVice ID and the search will find the correct entry. Follow or copy and paste the link to the site for the correct driver and download it.

With luck, you may have an executeable file on which you can click and start the installation process. If it's a ZIP file, create a new folder and point to that for the extraction process to target. Then you have a Setup file - click that and off you go.

You can by-pass this procedure if you have certain manufacturers' equipment. For example, Dell PCs and laptops come with a Service Tag reference printed on the case. Some Sony Vaio models have the same. Your country's local website for that company will have an input box for that reference and will then take you straight to the specific equipment they put in your computer.

Happy hunting - the correct driver for you is out there - somewhere safe.
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