I've been having problems for a few weeks with slowdowns, etc, and hadn't been able to figure out the problem. I figured I'd save myself some hassle and just reformat.
Unfortunately, it's something I'd never done before and I'm afraid I vastly overrated my ability to handle it. I did successfully reformat the computer, but now I can't get it to recognize any of my hardware (monitor, graphics card, etc etc - for example, the monitor is just listed as "Generic Plug and Play").
I've tried "Add New Hardware", etc, in the control panel, but it says no new hardware is detected. What should I do?
You need to download the drivers for the various devices. Either go to the individual device's manf. website to do this or if your PC is a branded one (HP, Dell) go to the brand's site. Obviously you need to know the model number of your PC and/or component.
I'm assuming that you don't have any CD's that came with your PC or device. You can find out which devices need driver in "Device Manager". Anything with an exclamation mark needs the driver.
Find out your motherboard model, video card (if you have one), and soundcard (if you have one). Go to each manufacturer's website and search for them. Go to the drivers download section and choose your operating system. Download all your drivers.
Once you have your drivers, go to the device manager, right click on each device with a yellow ! next to it and click 'update driver.' Point the device to the appropriate driver that you've downloaded.