If you are in need of a driver for your laptop, the best place to start is your laptop brand's support site. If we have forgotten any sites, PM a moderator and let us know. Furthermore, if you have any inquiries that cannot be answered, the support site is a good place to look for answers in knowledge bases and such, as well as contact information if you need to contact the manufacturer.
The following is a list of support sites for major laptop manufacturers:
This thread deals with questions about what to do in cases where you need to essentially reset your laptop to either a previous state or start anew. The following is a list of common procedures involved in restoring your laptop to either a previous state, reinstalling Windows, or accessing the recovery partition on your laptop. Remember, save for using Window’s system restore, the other options mentioned will completely wipe your computer of all files, including personal files like photos and music. Ensure that you have backed up all vital data before beginning any of these procedures.
Using Windows System Restore
Windows System Restore is a tool included on all versions of Windows starting with Windows ME. System Restore allows for the “rolling back” of the operating system’s vital files (i.e. system files, registry keys, etc…) to a previous date in cases of a system error. This option will not delete photos, documents, or music amongst other files. In order to use System Restore, you need to ensure that you have previously activated it and that Windows is creating a restore point from time to time. Usually Windows will create a restore every time a new critical update has been installed. To access and use System Restore, follow these instructions:
1. You need to have administrative privileges on your account.
2. Click on START, go to all programs, accessories, system tools, and finally System Restore.
3. Then click on the option in the right hand column that says “restore my computer to a previous time” and click next.
4. On the next page you will be asked to select a date to restore your computer to. I recommend find a date within the previous 2 weeks. Click next and Windows will restart. Hopefully, things will have been corrected.
In cases where you are unable to boot into Windows, you can also access System Restore from the recovery console that can be found either on the Windows installation CD or in the recovery partition.
If the System Restore option has not worked and all other methods have failed, it is probably time to re-install Windows. Again, re-installing windows will completely wipe out all personal files, so ensure that you have such files properly backed up.
First though, you’ll have to boot from either the recovery disc(s) that you created or from the discs that came with your computer.
After booting to the Windows disc, you will notice that there are a few options that do not involve re-installing Windows. Depending on your version of Windows, it may be worth a shot to try a Startup Repair or a System Restore (as previously mentioned- if you cannot boot into Windows) from the menu. Depending on the extent of the damage involved to Windows, such options may or may not work.
Accessing the Recovery Partition:
Today, most laptops and desktops from major manufacturers come with a recovery partition installed. This is why you were not provided with the recovery discs when you first bought your computer. Unless you have deleted the recovery partition or have replaced the hard drive, the recovery partition should be present on your computer. If this isn’t the case, you can call your PC’s manufacturer and see if they’ll send you the recovery discs. The recovery partition will reset your computer back to factory conditions, i.e. when you first got it and turned it on. This option will delete all personal files, so again, ensure that you have everything vital properly backed up.
The universal way to access your recovery partition is to simply hold down 0 (zero) and then power on your laptop of desktop. You will then either be given a few options (select the obvious option that will get you into the recovery partition) or be taken directly to the recovery partition.
Mobile CPU/GPU Performance Benchmarks
For those interested in the latest performance benchmarks of mobile CPU's and GPU's (as well as desktop models), NotebookCheck offers the best and most up to date benchmarks and analysis of the latest mobile hardware. Another popular site is CPUBenchmark.net, which utilizes Pass Mark software.