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A+ Certification : Operating Systems

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Device Driver Installation

Windows 98/2000/XP are Plug and Play compliant, and therefore most of the device drivers are installed automatically. 

Three frequently used means for installing device drivers is given below:

  1. Starting the computer. Whenever the computer is started, new devices are detected and their device drivers are automatically installed, if the system identifies the new hardware positively.

  2. Scanning for new hardware. Add/Remove Hardware wizard can be used to perform the hardware-detection process and desired device driver installation. To start Add/Remove Hardware wizard, go to Control Panel and click on Add/Remove Hardware icon.

  3. Manual installation. You can use the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard to specify the device you want to install, or you can right-click the .INF file that comes with the driver and choose Install.

You need administrative privileges to install device drivers.

If you want to update any existing device driver or un-install it, you can do so by using the Device Manager. 

To update a device driver:

1. Start Device Manager by typing 'Devmgmt.msc' in the Run dialog box.
2. Right-click the desired device and select Properties.
3. Click the 'Driver' tab and then click the Update Driver button.

To remove a device:

1. Start Device Manager by typing 'Devmgmt.msc' in the Run dialog box.
2. Right-click the desired device and select Properties.
3. Click the 'Driver' tab and then click Uninstall button

Note: Removing the device does not actually delete the device driver itself. What it does is remove references to the driver from the Registry so that the computer does not load the driver.

You can also start Device Manager using Administrative Tools in the Control Panel.

You can use the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard to specify the device you want to install, or you can right-click the .INF file that comes with the driver and choose Install.

The first place to search for a device driver software is the manufacturer's website. Note the make and model number of the hardware, and search for the matching software at the device manufacturer's website. For older devices, the manufacturer may have discontinued support. In such cases, you can go to one of the reputed third party driver software sites and download compatible driver software. However, please be cautioned that you need to be careful when downloading software from entrusted sources.

  1. http://www.drivershq.com/,

  2. http://www.driverguide.com/, etc. 

Driver signing ensures that the driver software has been certified by Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL). For example, Microsoft digitally signs all files and drivers on the Windows 2000 installation CD. 

If you need to download drivers from the Internet or get them from various hardware vendors, you can set how to deal with the unsigned driver software. 

To configure how these third-party drivers should be handled:

1. Open Control Panel.
2. Select the System Properties icon.
3. Switch to Hardware tab, and click the Driver Signing button.

A dialog box opens which has three checkboxes as shown below:

- Ignore, allows installing all files, regardless of the file signature
- Warn, displays a message to the user before installing an unsigned file (default)
- Block, restricts the installation of unsigned files

Check the required checkbox and hit OK.

Install Additional Windows components

       

You can add/remove Windows components by going to Control Panel | Add/Remove Programs and then selecting Add/Remove Windows Components. A screen as shown in the figure above appears (Windows 2000/XP). Select or de-select the Windows components that you require/do not require, and click Finish when prompted.

Determine if permissions are adequate for performing the task

 

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