How Do I Find What Drivers I Need?

By calebd18
Mar 15, 2005
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  1. Please bare with me as I try to be as descriptive as possible.

    I am having trouble with a computer at work that is used for health-related diagnostic testing (hearing tests). It is a portable unit that includes a computer, lcd screen, audiometer, video otoscope, etc. It was made in the late 1990's and runs Windows 98 SE.

    Recently the harddrive stopped working completely. The computer would not recognize it at all. We had to install a whole new harddrive. We have no backups, installation CDs, driver discs, etc. I have scrounged through practically every place imaginable. Now I have Windows 98 SE reloaded onto the computer with all the neccesary software to perform tests.

    The problem is that I do not have any drivers, NOR do I know what I need drivers for! The computer does not recognize any soundcard or video capture device. These two things are absolutely essenstial. Is there a way that I can find out exactly what is hooked up in my computer so that I can download the neccesary drivers/software? I have no documentation telling me exactly what is in the computer and it would be difficult to come by, as these are no longer made.

    Any information you can provide me with would be wonderful and apreciated so, so very much.

    Please keep in mind that I am only halfway computer literate, heh, especially when it comes to hardware.
  2. dopefisher

    dopefisher Newcomer, in training Posts: 540

    first, try windowsupdate.microsoft.com . that should automatically determine some of the drivers you need, if not all. after that, if things still don't work check back here.
  3. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 Newcomer, in training Posts: 495

    There is a program called Adia32 that will find drivers for you(well actually you will have to download them) check it out HERE

    click on computer summery then in the blue right click it take you to the drivers page of each peice of hardware you have..
  4. Technel

    Technel Newcomer, in training Posts: 28

    One thing to note about drivers from WindowsUpdate is that, from my experience, they tend to be somewhat out-of-date. It is best to try to get them from the manufactor before trying WindowsUpdate.

    Back to your question -- drivers allow the operating system to recognize and take advantage of your hardware. When I am looking for specific model numbers on the my computer, I always turn to a nifty little program called Belarc Advisor. It is free for personal use. Once you figure out who makes the hardware, do a web search and you should be able ot find the drivers on the manufactor's website.

    Good luck!
  5. gwhite

    gwhite Newcomer, in training Posts: 47

    If the computer is from dell, gateway, HP, Compaq you could look for serial numbers or service tag numbers / model and go to their website for drivers. If it isn't a "name brand" then I usually unplug the computer and open it up. Take out 1 card at a time and write down any names and model numbers you see then put it back. Do this with all the add in cards. Close up the computer and start it. Right click on my computer and go to the device manager and look for question marks. Also check the video display and see what its says. If you have specialized pci add in cards for hooking to medical equipment you will have to contact the makers of the equipment. You can google the makes on models and usually find drivers and information. Write back if you need more help.
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