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Please help me with installing Dell device drivers after a reformat

By Kirei Blossom
Dec 28, 2011
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  1. Hi,

    I reformatted my Dell Inspiron 1440 laptop yesterday and did a clean install of the Vista Home Basic 64 bit OS. Next, I need to install the drivers, but I'm not sure which ones are already installed and which ones I need to install off the Drivers and Utilities CD or the Dell website.

    When I put in the Drivers and Utilities CD, it showed a list of drivers on the CD and tickmarks next to a few drivers which meant that it scanned these devices existed on my laptop. So I installed the three drivers which showed the tickmarks - ATI graphics, WLAN, and Bluetooth.

    The rest of the drivers don't have tickmarks on them. So I'm not sure if they match my laptop or not, and whether I should install or not. I mean, my little manual says I have IDT 92HD81 audio, but on the CD and website (under my service tag) it gives the number as IDT 92HD71B. Can I install this even though the number is different?

    Second question - do I need to install chipset, network, camera, touchpad, and other drivers too? How do I know what to install and whats already installed?

    Please help, I'm really confused.
  2. ron111

    ron111 TS Rookie Posts: 45

    Windows will install drivers for devices it supports by itself. So in addition you will need the drivers for the devices Windows Vista does not support, or for which the manufacturer has a better driver than the Vista driver.
    The easiest way to decide which ones are still required is to look at the device manager, and look for devices that show an error, or that are listed in the "Other devices" category.
    By checking the hardware ID or device description, you can determine which devices are involved.
    You can also use software, like a driver finder program, which scan your computer hardware and show drivers that are either missing or out-dated. Those programs are not free though. But you can at least run a free scan and see what is missing ;)
  3. Kirei Blossom

    Kirei Blossom TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 175

  4. ron111

    ron111 TS Rookie Posts: 45

    Hi Kirei,

    Yes that is definitely an option.
    The only downside to that is that you loose all installed programs and user data.
    If you have a data backup (or did a recent fresh install already), then there is no real problem. But you will need to install all applications again that you use which are not part of the original configuration.
  5. Kirei Blossom

    Kirei Blossom TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 175

    I actually did a reformat a few days ago, but then didn't install the chipset driver first and installed a few other drivers. Then I found out I was supposed to first install chipset. I've been thinking of doing another reformat to solve all problems.

    The thing was, I was having problems with hangups and I kept getting a message from Windows that ATI Graphics driver is causing a problem. I updated the driver from the Dell website, but it kept refusing to update for many tries. Finally, it worked, but I kept having problems.

    I did a reformat. Installed only ati video and WLAN drivers right now. (No chipset installed yet). Just now, I had another hang up, and I got the message that "ATI driver is causing problems".

    Do you think doing a Factory Restore could help solve this problem?
  6. ron111

    ron111 TS Rookie Posts: 45

    Kirei,

    Normally you would always install the chipset drivers first, simply because they ensure all devices on the motherboard are working and supported by the operating system. This can affect the operation of other hardware, so that's why it should be the first step.
    If you did a fresh install of Vista, did you also run all updates, including the service packs?
    That could cause instability if you did not.

    Having said all that, a factory reset is still a good idea in case the laptop was running without problems before. Just keep in mind that you need to be carefull with subsequent updates, since they might introduce the problem again...

    Btw, is your inspiron the model with the ATI X1400 video card? And did you try the drivers from the AMD site or only the Dell site?


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