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How do I Perform a Driver Scan?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are a number of different ways to perform a driver scan, and how you go about it typically depends a great deal on what exactly you are trying to achieve and update. You can search for and update individual drivers for specific products or hardware, depending on what you are having issues with, or you can perform a full-system driver scan that will allow you to update the drivers on multiple pieces of hardware at once. For the latter, you will likely need to choose a software program designed to scan your system for old or outdated drivers and find updated versions for them.

The precise way in which you can perform a driver scan depends a great deal upon what type of computer you are using, specifically the operating system (OS) type and version that is installed on your computer. Different versions of Windows®, for example, typically allow you to update your hardware and device drivers in different ways. For performing a driver scan on individual devices, you will need to access the device manager in Windows®.

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For most versions of Windows®, this can be done by going through the start menu and accessing the control panel. You will then want to select “System,” and go under the “Hardware” tab in that menu. From there you can access the device manager; you can also right-click your “My Computer” icon and select Properties, then access the Hardware tab and device manager within that menu. Within the device manager you are then able to select individual hardware and devices connected to your computer. You can then right-click those devices and look at the Properties of each device for more driver information, or select “Update Drivers” from the right-click options.

To perform a full-system driver scan and update any older drivers in one easy step, you will likely need to download or install a driver updating program. Many of these programs are available for sale, and some have shareware versions you can try out and demo, though they may require a purchase to actually download and install any found drivers. These programs will walk you through the fairly simple process of having it run a driver scan and will allow you to update your entire system rather quickly and easily.

Certain OS, however, do not require third-party programs to run this type of driver scan. If you are running a computer with the Mac OS, for example, then you can simply update your Mac OS and it will handle individual driver updates for your system. To do this, just access the “Apple” menu and select “Software Update.” You may also want to consider installing drivers from a compact disc (CD) that came with the product or device you have installed, as well as checking manufacturer websites for updated drivers for your devices.

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