Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I will reinstall windows 7 on my toshiba machine and I wonder if I need to do anything special for my drivers.

Does windows (or windows update) take care of them?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It depends. Windows comes with lots of drivers, but if the system is very new, then Windows may not have the necessary drivers. If your network card is not recognized you will not have internet access until you install those drivers manually. So having the network card drivers, in particular, on hand prior to beginning the reinstall is very important.

It's always a good idea to have a USB thumbdrive or CD with at least the Network and Mainboard drivers on it prior to beginning the reinstall. That way you can at least get back online and then download any other missing drivers through Windows Update or from the manufacturer website.

UPDATES: Here's the step-by-step:

Step 1: Go to the Toshiba website and find where you download drivers for your specific computer. There should be an auto-detect function there to make it easy to find your specific computer.

Step 2: Download the Network Card, Wireless Card, and Mainboard drivers and save them to a thumbdrive or burn them to a CD.

Step 3: Reinstall your operating system.

Step 4: Check if you have internet access. Keep this information for step 6.

Step 5: Find if you're missing any drivers by going to the Device Manager.

Step 6: If you have internet, go to the Toshiba website again and download any drivers that you're missing. If you do not have internet, use the drivers you saved earlier to install your network cards and mainboard drivers. Then go back to Step 5.

Step 7: Install all missing drivers. Then install additional applications you want/need.

UPDATE: On that site use the "Refine Search By" drop downs to select LAN, WiFi, and Chipset in turn. Check the name of your specific device and compare it with the downloads labeled "Driver" on the site.

share|improve this answer
thanks man! my model is Toshiba Portage R835. Where should I find the all the list of the Network and Mainboard drivers for my computer? can you help me with that? – tugberk Jan 13 '12 at 16:15
@tugberk Always go to the manufacturer's website for drivers. In this case Toshiba. Select your Windows 7 architecture (32bit/64bit) and category. – user111228 Jan 13 '12 at 16:40
ok, thanks! so finding driver software seems not to be a problem but will windows detect the missing drivers? I mean let's say I reinstall the windows and go to disk management, will I see the drivers there so that I can track which one is missing? – tugberk Jan 13 '12 at 16:55
ow, sorry I wanted to write device manager. I came up with wrong as disk manager. So, now I get a full screen shot of all the devices under device manager before I reinstall the windows. I think, that would give me all the driver names? – tugberk Jan 13 '12 at 17:06
hmm, good idea. I won't have an internet access, right? would you like to chat a little. I would appreciate that:… – tugberk Jan 13 '12 at 17:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.