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My Dell Inspiron N5010 laptop is a little under a year old now. It came with Windows 7 x64. When I first bought it Windows Aero was working fine. Anyway, it got infected with trillions of viruses (almost literally) throughout the year, many of which I was unable to remove without damaging boot files. So I decided to reinstall Windows.

I mistakenly installed a 32-bit copy, and when Windows started, the resolution was very small by default. I can change the resolution, but every time I start it the resolution is wrong again. Also, if I select an Aero theme, it just doesn't do anything. So I installed a 64-bit copy and the same issue is present. I can't imagine what the problem is since it was working correctly when I initially purchased it. Can someone help me?

In addition to that I'm also unable to find any networks without an ethernet cable, even though I always had wireless capabilities before. Is the malware still affecting it somehow?


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Do you have the video and wireless drivers installed? – Renan May 1 '12 at 0:34
When you install a new operating system, you need to install any hardware drivers that the operating system does not already include. Most likely, you need to install proprietary video and network adapter drivers. If you go to Dell's support/download website, you can get downloads for your model of computer. – iglvzx May 1 '12 at 0:34
See: | Drivers and Downloads – iglvzx May 1 '12 at 0:40
up vote 4 down vote accepted

When you install a new operating system (OS), you need to install any hardware drivers that the OS did not already include. Running Windows Update may download and install some missing drivers provided by Microsoft partners, but in most cases you will need to find them yourself.

The first stop on your drivers quest should be your computer manufacturer's support website. This section will typically be titled with the word "Downloads" and/or "Drivers". You can then enter your computer's model and operating system to find a list of drivers for the hardware you may have. You may also find any additional software (bells and whistles) that would be included on a pre-built computer.

In your case, you can go to and navigate through:

  • Technical Support
  • Home Users
  • Drivers and Downloads
  • Choose from a list of Dell products
  • Laptops
  • Inspiron
  • Inspiron 15 Intel (N5010)

If the drivers provided by your computer manufacturer are outdated or do not work for individual hardware, then the next stop is to go to the manufacturer's support website for each piece of hardware as needed. For example, Intel, NVIDIA, Realtek, etc.

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Thank you so much. I would have been totally lost. – Anthony May 1 '12 at 7:26

Just to shoot this one out there, the instillation of Windows 7 x86 as opposed to x64 shouldn't make a big difference in what drivers you get on an instillation. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

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Microsoft says that 32-bit drivers won't work on 64-bit Windows:… – iglvzx May 1 '12 at 21:31
However, the drivers included on Windows 7 64-bit should reflect those included on Windows 7 32-bit, as you've mentioned. – iglvzx May 1 '12 at 21:44
In the situation that is described, the user installing x86 Win7 on a machine that previously had x64 - I suppose this could cause some driver problems? I figured other than the obvious issues with RAM size, 64 bit and 32 bit would be nearly identical. I will have to look at the differences more so I understand better. – Stephen R May 2 '12 at 16:30

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