Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Ive got a dell vostro laptop that was offered to me some time ago. I decided to format it and since its a relatively new model i didnt think about saving/checking drivers beforehand.

Ive installed win7 pro and let it update everything online but i still cant install its companion video card (is supposed to be an ATI card) it only lists the intel hd 3000, which dell itself says its used for less powerful needs. At the ATI page ive tried to install the driver detector but it says no ATI product installed. Dell hasnt made a Vostro 3350 with only one video card (at least to my best knowledge) and on device manager it reports problems only for bluetooth devices. I guess my question is, does anyone have the correct driver for me?

share|improve this question
    
Have you verified it has an additional video card? If Device manager isn't picking up the card (and it's 100% there) you have a faulty card. –  HaydnWVN Aug 3 '12 at 11:25

1 Answer 1

Ok. First, I need to make the disclaimer that I only have what you put in the question to work with. This means that if it actually turns out that you did things OTHER than what you said you did... it is not my fault that I did not know this information ahead of time. As much as we would love to assume people have performed certain steps, or that they know crucial bits of information.... not everyone has or does.

That said. Are you aware of the Dell Support site? More importantly, are you aware that you can go to the Dell support site, and you can click on Drivers and Downloads, enter the service tag (on a sticker on the bottom of the laptop) and get right to a Driver download page for that model?

You can also just search by model, and get there... as I did here. Now, you left out the detail as to whether you installed Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit. Does it really make a difference? Apparently not in this case, as the ATI Mobility driver installation file is the same regardless. Of course, I don't know which you have, and it seems that Dell released that model over time... one with a 6000 series, and one with a 7000 series...

So, this is the AMD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6470 driver download page for your model.

And here is the Dell ATI Mobility Radeon HD 7450M/7650M driver download page for your model.

Of course, rather than just downloading the one for your laptop from one of those two links, I would actually use the service tag on your laptop to bring you to the specific driver download page (as I mentioned above), and you should choose your exact version of Windows from the pulldown menu on the page before you go to the Video section at the bottom and download the appropriate ATI drivers.

You might ask why Windows didn't just grab the appropriate drivers all on it's own with an update? Well... for two reasons. For one, it isn't Window's responsibility to maintain an up to date database of all hardware drivers. That's why manufacturers like Dell provide support sites like this. For another, your AMD/ATI video chipset isn't active when you are in Windows. The Intel integrated chipset is active. Windows doesn't detect anything but the Intel chipset, because that is all that is being used. ATI doesn't detect that the card is present, because for all intents and purposes... it isn't. It is only used and present when there is a demand (like a game). The Dell driver installation program takes this into account, and puts everything into place.

As you already know.... next time, take the hardware drivers into account before you reinstall. But then again... you really just need to remember the Dell Support page (or whatever manufacturer product page for whatever computer you are dealing with).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

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.