I am in the process of reinstalling Windows 7 on an old laptop and after installation Im confronted with getting the required drivers in order for the laptop to work correctly (currently display is not working at full potential, wifi not working, keyboard hot keys dont work). I cant find the driver CDs for this laptop nor do the drivers provided by the laptop company(HP) on their website work (they get rejected saying this computer does not meet the minimum requirements). Therefore I was compelled to use a driver detection software like Driver Easy in order to get all the matching drivers downloaded.

My question is - how do driver detection software detect the required devices and download the necessary drivers ? How can I do this manually ? I mean if I can get to the point where I find that my wifi card is made by Atheros and the model number is ABC123, I could google for 'Atheros ABC123 wifi drivers' and get a link to website for the driver, can't I ?


Go to Start - Run and type devmgmt.msc . This will take you to Device Manager. Once you're there right click on the device you want to install drivers for and click Properties. Go to details tab on properties window and choose Hardware IDs from dropdown list. There you'll see several IDs which is used by 3rd party software to detect your devices and find drivers for them. You can copy that ID and search for it in a driver database (devid.info first comes to mind as a database). Once you find a matching driver you can download and install it.

  • thanks, the website you mentioned is helpful. I will give it a try on that. But rather than just going for device driver, I would like to find out the device manufacturer, model number etc, so that I can do a search for a possible 'driver setup/installation' for this device, which may include auxiliary software such as device control, device settings etc which I might not be getting if I jus copy some driver files off the internet. – OverTheEdge Dec 27 '16 at 6:14
  • devid.info displays the information you want too. Manufacturer, model, type etc. are all there. – conquistador Dec 27 '16 at 6:16

Drivers are usually installed automatically, windows will check to if it knows of any drivers for your system.

Sometimes the manufacturer may not have made this available - especially if as you've said, it's an old device.

If you do find the driver itself, which will be very hard to, you can manually install in "Device Manager" - you can also check the devices details here, like model number etc.

Most non-standard drivers are installed by a program created by the manufacturer, that will keep them up to date, the manufacturer may have software like this.

  • Care to tell me how I can get the device listing with manufacture and model number ? I mean before the driver is installed it shows as 'Standard VGA compatible graphics adapter' and after installation its renamed to 'Intel(R) HD Graphics 5500' or so. All I want is the latter, which then I can get the driver setup from Intel, rather than having to copy individual .cab files. I mean there can be several auxillary software coming in with a driver installation for a device such as equalizer and volume control for sound card, which Im not going to get if I jus install the driver file alone. – OverTheEdge Dec 27 '16 at 6:10
  • If you really can't find the model number etc, and don't want to use a generic driver installer, you could look for the laptop itself's model number and search for part online - unless you changed it, in that case you could open the bottom up and check the number. – Tobi Dec 27 '16 at 6:16

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