Troubleshooting device driver issues

Troubleshooting device driver issues

Often when you connect any external device on your computer you might receive error messages indicating driver corruption or it might go unrecognized by your computer. In such instances the problem can be traced back to incorrectly installed device drivers. The Device Manager in Windows is the one that will report about the devices that are not working correctly. However, many of these problems can be solved just by updating or reinstalling the drivers in the Device Manager. This page provides an overview of the troubleshooting steps to resolve driver issues.

Step 1: Open the Device Manager

For this, just go to Start - > Control Panel -> System and Security - > Device Manager (located under Devices and Printers option)

Step 2: Find out the troublesome device and driver:

If there is any problem with the device, then it will be listed in the hardware tree. The device will be accompanied with symbol that indicates the type of problem or issue:

  • A black exclamation point (!) on a yellow field indicates the device is in a problem state but will still be functioning. (It’s just like a warning message)
  • Red "X" with the device will indicate a disabled device. A disabled device is a device that is physically present in the computer and is consuming resources, but does not have a protected-mode driver loaded.
  • Blue "i" on a white field on a device resource indicates that the “Use automatic settings” feature on your device is not selected for the device and that the resource was manually selected. (Note: This does not indicate any problem or disabled state of the device.)
  • Green question mark "?" in Device Manager indicates that a compatible driver for this device is installed, but all of the functionality may not be available. (Note: This applies only to Windows Millennium Edition (Me).)

Step 3:  Fixing the driver issues

In case you find any of the devices which illustrate the corrupt or outdated drivers (most commonly devices with Red X and black ! symbol) then just right click on it and open Properties tab, here you will find a property sheet that has General tab, a Resources tab, Driver tab and Settings tab, or some combination of these.

At the top of the property sheet, you can find the description and the details of the device. When you click on the Resources tab, it indicates the resource types available for the selected device. Then just press the “Driver” tab. Here you will find all the details about the driver of that particular device. It even offers options to resolve the issues, depending on the situation use any of these:

  • Update Driver: In case your drivers are outdated and are not compatible with the current OS version installed on your system then just press on this option. This will download and update your drivers to the latest version.
  • Rollback Driver: With this feature you can reverse the consequences of installation of an invalid, incorrect, or corrupted device driver and restore the previously installed driver.
  • Disable: First disable your device by clicking on this option and enable it again. This will resolve any errors with the device or the connectivity.
  • Uninstall drivers: If the drivers are severely corrupt or damaged then just click on this option to uninstall the driver. Then download the latest driver for that device from the device manufacturer’s site and reinstall it.

After performing any of these options Restart your computer else the solutions will not be saved on your computer. Then repeat the process for other device that is corrupt or needs to be fixed. Hence, with these steps all your device driver issues will be fixed successfully.

One has to be very much careful while troubleshooting the drivers. Moreover, this procedure is quite time-consuming and a lengthy process, hence you will have to wait for some time.  It’s also a troublesome process; you will have to do this for all the devices that shows corrupt or need updating. Instead you can make use of the Remo Driver Discover tool that can easily detects all driver issues, updates and fixes the entire device driver related problems in just one click. The tool supports wide range of devices and all their available brands.

Troubleshooting device driver issues was last modified: December 5th, 2013 by Tony Landry

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