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What to Update
Drivers are just software programs that give instructions to such things as, your Modem, mouse, video card, sound card. As with any software now days, they are continually updating this software to either, fix bugs in the programs
or to improve the performance of a card or a program or to update your Virus protection and to work better with
Windows. Some Drivers require the latest version of Direct X installed on your machine, before you install the
new driver, they will tell you that and give you a link to the new Direct X required, sometimes, it will be on the install CD.
The Device Manager lists all of the hardware that needs drivers, link to a picture of it Device Manager
Some Software, have Live Updates built into the Programs, where it can automatically update itself, others, you need to know some information about the certain Hardware or Program, such as the Name and Version of the hardware and
or program. Generally if you Click the Help button in a Software Program and then click the About button, it will
give you the Version Number . You should look in your Computers Manual for Information also. For Hardware, check
the Properties of your hardware in the Device Manager(link to a picture
of it) go to Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Device Manager, also System Information, link to a picture of it picture
it is in Windows System Tool section, located in Accessories.
Once you have the Name and Version, you can go to their Web site and in the Support Section, you will find Patches, Updates and Driver Files. For instance I have a Nvidia Geforce 6600 AGP card in my Computer, The Company is Nvidia, so to update the drivers you would go to the web site nvidia.com and go to the Download Driver section, surprisingly it is listed on the main page, sometimes you have go to the support section, next you select the card you own, a lot of these companies like Nvidia, make drivers that work for a group of cards. Then all you do is use a window with selections, let say for my card I would pick, Graphics Driver/Geforce/Windows XP/click go and it takes me to the page with the latest driver release for my card, There is all the info you need on that page to download and install it. One thing to remember, is that before you install a new driver, you need to go to Add/Remove and remove the old drivers and software. The installation instructions are usually on that page or a link to them. If your computer runs perfectly, don't worry about updating the drivers, Gamers should, but if all you do is mail and surf, you shouldn't worry, unless you start having problems after you install some new software. I update everything, regularly, by doing that I rarely have any errors. I had 2 computers with Windows 98 running error free, for over 2 years, but I work at keeeping them updated lol.
As with Drivers, Programs are updated regularly to improve performance and to keep up with the updates Microsoft does to Windows. I think Updates are great, when I buy software and there are no updates that worries me, it makes
me wonder if the Company really cares about its product or are they just in it for the money or did they really
do it right the first time. Once you buy and install a program, go to the Manufactures site and search for the Program,
then the Update section or download section. Usually all you have to do is, download the patch or new version, Virus check it,
then unzip it and install it. Some programs have Live Update features right in their software programs, click a
button and it will search for the right update and install it for you. With Games, if you play online, the software
will be updated by the Web Site you use for Gaming. To find the Version of software you have, usually, if you go
to the Help-About section , it will give you the Version there. In Games, it is different, best is to check the
Manufactures Faq's page on where to find it.
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