The Dell Support Drivers tutorial shows you how to use the Dell Computer Support web page to identify, download and extract the latest device drivers for your Dell computer.
The Dell Support Center Software Tool identifies, downloads and installs updated device drivers for you. However, some home computer users have reported difficulties in getting the tool to install or work properly.
Therefore, to keep your computer running smoothly, you need to manually keep your device drivers updated.
A device driver is a software application that allows your Microsoft Windows or alternative Operating System to talk with the Computer Hardware Components inside your computer.
Dell sound card drivers, laptop video card drivers and other hardware components all require device drivers to work properly.
Regularly updating device drivers is recommended for many reasons, including:
It is important to note that you don't have to update every single device driver on your computer. For example, updating drivers for your mouse, keyboard and monitor is unnecessary in most cases.
You want to avoid triggering any new computer problems by updating device drivers unnecessarily.
This section talks you through identifying whether you need to update device drivers for your Dell computer.
If the available device driver is a later version, or has a later release date than what is displayed in device manager, consider downloading and installing the updated driver.
Using this method, you also need to ensure the driver you are considering is for the correct hardware component version inside your computer.
Sometimes the same computer model is shipped with different versions of computer hardware components.
This is for several reasons, including the price of components, demand levels and the quality of existing components.
For example, two people could have the same computer model, but one has a Dell sound card, and another may have a Creative Labs sound card.
The Dell Support page offers both component versions. Compare the driver version and last updated date with what is currently installed on your machine.
Your final decision on whether to update depends on the level of importance Dell puts on the driver in question.
Urgent or Recommended levels of importance means download and install. All other levels of importance means it is up to you. I generally don't update drivers with other levels of importance.
The image below shows a device driver with a level of importance set to optional.
To download the latest version of the driver, Left-Click the Download File link.
The next part of the Dell support drivers tutorial provides information for using download lists.
An alternative way to download multiple driver packages is to use Download lists.
The final section of the Dell Support Drivers page will show you briefly how to extract and install your downloaded device drivers.
The downloaded device driver file is a compressed file containing all the files needed to install the driver. The first thing you need to do is extract these files.
As with all Microsoft Windows Operating Systems, there are several ways to extract compressed files. One of the easiest ways is to simply Double Left-Click the downloaded file.
Next step is to open your device manager, then the device you have updated drivers for. Left-Click the Update Driver... button and browse to the files you have just extracted.
For further instructions on this process, take a look at the Sound Card Not Working page.
There are no right or wrong answers here. You have choices, and you should go with the options you are most comfortable with.
To finish off, here are two additional links from the Dell Support Drivers web page to assist you with the Dell device driver process.