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Windows 7 - How to Find Missing Drivers Using the Device Manager

The Device Manager is an essential component of Windows which has been around in one form or another since the earliest editions of the operating system. Hence the name of the component, it is where you can manage each hardware device on your computer. It's the tool which you can use for installing drivers, dealing with driver-related problems or even just for checking out the specifications of a particular device. If there are any problems with one of your hardware components, the Device Manager is typically the first place which you should turn to for looking for a solution.

The quickest way to start the Device Manager is simply by typing "device" in the start menu search box and pressing "Enter" to open the first search result. You can also find the Device Manager in the control panel or by right-clicking on "Computer" in the start menu and clicking "Manage." Note that you will either need to be logged in as an administrator or have the administrator password in order to use the Device Manager, install drivers or modify other key system settings.

If there is an issue with any of the hardware installed on your computer, it should appear here. Problematic devices are automatically highlighted by way of an overlay icon and the device category will also be expanded. If you see a small red icon, it means that there's a problem with the hardware component. A yellow icon with an explanation mark means that no drivers are installed while a white icon means that the device has been intentionally disabled.

If you see a device with a yellow icon over it, then you'll need to install a compatible driver for it. To do this, right-click on the problematic device and click "Update Driver Software." You should choose the first option to allow Windows to search for a driver automatically before trying anything else. Windows will look online for an updated driver and, if it finds one, install it automatically. It will also search your computer for drivers. If it can't find anything, then you'll have to find, download and install the driver yourself. The best place to start is by typing in the name of the device into Google and getting the latest driver from the manufacturer's website. You should then install the driver from its setup program.


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