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After reinstalling Windows , your PC’s video card does not does it work more well? The sound card no longer gives hints of life? There is obviously something wrong with the drivers – most likely you haven’t installed the right drivers yet and therefore Windows doesn’t recognize components that now seem to have stopped working. To solve the problem you could rely on one of the programs for missing drivers , or rather, the operating system tools that can scan your computer and automatically download the drivers you need from the Internet. / p>

I know, this sounds like a very long and difficult operation, but in reality it is not. All you need is a few minutes of free time and a pinch of attention: just enough to put into practice the suggestions I am about to give you.

So, are you ready to go? Very well, let’s proceed: first we will see how to try the automatic download of the drivers using the tools included “as standard” in the operating system and, later, how to download the drivers “manually”, after identifying the brand and model of any unrecognized devices . Having said that, there is nothing left for me to do but wish you good reading and good luck for everything!


Missing driver programs: Windows

Before I explain how identify and download the missing Windows drivers using special software, I feel compelled to make a premise that I believe is nothing short of fundamental. Almost all software for finding drivers causes more problems than they can solve (especially if used by inexperienced users), as they carry bundled software or, worse still, presumed optimizers for memory, spyware, adware and, in general, programs that are anything but welcome.

For this reason, my advice is to use dedicated software only to “find” any unknown and non-working drivers and delegate the download of the same to the utilities integrated in Windows, or to the official software available on the websites of computer or peripheral manufacturers. Find everything explained below.

Finding drivers

Driver programs missing: Windows

The first thing to do to identify any drivers that do not work, are malfunctioning or, for some reason, are not present, is to consult the Device Manager . So, first of all, open the Start menu of the operating system (by clicking on the flag residing on the left of the taskbar), type the words device management in it and click on the first result received. On Windows 10 and Windows 11 , you can get the same result by right clicking on the Start button < / strong> and selecting Device manager from the menu that appears.

Now, if devices without drivers are connected to the computer, one or more items should appear in the list indicating the words Device not recognized , or other names accompanied by a red / yellow exclamation mark icon or a yellow question mark : if you see these elements, double-click on each of them, select the Details tab from the panel that appears on the screen and set the Properties drop-down menu to the Hardware ID option .

Following this operation, you should see a series of characters appearing inside the Value text box. incomprehensible: to locate the identification of the device and the manufacturer, locate and take note of the words VEN_xx and DEV_xx (eg. VEN_8086 and DEV_2806 ), which you see appear on the screen. Once this is done, all you have to do is Google the previously recovered data: with a bit of luck, you should see the brand and model appear. of the device without driver (or a clear reference to it) directly in the search results of “Big G”.

If in the list of devices connected to the computer there are no unrecognized devices , but the exclamation point still appears next to the name of any other device, it means that the related drivers are not installed correctly or no longer work: even in this case, you should proceed with a new installation of the same.

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Missing driver programs: Windows

If you then failed to identify the devices without drivers via Device Manager, you can try to deal with it using a hardware analysis program , which could be Speccy : it is a completely free software Use for personal and non-professional use, which allows you to trace the name of all peripherals connected to the computer (both internal and external) in a few seconds.

To download it, open this website , click on the Download Free Version , Free Download and Download buttons and wait for the program installation file is completely downloaded to the disk. When the download is complete, run the file obtained and click on the Yes , Install and Run Speccy buttons to start the program.

< p> By default, the Speccy language is set to English; to translate the software into Italian, open the menu View & gt; Options … placed at the top, select the Italian item from the Language drop-down menu and press the OK button to confirm the change .

If everything went smoothly, the program should analyze the computer and give you, after a few seconds, the name of all the peripherals connected to the computer: to display the brand and precise model of the elements belonging to each category (e.g. network cards, external USB devices, motherboard), which are essential to subsequently download the correct drivers, click on the respective names , residing in the left sidebar of the program.

Download the drivers

Missing driver programs: Windows

One having identified the problematic drivers , my advice is to try to download them, to start, directly from Windows Update . So, open the Windows Device Manager again as I showed you in the previous step of this chapter, right click on the name of the device marked with the attention symbol (the yellow / red exclamation point), select the Update driver item from the menu that appears and click on the option Automatically search for drivers , located in the screen that appears below.

Now, wait patiently for Windows to identify the most suitable drivers for your device and, if available, proceed with their installation; when prompted, restart your computer and that’s it. If the search is not successful, click on Search for updated drivers in Windows Update and press the Check for updates button, located in the settings screen that opens .

When the search is complete, if there are any updates for the device drivers, they will be listed among the optional updates; therefore, click on the View all optional updates item that appears in the Windows Update screen, expand the Driver Updates section by pressing the & gt; button and put the check mark next to any available item; if you wish, also select the updates dedicated to the other Windows components.

Finally, click on the Download and install button located at the bottom and, at the end of the procedure, restart your computer by pressing the appropriate button. To verify the correct installation of the drivers, reopen the Device Manager utility and check that there are no more unrecognized devices and / or with problematic drivers.

Programs for missing drivers

And if the missing or damaged drivers are not available even on Windows Update, you just have to try to download them directly from the website of the device manufacturer , precisely from the area dedicated to support and download : once you have identified the most suitable driver package for the problematic device, download it, start the file received and complete installation, following the simple procedure you see on the screen. Usually, this boils down to pressing the Yes / OK / Continue buttons several consecutive times and restarting your computer at the end of the procedure.

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If you just can’t find the section dedicated to drivers independently, try to search Google for phrases such as [manufacturer / brand and model of device] Windows driver and identify, among the various pages proposed, the website belonging to the device manufacturer. Please take care to download only and exclusively files and drivers from web pages of proven reliability and reliability: in fact, there are Internet sites containing clearly bogus drivers, designed exclusively to carry malware and other types of cyber threats on the computers of the unfortunate victims. Be careful.

If you are having difficulty completing the manual download of the drivers you need, please feel free to read my guide on how to install device drivers , in the which I have provided you with valuable information about the right procedures to get the right files, to be used to configure the most well-known categories of PC components: sound card , video card , motherboard , network card, printer and webcam .

Other programs to download missing drivers on Windows

Other programs to download missing drivers on Windows

One of the very few exceptions what I feel like doing, as regards the software capable of automatically picking up the peripheral drivers rica, concerns programs of this type distributed by manufacturers of pre-assembled desktop PCs and notebooks : they, in fact, allow you to retrieve and install the drivers of hardware devices that are part of the computer in complete autonomy, without having to manually download them from the Internet or having to use the appropriate recovery disk. To give you an example, the program dedicated to ASUS branded computers is called ASUS LiveUpdate ; that of Dell , on the other hand, is called SupportAssist and can be started directly from the manufacturer’s website.

Programs of this type are extremely functional when For example, the computer is formatted from scratch , reinstalling a fresh copy of the operating system from scratch , without using the specific recovery utilities. These programs are available exclusively on the website of the computer manufacturer , in the Support / Download section: you must first indicate the model of your computer in the appropriate field (if you do not know it, you can retrieve it using the Speccy software), access the section dedicated to drivers and proceed with the download of the dedicated program, using the appropriate link . Please be patient and avoid using the Google “shortcut” in such circumstances: you may find yourself downloading files that are not exactly legitimate and potentially harmful.

< / p>

Missing driver programs: macOS

Missing driver programs: macOS

And on Mac ? In the rare event that you find yourself with missing, outdated, or partially functional drivers, you must first look for any updates available through the operating system. To proceed, open System Preferences , by clicking on the gear icon located in the Dock , click on the icon Software update and then on the Advanced… button, located on the screen that appears.

To finish, put the check mark next to all the resident items in the next window (in particular the one relating to the installation of system data files and security updates ), click on the OK button and wait for macOS to check for available updates. If there are any, when the download is complete, click on the Install / Download and restart button and wait patiently for the process to be completed. More info here .

If the peripherals continue to show malfunctions or not be recognized, you can try to reset the NVRAM memory and / or the SMC system of the Mac and then check that all connected devices (internal and external) are working correctly. As a last resort, you can also try reinstalling a new copy of macOS (but leaving your personal data intact), in order to restore system files to their original versions: I know, that’s an operation drastic, but it is also often the one that turns out to be decisive!

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Salvatore Aranzulla


Salvatore Aranzulla

Salvatore Aranzulla is the most widely read blogger and IT popularizer in Italy. He is known for discovering vulnerabilities in Google’s sites and
Microsoft. He collaborates with computer magazines and edited the technological column of the newspaper Il Messaggero. He is the founder of, one of the
thirty most visited sites in Italy, in which he responds with simplicity to thousands of computer-related doubts. He has published for Mondadori and
Mondadori Informatica.

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