Monday, September 6, 2010

How to Install Drivers in Microsoft® Windows® on Dell Systems

Install Drivers in This Order in Windows

The drivers for your Dell computer can be installed from the ResourceCD/DVD or from the Dell Drivers and Downloads page.

Actual system configurations may vary. The list below is an overview of the correct order to install drivers on Dell desktop and laptop systems. After reinstalling the operating system, follow the order listed when reinstalling drivers. It is recommended that you print this list for referral when installing drivers.

Note:

To select the correct drivers, you need to know what components are installed on your computer. To find out what components are installed on your computer, refer to the Dell Knowledge Base Article: "How to Determine Which Components are in Your Computer" Article ID: 324898.

  1. Desktop System Software (DSS) or Notebook System Software (NSS) - A vital utility that provides critical updates and patches for the operating system. If you are reinstalling the operating system or updating all the computer’s drivers, it is imperative that this software be installed first. Currently, the DSS and NSS are not required for systems with Windows Vista installed. This is located under the System and Configuration Utilities Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

  2. Chipset - Helps Windows control system board components and controllers. This is located under the Chipset Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

  3. Video Adapter - Enhances video performance. This is located under the Video Adapter Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

  4. Network Interface Card (NIC) - Enhances the network controller for Internet or network access. This is located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

  5. Audio Adapter - Enables and enhances the audio controller. This is located under the Audio Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

  6. Modem - Allows dialup capability. This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

  7. Wireless Network Card - Enables and enhances the wireless network controller. This is located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

  8. Touchpad, Pointer, Trackstick, Mice, and Keyboards - Enhances the pointing device features. This is located under the Mouse & Keyboards Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

  9. Other Devices

    • Bluetooth® Module
      This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
    • Dell Wireless Mobile Broadband Cards
      This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
    • PCMCIA/Smartcard controller
      This is located under the Security Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

You can download the latest drivers for the list above from the Dell Drivers and Downloads page.  It is recommended that you print this driver order list before starting the download process on the Dell Drivers and Downloads page.

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