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Chapter 3. Where to Get Help > Finding Drivers and Software

Finding Drivers and Software

As you work with PCs, you'll hear a lot about drivers. It doesn't refer to someone who drives your computer for you. It refers to special software that is generally used to help Windows work with hardware, such as a graphics board, a sound card, or a modem. When you buy a PC, the drivers come preinstalled for all the hardware on the machine. When you buy a new device, the drivers are usually on the CD-ROM. Sometimes, however, you need to locate the drivers on the Internet. This is also the case when the manufacturer releases new, revised drivers or when you misplace or damage your CD-ROM. In almost every situation, you can find the drivers you need at the manufacturer's Web site. There is usually a search box on the Web site where you can enter the model number or name of the hardware. It may also ask you what operating system you're using, as there are often different drivers for different operating systems.

Upgrader's Tip

Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows XP has a feature that automatically updates drivers, even from companies other than Microsoft. You can access this feature from the Add/Remove Programs icon in the control panel. For more on this, see Windows Update in Chapter 31.



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