There is nothing worse than a ‘missing driver or unknown device’ error message on your computer. When this message appears it means that something is not functioning as it should do within your computer. You are therefore going to need to fix it as soon as you can!
On this page we want to run you through exactly how you can fix this problem and get your computer running again.
In order to know a little bit about how we can install the correct drivers it is probably worth thinking about what drivers are. To put it simply, these are small pieces of software which tell the Windows operating system what a device is supposed to do (a device could be your monitor, graphics card, sound card etc.).
If this driver is missing then your computer will not know what to do with a device and thus there will be a huge chance that it will function incorrectly!
There are many reasons as to why the ‘missing driver, unknown device’ message can appear. However, the most common reason is due to problems with the original driver that has been installed. As you know, software is prone to glitches. Drivers are no exception to this rule.
If the driver fails then something may trigger within the operating system and stop it recognizing the device all together. Thankfully, most device manufacturers are really on the ball when it comes to updating their device drivers. They will correct the problem with the driver and upload a new version online. The only problem is, you are not going to know that you need to look for a new device driver before it is too late!
In some cases the driver will be missing because the version that you have is not right for the operating system or perhaps because it did not install correctly to begin with. In most cases though, the problem can be fixed by using one of the two following methods. It is very rare that you are actually going to need to replace the device (although this does happen from time to time). Just use one of the following methods below and hopefully your computer will be running perfectly again in no time at all!
Obtaining the Correct Device Driver
Now, unlike finding other device drivers online, finding unknown ones is notoriously difficult. Obviously this is because in most cases you are not going to know what is actually causing the problem. You may have an inkling but if you have only just noticed the missing device driver then you probably will not know.
There are two different ways that you can search for device drivers. The first method is the ‘manual’ method and will involve you needing to know exactly what is causing the issue (quite a lot of information on the device in fact).
The second option is the ‘automatic’ method. We are going to cover both methods now. If you have little experience in computers or are unsure as to what is actually causing the issue then we suggest you opt for the second method highlighted here.
The Manual Method
As mentioned previously, this method is going to involve you knowing exactly what is causing the problem within your computer.
Important: If you do not know the exact device that is coming up as unknown then you are going to want to utilize the automatic method.
- The first step is to identify the exact model number of the device that is causing the issues. You will also want to know the brand name of the device as well. This information can be retrieved from the box that the device came in. We do not suggest that you try to look for the name anywhere else (including searching online) as there is a good chance that you can get it wrong! (many devices look exactly the same but function in a slightly different manner)
- The next step is to head online and find the driver for the device. There are plenty of websites out there that can help you with this. Our suggestion however is to head to the website of the manufacturer of the device. This way you can be sure that only the most up-to-date drivers are listed! Remember, you will want to ensure that you download the right ones for your operating system as well (this means that you need to know whether you have a 32-Bit or 64-Bit Windows Operating System)
- Once you have downloaded the drivers it is time to install them. If you are lucky then they will come in a .exe format which means you can simply boot them up and install them automatically. If they come in any other format (INF file for example) then you are going to need to go to your control panel > hardware and devices > system and then install them this way (there will be an option to install the right drivers under the device that is causing the issues)
Driver Turbo (The Easy Automatic Method)
We always suggest the automatic method. In fact, most experts will suggest it as well. This because if you get the manual method wrong (i.e. downloading the wrong device drivers) then you could end up messing up your computer! This is not something that you want to experience!
There are plenty of ways to find drivers automatically, however; the most effective program is Driver Turbo. This driver update utility will identify the exact device that is causing the issues. It will then search for the right driver for you and then easily install it.
Driver Turbo will always get the right device driver for your computer system. This whole process is completed within minutes. It also means that you do not need to worry about messing up your computer!