Many computers today have technology in them from Intel. In order for the operating system to do something useful with that technology, it requires a piece of software from Intel called a driver. This driver software simply provides communication between the operating system and the hardware technology.
When you purchase a brand new computer, typically the software drivers have already been installed and are working properly. If not, you return the computer to where you bought it from.
Over time, your computer may develop problems when interacting with newer versions of software applications or newer hardware devices added on to your computer. Because of these kinds of issues, you may be advised to update the software drivers on your computer.
Keeping your drivers up-to-date is generally a best-practice, as typically the newer versions solve issues which you may not even know you have. It’s not uncommon for computers to do weird things, at which point you simply reboot and the problem goes away. This could be an issue with a driver or some other system related software.
Windows Device Manager
For Windows users, there is an option in your control panel called “Device Manager”. Opening this option you can see all of the different devices attached to your computer.
For example, expand the “Network Adapters” node to see the different kinds of devices. If you right-click on one of them you’ll see a menu open up with the first option is to “Update Driver Software…”
Click on this option. The program will ask you if you want to “Search automatically for updated driver software” or to “Browse your computer for the driver software”. Usually the automatic option is the best choice, unless you know what you are doing.
Many times this process works and finds the newer drivers and updates your computer. Other times it does not, in which case you are advised to check with the manufacturer of the device. For devices from Intel, this process is almost as simple as using the Windows device manager option.
Intel Software Downloads and Drivers
Intel – Home Page Menu
Intel – Support Menu
The option we’re interested in is “Support”. Click on this option. Once the support menu has displayed, there are two options: The “Software Downloads and Drivers” image on the right side, and also on the far left is the menu option for “Get the latest drivers”.
Intel – Download Center
The next step, as Intel high-lights, is “Out with the old driver, In with the new”. There are two ways that this can be accomplished.
The first is to use the “Search for downloads” option. If you know the “Product Family”, “Product Line” and “Product Name” you can select these options and download the new driver.
Intel – Driver Update Utility
Intel – Install Browser Add-On
A warning will appear in your browser that this website is trying to install an add-on (I’m using Internet Explorer 8). Click on the warning message where it indicates to “click here”. Another menu will pop up and you will then need to click on the first option to “Install This Add-on for All Users on This Computer…”
Intel – Driver Update Utility, Refresh
Intel – Install the Driver Update Utility
This time the add-on will install the Driver Update Utility software on your computer which will scan for the Intel drivers being used. You need to click on the “Install” button for the process to continue.
Intel – Analyzing Computer
Intel – Automatically Identify and Find Drivers
Once the analysis has finished, you’ll be presented with a screen listing the Intel drivers found on your computer. If Intel has a newer version of the driver available, a message will display to the right indicating this.
Intel – New Driver Install
Click on the “Plus” button to expand the drivers which have new versions available. You’ll find a couple more options for each driver where you can see the “Detailed Driver Description & Driver Documentation” and also a button to simply “Download Now” the new driver and install it.