How to Add New Hardware in Windows 7

By Martin Woodfield

Connect hardware to your computer and let Windows 7 download and install the software and drivers that are needed.
i computer image by martini from

In the past, new hardware drivers could be installed by way of the Windows "Add Hardware Wizard." But user errors and miscues prompted Microsoft to delete this manual wizard for Windows 7. Instead, automatic Windows-operated downloads for device recognition and driver downloads are now the standard. Some hardware will still require user installation, but most other installs are handled by the Windows automated system of downloads and installations.

Connect or confirm your connection to the Internet.

Connect the hardware device to your computer.

Wait for Windows 7 to automatically detect and identify the hardware and download the necessary driver.

Insert the software disc that came with your hardware, if Windows 7 was unable to download the driver and prompts you to insert the disc.

Follow the Windows prompts to complete the driver installation of the new hardware.