How to Repair a Driver Problem in a Laptop (9 Steps)

by Ty Arthur

Drivers are a type of software that informs your operating system how to interact with specific hardware components, such as a printer or monitor. If you install a new hardware component on your laptop, it might not work properly if you have not installed the latest version of the driver software. Use the operating system's update feature to locate and install the correct driver.

Windows Vista

Step 1

Open "Start" and click "All Programs." Select "Windows Update." Type in your account password if the operating system prompts you for it.

Step 2

Click the "Check For Updates" link. Select "View Available Updates" and check to see if any drivers are listed for your laptop. Click the specific driver you want to update.

Step 3

Click "Install." Restart the laptop after the installation finishes and see if the driver problem is resolved. Return to the "Start" menu and click "Control Panel" if the problem persists.

Step 4

Select "System and Maintenance." Click the "Update Device Driver" link underneath the "Device Manager" heading.

Find the specific device that isn't working properly in the list of available devices. Right-click the device and choose "Update Device Driver."

Windows XP

Step 1

Right-click the "My Computer" icon on the desktop. Click "Manage," then select "Device Manager."

Step 2

Scroll through the list of hardware devices being used by your laptop. Find the specific device that is having a driver problem.

Step 3

Right-click the name of the device and choose "Properties." Navigate to the "Driver" tab.

Click "Update Driver." Select "OK" to repair the driver problem.


  • In some instances your operating system might not be able to automatically locate the latest device driver. Navigate to the computer manufacturer's website or a third-party driver location website. Click the "Drivers" option, then locate the most recent driver for your specific hardware component.


  • If your laptop is running an operating system other than Windows Vista or Windows XP you might need to select different options to repair the driver problem.
  • You can only access the "Windows Update" feature if you are logged into an administrative account.


About the Author

Ty Arthur has been writing technical and entertainment-related articles for a variety of online sources since 2008. His articles have appeared on and many other websites. Arthur attended the Great Falls College of Technology and studied both computer science and creative writing.

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