How to Find & Replace Missing Windows XP Drivers

By Dustin Thornton

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Drivers allow your computer to communicate with installed hardware devices. If your computer is missing drivers, certain hardware components may not function properly. You can attain drivers from your Windows XP installation disk or directly from most computer manufacturer's website.

Step 1

Click "Start" and select "Control Panel." Double-click "System." Click the "Hardware" tab and click "Device Manager" to open up the Windows Device Manager.

Step 2

Scroll through the list and locate "Other Devices." Note that it will have a yellow question mark next to it.

Step 3

Click on the "Plus" sign next to "Other Devices" to expand the selection. Each device with missing drivers will have a yellow exclamation point next to it. Make a note of each device driver that is missing.

Step 4

Install the drivers automatically using your Windows XP system disk. Right-click the device and select "Update Driver." Select "No, not this time" and click "Next." Click "Install from a list or specific location" and click "Next." Click "Search for the best driver in these locations," place a check mark next to "Search removable media" and click "Next." Allow Windows to locate the correct driver and follow the prompts to install it. Skip this step if you do not have a Windows XP system disk or if it could not find the appropriate drivers.

Step 5

Open a Web browser and visit the website for your computer's manufacturer. Locate the "Drivers and Downloads" section and enter information about your computer. Click "Search." Note that some manufacturer's websites allow you to simply enter your serial number and the system will automatically locate the necessary drivers for your computer.

Step 6

Locate the driver category that best corresponds to the missing drivers on your computer. Locate the most recent driver package within the category.

Step 7

Download the necessary driver packages and save them to your desktop. Double click the driver package file and follow the prompts to install the driver. Repeat installation for each driver that you downloaded.

Step 8

Restart your computer. Open the Windows device manager up again and verify that there are no longer any yellow question marks or yellow exclamation points.