How to Update a Video Card for Windows XP

by Gregory Hamel

Windows XP is the most widespread computer operating system, with many users upgrading to XP from older versions of Windows and others reverting to XP from Vista. Whether you are changing to windows XP from a different operating system, or you have been running XP for a while but have neglected to keep up-to-date system software, your graphics card will need updated drivers to function properly.


Search for a new video driver that is designed for your card model and Windows XP. If you have a brand-new video card, it will have an install CD with drivers. If you do not have a CD, search the website of your video-card maker for driver support. Nvidia and ATI are the two main video-card producers, and they constantly come out with new drivers for their hardware.


Download the driver. Video drivers typically range from 25MB to 120MB in size, so plan your time accordingly. A 56k modem will take a long time to download a driver.


Install the new driver. The driver download should come as an executable file that starts an auto installation process (or a zipped file that must be extracted to produce the executable file). Follow the instructions of the auto installer, then click "Finish."


Restart your computer.


Test the device. Try playing a game with 3D graphics if you have one available, to make sure the device is working properly. If you experience crashes after installing the new driver, look for a different driver; typically, crashes will occur when you are installing a driver that was modified by someone other than the card's manufacturer.


  • check If you have just purchased a new video card, it will come with drivers for Windows XP, but they will not necessarily be up to date. Checking for new drivers from time to time can ensure that you have the best available software for your card.

About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.

More Articles