Background on Drivers
Drivers are essentially programs that control your computer's hardware. They are generally a tricky thing to deal with because every computer of a different model has a unique set of hardware and therefore a unique set of drivers. This guide will cover the best ways to find and install those drivers to ensure that your computer works properly.
Installing your drivers
1. If you can connect to the internet, run Windows Update until there are no more updates available.
2. Right-click "My Computer" and select "Manage".
3. Select "Device Manager" in the sidebar. In here you probably have a number of "unknown" devices. These are the devices that you need drivers for if you want them to work properly, but there will be others you will want to install too. You can learn more about these devices by right-clicking them and selecting properties.
4. Ensure that your computer can connect to the internet. If it cannot, use another computer for these next steps and download the drivers to a flash drive.
5. Find the model number for your computer (should be on a sticker on the outside of your computer).
6. Go to the drivers section of your manufacturer's website and enter your model.
7. You are now going to download your drivers. First you need to get the drivers for the hardware that is showing up as unknown in your device manager (step 2). For instance, if you have an unknown Wi-Fi card/adapter, download the latest driver for it under the "network" section.
8. Next you want to download the latest drivers for other essential hardware on your computer. These usually include audio, video, and network, but there will usually be others you want. Some websites will give you priority levels for specific drivers that are very helpful. Dell has optional, recommended, and urgent. You want to download at the very least every "urgent" driver.
9. Finally you want to obtain drivers for all your peripherals (webcams, wireless adapters, third-party mice/keyboards). If you have CD's that came with the hardware, use those to install the drivers. If not, you can find the drivers on their respective websites.
10. Install all the drivers and restart your computer. Repeat step 1.