Archive for December, 2009

How to Install a Driver Update in Windows

Driver updates normally come as one, often big, single file. If the driver file has the extension “.exe”, that means the driver file is a self-installing driver file or a self-extracting driver file. Simply double-click the driver file to execute the driver installation process. Follow the instructions of the installation program to complete the hardware driver installation. A reboot might be required on the end of the driver installation.

In the case of a self-extracting driver file, executing the “.exe” file will result in the extraction of the compressed driver files. You often need to specify a destination for the driver file extraction. Once the files are extracted, you will see the driver files that are required to install the driver update.

However, if the driver update file has a “.zip” or “.rar” extension, you need to manually uncompress the driver files. Windows supports the “.zip” extension, but if required get a program like 7-Zip to uncompress the driver files.

Within the folder with the driver files, you would typically find a driver installation program. In most cases it will be called “setup.exe” or “install.exe”, but other program files with the “.exe” extension are also possible. Again, simply double-click these installer programs to install the hardware driver update. An installation wizard will guide you through the driver install process.

In the example below the “.exe” file is called “DPInst64.exe”.

install-drivers

Note: Make sure that you are logged in with Administrative rights when you want to install a driver in Windows Vista or Windows 7. Another option is to right-click the “.exe” file and in the popup menu, select Run as Administrator.

windows7-drivers

If there is no file with the “.exe” extension in the folder with driver files, you will need to manually install the driver update.

Installing Drivers in Vista and Windows 7

Open the Control Panel from the Windows Start menu. In the Control Panel, select Hardware and Sound. Next, select Device Manager. If the UAC message comes up, click the Continue button.

In the Device Manager, select the device for which you want to update the drivers. Right-click the device, and in the popup menu select Update Driver Software.

realtek-drivers

In the next screen, select Browse my computer for driver software. Click the Browse button, and select the location where you extracted the driver files.

After you selected the driver file location, click the Next button to update the drivers.

Installing Drivers in Windows XP

In Windows XP the steps to install a hardware driver update manually are almost the same, but the screens and selections differ a bit.

In the Start menu, select the Control Panel. Next, select Printers and Other Hardware. Next, select System in the left-hand panel (If you use the classic view, you can click System immediately).

In the System Properties window, select the Hardware tab. Next, click the Device Manager button.

device-manager

In the Device Manager, select the device for which you want to update the drivers. Right-click the device, and in the popup menu select Update Driver.

update-drivers

In the Hardware Update Wizard, select the option “No, not this time”, and click Next.

In the next screen, select “Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)”, and then click Next again.

Then select “Don’t search, I will choose the driver to install”, and click Next again. Now you need to select the hardware category to which your device belongs, and click Next. If you do not know the category, simply select the default Show All Devices.

In the next screen, select the Have Disk button.

hardware-update

The Hardware Update Wizard will now show an Install From Disk window, where you need to click the Browse button.

Using the file browser, you will now navigate to the location where you extracted the driver update files. The file browser will look for a file with the “.inf” extension.

inf-file

Once you have selected the file with the “.inf” extension, you click the Open button and the click the OK button. Windows will then show you the list of devices supported by the driver update, from which you need to select your device. Then click Next to proceed with the driver installation. When the driver installation is finished, click the Finish button.

AOpen Drivers

Originally established in 1996, AOpen is a global leading electronics manufacturer that specializes in computers and computer components. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, the company produces a rich line of products that range from motherboards to optical disk drives. As a subsidiary of Acer, it also manufactures a nice variety of input devices. The primary focus of AOpen focus is to deliver IT solutions based on energy-efficient standards.

AOpen is perhaps best known for its MoDT (Mobile on Desktop), which was first launched in 2004. MoDT is a solution that incorporates Intel’s Pentium M platform on traditional desktop motherboards. Since the Pentium 4 and several other NetBurst processors proved to be less energy efficient at this time, a number of manufacturers created desktop motherboards for the popular mobile Pentium M platform, with AOpen being one of the very first. AOpen MoDT modules offer all the functionality of traditional computers while consuming far less energy at a faction of the cost.

In the summer of 2007, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) laid out a challenge to PC manufacturers with stricter rules for achieving Energy Star qualification. The EPA has goals of attaining 40% compliancy by 2010 and 80% by 2014. While this is a demanding and time strenuous request, AOpen is more than up for the challenge.

From the same labs that birthed AOpen’s MoDT solutions in 2004, the company has stepped up into a leadership role, going above and beyond industry standards. The manufacturer is consistently scoring in high customer satisfaction, due in large part to its open architecture and open implementation development philosophies that place a strong emphasis on adaptability and compatibility. Going to great lengths to help its partners sustain business continuity, the company has a dedicated staff for upgrading and replacing parts as well as a team committed to the continuous evolution of AOpen MoDT systems.

Download AOpen Drivers

Alliance Semiconductor Corporation Drivers

Originally established in 1985, Alliance Semiconductor Corporation is a company that designs and manufactures memory and memory-intensive logic products. Alliance Semiconductor also spent a portion of their history selling video chipsets for personal computers. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Alliance Semiconductor has garnered a worldwide reach with state of the art design centers in Santa Clara as well as Bangalore and Hyderabad, India.

Over the years, Alliance Semiconductor has been able to remain afloat in the market with an extensive portfolio of products and significant market demand for their ProMotion line. The Alliance Semiconductor ProMotion product line consists of various types of RAM that include DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory), SRAM (Static Random Access Memory) and PSRAM (Pseudo SRAM) as well as embedded memory, Flash memory and logic solutions. The company no longer produces graphics controllers for video card and OEM computer system vendors, however, they have made a set of generic drivers available to the public, a move that was done to show courtesy to its loyal vendors. While these Alliance Semiconductor ProMotion drivers can be obtained from the company website, the manufacturer is reminding customers that the drivers are not updated or otherwise supported in anyway.

In the beginning of 2005, Alliance Semiconductor made it a priority to transition its focus from being a company targeting the semiconductor market and investing in emerging entities to one dedicated to maximizing return to its shareholders. Now focused on managing its short-term investments, Alliance states that the transformation is complete. Always utilizing the best business practices, in July 2007 the company paid out a special cash dividend of $3.75 per share to its shareholders along with an additional $0.25 per share in April of 2008. As of now, the Alliance Semiconductor Board of Directors is committed to evaluating a number of alternatives to better determine the company’s direction for the future.

Download Alliance Semiconductor Corporation Drivers

Albatron Drivers

Albatron is a company that specializes in embedded solutions for application and industrial PC components. Although the manufacturer became internationally known in 2002, the actual birth of this company dates back to 1984. Beginning as Chun Yun Electronics, the company primarily functioned as a display manufacturer, producing television sets, plasma displays, rear projection systems and wide-screen multimedia monitors. The changing of the name to Albatron signified the emergence of a new product line and direction.

In the beginning of 2002, Albatron formed a new IT products division and rolled out a whole new range of products. Its IT division is compromised of two teams: one dedicated to motherboards, the other focused on graphic cards. Albratron graphic cards have made significant gains in a highly competitive market, releasing 10 new high quality cards in the first half of 2002 alone. Note to be outdone was the Albatron motherboard team which launched 14 new models around the same time.

Fast growing success with its superior quality, high-end VGA cards resulted in a spin off in the new ABT subsidiary. This division is committed to delivering high-performance Albatron VGA cards with components of the highest quality for PC enthusiasts. Still in development, these cards are slated to offer far more than an overclocked NVIDIA reference card with the addition of a fancy fan. Dubbed as ABT Ultra Enthusiast, Albatron reports that the new cards will be custom designed from the ground up, featuring all new durable components coupled with a precision PCB design able to withstand the most demanding graphics applications.

Albatron continues to supply its global community of users with a full lineup of the latest AMD and Intel-based motherboards as well industry leading NVIDIA-based VGA cards. Innovation and quality products have allowed the company to enjoy continuous success in Australia, Japan, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The future roll out of the new Albratron VGA cards is one that will likely help the manufacturer seize significant market shares in other regions as well.

Download Albatron Drivers

Adaptec Drivers

Headquartered in Milpitas, California with several offices across the world, Adaptec is a computer hardware manufacture that specializes in host adapters for interconnecting computers and storage devices. With more than 26 years experience in the storage I/O marketplace, the company is a leading provider of storage hardware and software solutions. Adaptec products are designed to interface with USB, Firewire, FibreChannel, SCSI, iSCSI and Serial ATA as well as audio and video. Adaptec RAID controllers consist of an impressive lineup that provides customers with solutions to enhance performance, reliability and manageability in their IT environments.

Adaptec has been involved in many initiatives during its near three decade tenor. This includes the creation of the popular Easy CD Creator, a CD/DVD burning software package bundled with many earlier CD/DVD writers. Though the product is now obsolete, it is still supported by Roxio, an Adaptec spinoff. The company recently made significant waves in the SAN market with the introduction of its dedicated SAS-based stored appliance. This Adaptec RAID controller provides high-performance, cost-efficient, highly reliable storage for customers with mission-critical application servers. Always receiving industry recognition, Adaptec was honored in 2008 as InfoWorld named its Snap Server 720i with the highly coveted “Best Entry-Level SAN.”

A long-time leader in the data storage industry, Adaptec actively participates in a number of storage market organizations committed to setting new standards within the marketplace. Some of the most notable entities include the SATA-IO (Serial ATA International Organization) and the STA (SCSI Trade Association) among others. Adaptec is also a certified member of the Green Grid, a global consortium focused on enhancing energy efficiency in IT data centers and business computing ecosystems. When considering the success the company has achieved, one can only assume that Adaptec’s Green Power initiative will play a major role in reducing energy consumption in some of today’s major markets.

Download Adaptec Drivers