Windows 7 Drivers

Windows 7 drivers are needed for the hardware in a computer to function. Drivers, or device drivers, enable the operating system to communicate with all devices.

Although many users have upgraded to Windows 10, there are also still a lot of computers that are running Windows 7. Reasons might be personal preference, software compatibility, or hardware restrictions.

Windows 7 included drivers

With the evolution of Windows versions, Microsoft has added support for more hardware with each version of Windows. As a result, Windows 7 supports a lot of hardware directly.

Even if devices are not immediately recognized in Windows 7, it is often possible to get Windows 7 drivers by running Windows Update.

But even after running Windows Update, there still may be unsupported devices in Windows 7. Some devices do not have Microsoft-certified drivers and as a result, are not included in the Microsoft update catalog. Microsoft refers to tested and signed drivers as WHQL drivers. This means Windows Hardware Quality Labs, a set of tests and certification for hardware drivers.

Important to keep in mind with Windows 7 drivers is that Microsoft has stopped adding Windows 7 drivers. So support for newer hardware might be limited if available.

Where to find Windows 7 Drivers

So what if you are left with devices that are not recognized or not working in Windows 7? Where do you find the required drivers?

The first place to look is the support site for the computer brand. Check PC your brand and model at the back or bottom of your PC. In general, there is a label with detailed information.

You can also type “msinfo32” at the Run option in the Start menu to get the system details.

Windows 7 System Information

The System Information tool will show the system manufacturer, system model, and architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).

Using this information it is possible to check for Windows 7 drivers on the manufacturer’s website.

If Windows 7 drivers are not available, you can also try Windows Vista drivers, as they are often compatible.

The benefit of this method is that manufacturers offer full installers for the Windows 7 drivers, including any required, or recommended extra software. Although the extra software is not always required, it can offer options to tweak, or enable, device features.

If the PC manufacturer does not offer Windows 7 drivers for your computer, the next step is to check the device manufacturer’s website (e.g. Intel, Realtek, Nvidia). If you know the details for the hardware component, you can check for Windows 7 drivers there.

Cannot find the Windows 7 driver

Still cannot find a driver for Windows 7 for your device? As mentioned before, check if Vista (or even Windows 8) drivers are available. It is possible these work on Windows 7 as well.

If no drivers are available, the next step is to search for Windows 7 drivers based on the hardware ID (or compatible hardware ID) of the devices. These are unique identifiers for each device.

Use the Device Manager to check the Properties of a device using the Details tab.

Windows 7 Drivers - hardware ID

With this information, you can try and find a driver online. In this case, you are looking for a Windows 7 driver that is not necessarily from the same computer manufacturer. For example, Dell might offer Windows 7 support for a device that is not supported by Lenovo.

Always be careful to only download drivers from reputable sources. There are many sites that include extra software or links in driver downloads.

Use DriverFinder to find Windows 7 drivers

If manual searching for a Windows 7 driver is not giving any results, you can try DriverFinder. DriverFinder is a program that does the searching for you. Using the computer, device, and Windows version information, the program locates drivers for your devices.

The benefit of using DriverFinder is that it uses a proprietary repository of drivers. Driver and device information from Microsoft and most PC and hardware manufacturers is included to find the right driver for your Windows 7 PC.

And unlike many other solutions, DriverFinder provides full installers when available (not stripped down driver with essential files only – INF, SYS, and CAT files).

To try it, download DriverFinder and install the program.

How to Control Driver Installation in Windows 7

People who have used Windows a bit longer are familiar with the concept of hardware and device drivers. Device drivers are critical software components that make sure your computer can communicate with all hardware devices.

As an example, without a printer driver,  your printer and computer cannot relate to each other and thus, you cannot print anything.

Now, by default, Windows supports a lot of hardware, but not ALL hardware. A lot of drivers are available for Windows XP, and the same is true for Windows Vista. Windows 7 now claims to support even more hardware by default, but that does not mean things will always work with the default drivers.

Controlling how devices are installed in Windows 7 can help solve driver problems. Instead of using the default drivers, you can instruct Windows 7 to handle device installation in a less automated way, giving you control about the specific driver to install.

Basically, you want to tell Windows 7 which drivers to use specifically and not just any ‘default driver’.

Firstly, open the Control Panel, and then select View devices and printers under the heading Hardware and Sound.

Now right-click your computer icon and in the pop-up menu, select Device installation settings, as shown below.

device driver installation

This will bring up the Device Installations Settings dialog box, which controls how the drivers from Windows Update are used on your Windows 7 computer.

Assuming you want to disable the use of drivers from Windows Update, change the default section from Yes, do this automatically (recommended) to No, let me choose what to do.

Next, select Never install driver software from Windows Update.

install device driver

Click Save Changes to save the new settings.

Do keep in mind that this should only be used if the driver that is installed by Windows Update is giving you problems and you want to manually install a different driver. Good luck!

>>> Download Windows 7 Drivers

DriverFinder Support for Windows 7

In keeping with its goal of always providing the best for its clients, DriverFinder is Windows® 7 compatible.

windows 7San Francisco, CA – December 3, 2009 — DriverFinder, the fastest, safest, and easiest way to update your device drivers, is Windows® 7 compatible.

People who want to upgrade to the latest Windows® 7 operating system, can do so knowing that they can easily find compatible drivers using DriverFinder. Further, the program can be used on both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

The 64-bit architecture allows users to address and use over 4GB of RAM (memory) in Windows®. With memory becoming cheaper and cheaper, more computers come with larger amounts of memory. As a result, 64-bit versions of Windows® 7 come pre-installed.

In the past, 64-bit versions of drivers have always been problematic due to limited use of these architectures in Windows® XP and Vista. Since Windows® 7 seems to be more easily adopted by users, hardware manufacturers are expected to provide more 64-bit driver versions.

And as such, you need a driver update utility such as DriverFinder to detect and find those 64-bit drivers for you.

Here are the other operating systems supported by DriverFinder:
Windows 2000, Windows XP (32- and 64-bit) and Windows Vista (32- and 64-bit).

About DriverFinderPro.com
DriverFinderPro.com is the official website of DriverFinder.
DriverFinder is a product of DeskToolsSoft.

About DeskToolsSoft, Inc.
Although launched officially in 2009, DeskToolsSoft is backed by almost 20 years of experience in the IT industry. The company was established with one aim: to provide desktop utilities that do exactly what ‘it says on the box’; namely, to optimize computers on various, specific levels so that users get the most performance out of their machines. The DeskToolsSoft goal is not only to produce software to help clients with system maintenance but to produce software that UPLIFTS their computing experience.

Contact:
media (at) desktoolssoft (dot) com

Windows 7 Driver Compatibility

When you choose to run the new Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, you can very well run into some compatibility problems. And this does not only apply to programs or applications installed on your PC, but to incompatible hardware devices as well.

Windows 7 supports more devices by default than Windows Vista, but not all manufacturers have teamed up with Microsoft to include their drivers with Windows 7.

Furthermore, hardware manufacturers often only update their drivers if they have new or recently released hardware. If THEIR hardware is the same, then they may feel no need to update their drivers because you have decided to upgrade your operating system to Windows 7.

As a result, a device installation may fail in Windows 7 as shown below.

failed-driver-installation

In the Windows 7 Device Manager, the devices will be listed under the Other devices category.

windows-7-device-manager

So what do you do if you upgraded to Windows 7 and are now encountering driver incompatibility issues?

1) You can contact the hardware manufacturer and find out if they have a Windows 7 driver, or if they even plan to create one for your device! You can check the device properties for the hardware id to contact the manufacturer.

driver-hardware-id

2) You can try a Vista driver for the device. It is said that Vista drivers will work in Windows 7. The technical architecture for both these Windows versions is very similar, so some Vista drivers MAY be used in Windows 7. You simply have to give this solution a try to see if it works I’m afraid.

3) Hell, why not try a Windows XP driver while you’re at it. Even a Windows XP driver can be tried under Windows 7. Especially for ‘simple’ hardware (many USB devices), this can work. If the driver is not accepted, try running the device driver installer in the Windows XP compatibility mode.

Now… if there really are no drivers for Windows 7, nor compatible older drivers and the hardware vendor indicates that they will not be created, I’m afraid it’s the end of the road for alternative solutions. You really need to replace the hardware with a Windows 7 compatible version.

Windows 7: Should you go for 32-bit or 64-bit?

When you upgrade to Windows 7, you have the choice between a 32-bit and 64-bit version. You may be tempted to go for the 64-bit version due to the increased RAM available but note that more drivers may be available or compatible with the 32-bit version!

Even in Vista, the 64-bit version has always struggled with device driver availability for many types of devices. So if you have a choice, consider your computer hardware before deciding. Checking in advance can save you a lot of headaches. Remember, 32-bit drivers CANNOT be used in 64-bit versions.

One of the reasons drivers for 64-bit versions are not always available is that all kernel mode drivers need to be signed. Unsigned drivers are not accepted. For mode details on driver signing, visit the Microsoft website.

Resources for Windows 7 Compatibility

The Microsoft Windows 7 Compatibility Center is the first place to look to check if your device is really compatible with Windows 7, or not.

For specific hardware compatibility questions, you can also try the Microsoft forum.

Many hardware and computer manufacturers have their own information on whether or not their devices are compatible with Windows 7. Check the manufacturer’s websites for details.

>>> Download Windows 7 Drivers