Driver Installation

Finally booting into Windows may feel like a bit of a homecoming. For a new builder, the process of just getting the system built and configured can be hours – and that desktop screen feels relieving. It’s a reminder that, “hey, everything is working!”

That’s a good reminder.

Configuring PC Hardware Drivers

But we’re not done yet. The next step in the process is to configure our drivers. Drivers are the means through which computer hardware interfaces with the operating system. Without up-to-date drivers, performance will be limited, some components may not even work or be detected, and resolutions will not be fully populated.

The disc included with your motherboard will include most the necessary drivers. We’d recommend going straight to the motherboard manufacturer’s website to grab the most recent drivers, but that can be a challenge if the LAN drivers aren’t yet working. Windows will do its best to sort network connectivity; however, if Windows fails at finding a driver that gets you online, the included disc would offer an avenue to get those LAN drivers.

Without an optical drive, the best ways to go about getting a LAN driver are:

  • Download to USB key on a functional computer/laptop, then use the USB key to install the drivers.
  • Copy/paste the CD’s LAN drivers to a USB key (using a laptop or system with an optical drive), then install the drivers from the key.

Once that’s sorted, navigate to the manufacturer’s website and grab the chipset drivers (applies to AMD and Intel), management engine drivers (if present – mostly for Intel), SATA/storage drivers, USB3.0 drivers, audio drivers, and anything else relevant on the page. Watch out for bloatware and unnecessary software.

Finally, head over to the AMD or nVidia website for your video drivers. Be sure to keep video card drivers up-to-date, as optimizations are released fore very major game launch.

You can wait to restart until all drivers are installed. Definitely give the system restart after that’s all complete. Once you boot back in, you may want to reboot a second time – this will normally trigger Windows updates, which are critical for security.

Removing Video Card Drivers

Should the video card drivers prove buggy or need replacement in the future – maybe you’ve changed video cards – we strongly recommend blasting the drivers completely. Video drivers can be finicky with card swapping or driver uninstalls through Windows. Grab Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) from Wagnard Mobile, Launch the tool and select Safe Mode, then remove & restart. This will eliminate all trace of the current video drivers, allowing for a clean update (in the event that updating is failing) or clean uninstall for the next video card.

Video card drivers should be uninstalled and installed fresh for any GPU change, even if it is within the same family. – Steve Burke, GamersNexus