Join Jeff Van West for an in-depth discussion in this video Dealing with drivers, part of Windows Vista Essential Training.
Whenever you upgrade your operating system, one of the issues you have to deal with is dealing with drivers. So what's a driver? A driver is a tiny piece of software but it makes all the difference in your happiness because it's what allows the operating system like Windows Vista to communicate with your scanner, your printer, your camera, even inside your computer, the hard drives, the DVD burner, and so forth. When you've done the upgrade, hopefully all of the major components of your computer are working.
Those drivers are commonly stored with Vista, but a lot of times it's your older peripherals that are a problem. Or when you've bought a new computer with Windows Vista -- even more likely -- and you want to hook it up to your old printer or your old scanner. So how you deal with these drivers? Well, the first thing is, you hope for the best. I've got in my hands a little USB flash key. What I'm going to do is I'm going to plug it in into the computer and I'm going to hope that the flash key works with the computer. Let's see what happens. Okay, there was a little "bloop" sound and if you look down on the lower right over here, you'll see that item with the green ball bouncing around.
That is the Found New Hardware Wizard, and instead of just saying every single time, "I found new hardware," Vista will actually just try and make the hardware work, which is really what it should be doing anyway. And if it does, hey, it will go and try and open up your camera or scanner, or whatever it is. In this case it's a flash key with some files on it. And I can just hit Open, and boom. There are all the files that are on the card which is now drive G. And I can close that window out. That worked without any trouble whatsoever. Okay, cool.
What'll I do if something doesn't quite work? Let's try that. I'm going to plug in and old scanner. See what happens now. And right away, it says, "Windows needs to install driver software for your CanoScan." At this moment, I'm optimistic. Why? I'm optimistic because it says "CanoScan." That means at the very least, my scanner and Windows are talking to each other and it knows what kind of scanner this is even if it doesn't know how to talk to it. So let's locate and install the driver software.
Recommended, that's what we're going to do. These other items, by the way -- Ask me again later means I have the software probably to make this device work, but I haven't installed it yet. And I want you to just forget about the fact that I plugged it in. I didn't mean to plug it in yet. Let me go and install the software and then we'll go through this again. Hopefully when I plug it in, it'll be plug-and-play, automatically detected and work right away. This third message down here, Don't show me this again -- if you've got a device that's built in or hooked into your computer, and it's just not working and you keep getting this Found new hardware message, you can tell Windows to Ignore this device.
I don't really use it anymore. I can't uninstall it from my computer. I don't want you to tell me that I keep using it anymore. We're going to try and have Windows find the driver software. This is the administrator action so I'm going to go ahead and give the administrative password. You'll see in the stuff on User access control when you're first setting up your computer, I recommended that you take user access control and at least give yourself administrator privileges so you don't have to type in that password every time. Okay, Insert the disk that came with your CanoScan.
What does this mean? This means that it found the hardware, figured out what it is, and it's going to look for the appropriate drivers on the software that came with your scanner. Now, you bought the scanner five years ago, where is that CD? I haven't the foggiest idea where I put the disk for that. Come on, you gotta be kidding me. Well, you have some other options. So let's let Windows guide us to the other options. If we did have the disk, we actually were that organized, we could put it in now. Go ahead and install the appropriate software and Windows should actually search through the disk while we're doing that and find the driver.
Do you have to install the software? No, not necessarily. Windows can just search and try and find just the driver, but, and this is a big but, if you don't install all of the software, you may not have all of the features that you were used to with the scanner. And then the buts to the but is that if you install all the software, this scanner, in this case, might work. But some of the software that used to drive it might not. So be aware that there are always trade-offs along the way. But let's assume we don't even have the disk.
What are some other options? Windows is going to check for a solution for me. The other option is I can Browse my computer if I happen to know where the driver is physically located. If you're geeky enough to do that, you're probably geeky enough to skip this whole movie. So let's check for a solution. And we're going to check online. What Windows is doing now is it is going to Microsoft's website and looking for all of the drivers that Microsoft logs for all the different devices. Couldn't find it. So we Close.
And where does that leave us? It's a device that doesn't work and if we go down to our Found New Hardware Wizard, it tells us the device software was not successfully installed. I can click on that and you can see here is my USB card device. It actually did install something right there. Never even told me it was doing it. CanoScan, fail. Oh, dear. Well, don't give up hope yet. We're going to go to Canon's website and this happens to be usa.canon.com, but you just have to hunt for your own device. And now every website is different, but here we're going to go and we'll go to either Support or even better, downloads, Consumer downloads.
Let's click on that. How did I know to go here? Lots of practice installing drivers. Select a category. Scanners. Product Type. It's a CanoScan. And you're going to have to, you know, hunt on your own devices and try and find the right name. This one happens to be an N1240U. And if you know anything about scanners, you know, wow, that's an old scanner Jeff. Get yourself some new stuff. Just about every website will have Manuals and drivers/software. It might just say drivers.
Everything's a little different. You're going to have to hunt. Here's the driver and this is what we wanted to see. Make this window just a little bit bigger here. Drivers for Windows Vista. And we talked about Vista32 versus Vista64. One of the big issues with Vista64, 64- bit Vista, is that it requires something called signed drivers. Signed drivers are a little bit different in the sense that they have been sort of approved to a certain process by Microsoft.
I'm not going to get into all the details. What it means is that the driver's guaranteed to work. 64-bit Vista will not allow you to install unsigned drivers. 32-bit Vista will allow you, and a lot of the drivers that exist -- sort of extant -- will only work with 32-bit Vista. If you take a look here, the driver 7.0.3 .1 Windows Vista32, 126.96.36.199 Windows XP, and in fact, 2000 and Windows 98, they're all the same driver.
So it's the old driver from the probably that old CD you had when you got it with Windows XP. Is just happens to work under Windows Vista 32-bit, but it would work under 64-bit. Nonetheless we're going to download the Windows Vista driver and we're going to agree to anything here. Here's the license, scroll, scroll, scroll. Ahhh, there's the download. I'm going to click on the link. And we can go ahead and Save it. If we save it, it'll saved to our Downloads file. Or we can just go ahead and Run it. This will save it to a Temporary folder.
And then it's going to run which is what we want it to do because we want that driver software installed on our computer. And here, this file does not have a valid digital signature. This is not a signed program here. You're going to need a password. Here's User access control again. We'll talk about that in a later movie. Just going to put in the password. And it looks like, if you look down here on the taskbar, it's asking me to bring that to the front.
Windows self extractor. There we go. Now, this is something that comes up a lot in Windows Vista. Because this was an old executable, it was an old program, it's not sure whether it actually worked correctly. How do we know if it worked correctly or not? Well, we're going to have to try and find out. You can reinstall it if you want to or you can just bypass it. We hit Reinstall. I'll show you what happens. It's just going to go through the process again.
All right, it would go through Run. It's going to do the exact same thing again. Worked a little faster that time so maybe that'll work better. Nonetheless, we're going to give it a shot. We're going to go ahead and close this window. Minimize that window. Now, how do I get the piece of hardware I plugged in the scanner? How do I get it to recognize the scanner again? Windows Vista is a little bit smarter than XP here. Unplug the scanner.
I'm going to plug it back in. When I say plug and unplug, I'm just unplugging the USB port. And if you could hear that, that was my scanner in the background starting to move, churn, and chime. Oh, I'm feeling good about this. Let's go over to our little wizard here. It's finding it. And I'll just double-click. It says, "The software for this device has been successfully installed." Now later we'll have a movie on scanning, and we'll actually use that scanner that we just plugged in. But how do I know it's really installed and it's working? Well, the best way is to try it out, but I want to show you something called the Device manager.
Click on the Start menu, go to Computer, and right-click and you want Manage. You can also get to this through Control panels/ System and maintenance/ Additional options/ Hardware and sound. There it is. Device manager. And you can see down in Device manager Hardware and devices or Update device drivers. So, I'm going to go ahead and click one of those.
It says, "I do not have sufficient privileges because I need to be an administrator to install and uninstall." Here I go to Device manager, and if you look on all of these devices, Imaging devices/ CanoScan LiDE 30, that's my scanner. And you'll see that I've got a nice clean image here. So that's a way to know that it was in fact working. I'm going to go plug in another device before we leave this movie. All right.
And while I have the Device manager up, you can see Unknown device has appeared. Here's my Found New Hardware Wizard Now, I'm clicking on the Found New Hardware Wizard and now I'm not optimistic. Why? Because it doesn't say what this device is. It says, "Unknown device." This is not good. This happens to be a Logitech camera, a little webcam I have. And the camera is not being recognized at all by Windows, doesn't even know it's a camera. That's bad. I can click Ask me again later, try and go find the software.
I could try and have Windows find it. It's not going to be able to. I'll guarantee it right now. And one of the sad things here -- let me go to my Internet Explorer again. Here's Logitech. This is actually the camera. It in fact says, hey, "Windows Vista." There was a driver for it. I downloaded this driver. I installed this driver. It still doesn't recognize the camera. Just because it says that it has something that works, it doesn't guarantee it's going to work on every system.
And you just have to sort of take that into consideration that it may not work for your computer. If you can get the program to work or if you're having trouble with a particular device, you can see what's going on in that Device manager. And I'm going to close this one out again just for a second and go to my more favorite way of getting there -- and you'll see why in a second -- it's Start menu/Computer, right-click Manage. If I do it that way, I actually get an opportunity for administrator privileges which is what I want.
Here in the list of all Computer Management is Device manager. So here is all those items again. There's Unknown device. When I have that device and it doesn't have the right driver, I do have the option from right-clicking to do Update Driver Software. And here's the same kinds of deal that I had with the Found New Hardware Wizard. So even if I say, "Here, ask me again later," at any time if I'm able to find a driver that works, I can go to Computer Management/ Device manager and try and update the driver for that particular piece of hardware.
And if I finally find one that works through online bulletin boards or whatever it is, the device will finally work. There are still drivers that are being released as updates for Vista, so something that doesn't work today might work next week. You're just going to have to keep checking around for that. By the way, while we're here, just so you now, sometimes there are updates like automatic updates to drivers and you'll end up with getting an update and your piece of hardware ceases to function. You can deal with that in the same place. Find the piece of hardware that's not working anymore.
Let's say it was my scanner. Right-click and here we have, instead of Update Driver Software, I can Disable the device, Uninstall it, Scan for hardware changes. Scan for hardware changes would mean I can look if it thinks it's one device and I've actually replaced it with something else, I can have it search again and try and find new devices I put on my system here. But Properties is what I'm really shooting for. There's a tab for Driver and see this here, it says Roll Back Driver.
It's grayed out right now because there's only one driver installed for this, the one we just installed. Some software automatically updates itself. And like I said, if it does, and there's a problem, Windows will save the old version of the driver. If something ceases to work, this option may be available to you. Click Roll Back Driver and it will force Windows to go back one level in the driver history and the device might start working. Just a little tidbit on drivers.