Final Step: Check Your Work!
When you finish your driver updates, and particularly if some kind of error sends you haring off after newer drivers on your own, you need to check your work:
- Open the Windows Device Manager. For quickest access, type devmgmt.msc into the Start menu's search box (or navigate there through the Control Panel).
- Make sure that your newly installed driver shows a more recent (or different) date from its predecessor. If so, you're on the right track.
- Run your favorite driver scanner to see whether it has anything to say about the driver you just installed. With luck, it will report the new driver as current, and your work will be over!
If you run into any problems, or you've lost access to a device following a driver update, try the Roll Back Driver button on the Driver pane in the Device Manager properties window for any affected devices. In most cases, you'll be able to get back to where you started with a minimum of muss or fuss. If your machine won't boot, or your display doesn't work, use F8 on a reboot to start your machine in Safe Mode, and start attempting repairs.
Ed Tittel is a long-time networking professional who's best known for creating the Exam Cram series of IT certification preparation books. He also blogs on enterprise Windows desktop and IT career development topics for TechTarget and for PearsonITCertification.com. Check out his various Windows 7 "Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks" blogs in the Windows7View silo at edtittel.com.