A common cause of driver errors is missing drivers. If a driver is missing, you will not able to access the related hardware device. For instance, if your sound driver is missing, then you will not be able to access your sound card. You will receive an error whenever a program tries to access your sound card.
Unlike many other computer errors, driver errors occurring due to a missing driver are fairly easy to resolve. You can fix common driver errors using a reliable driver maintenance tool. You can read the Driver Finder review to learn how driver maintenance software quickly scans all the hardware devices installed on your computer and helps you install any missing driver.
You can also troubleshoot missing driver errors by manually installing the missing driver. The problem with manually installing a driver is that this method can be time consuming.
In case the driver that is missing was not integrated with your operating system, check to see if you have the driver CD with you. If you have the driver CD, insert the driver CD in your CD or DVD drive and install the missing driver from there.
If you don’t have the driver CD or you downloaded the driver from the internet, then visit the driver manufacturer’s website and download the required driver from there. Save the file on your desktop, and double-click it to install the missing driver.
In case the driver you require is not present on the manufacturer’s website, you can use your search engine to locate websites that are offering the driver you need as a free download. Just remember to scan the files before installing the driver to ensure that the downloaded driver is free of malware.
As you can see, locating and installing missing drivers manually can be tedious. Moreover, you run the risk of installing a rogue program, especially when you download the required driver from unsolicited websites. That is why we recommend that you use reliable driver maintenance software to fix missing driver errors.
Now that you understand how to fix missing driver errors manually, let’s see what other circumstances—in addition to a missing driver—can cause driver errors.
Driver errors can occur if your driver files are infected, if Windows files are outdated, or if the entries related to your drivers in the registry are missing or incorrect.
In case you are receiving driver errors even when the related driver is present on your computer, then you may use the following tips to fix the error.
First, scan your entire computer for infections. In case the scan results show the presence of malware, promptly delete them and restart your computer.
In case no malware was found, install the latest Windows updates and restart your computer. Next, check to see if the driver issue is resolved.
If the error persists, scan your registry for errors using a reliable and easy-to-use registry repair software.
Here is a great list started by Ed Bott, The Vista Master Driver List, where is he listing network drivers, sound drivers, system drivers, video drivers and more.
I?m trying to keep track of download locations for Vista-compatible drivers for common hardware types in a single location. To that end, I?ve set up the Vista Master Driver List page. The rules are as follows:
1. Only primary download locations (official sites run by hardware maker) are allowed. I don?t trust or recommend third-party sites that allow direct downloads of drivers.
2. Whenever possible, I?m linking to the information page or the search page rather than the driver file itself. Linking to the file runs the risk that you?ll grab the wrong driver, miss an update or a readme file, or bypass other important information that might be on the info page. Source: Vista drivers
Read a post on the Create Digital Music website that said MOTU has released some beta versions of Windows Vista drivers for their audio products. Jim Allchin describes the new audio features in Windows and people sound off on why BEOS is better with sound than Windows Vista.
Now, late yesterday ? and well over a month before the operating system is due to ship ? MOTU announced it was shipping a public beta version of its audio drivers. As far as I know, this is the first public driver support for audio interfaces on Vista. Congratulations, MOTU! (These drivers also feature enhancements for all versions of XP, so all Windows users, have at them).
As some readers reported, some existing XP drivers will run in the 32-bit release of Windows Vista. However, some drivers may not work at all or may suffer degraded performance, because of a whole range of issues. That means you?ll want to use Vista drivers if at all possible. Source: Create Digital Music
Lots of good audio info on that site, it is definitely one worth checking out if you are looking for audio related info on Windows Vista and Windows XP. An article they posted that talked about a Jim Allchin post really sparked some conversation comparing Vista to the Mac and BeOS,
It?s great to see Allchin, the man in charge of Microsoft?s OS division and a musician himself, so interested in audio features. Of these, the one I think you?ll definitely find useful is per-app mixing, if for no other reason than you?ll be able to easily mute other apps so you don?t interrupt gigs. (Fortunately, Microsoft reversed course and chose to allow you to disable the Windows startup sound planned for Vista, meaning the OS can be configured for completely silent running ? minus SONAR, Ableton, FL Studio, Max/MSP and your other music apps!) Source: Create Digital Music
Jim Allchin talked about some of the audio improvements in Windows Vista such as the Per-app mixer levels: A single menu lets you mix actual application levels in one, central location, accessible right from the system tray, Virtual surround, which Vista calls ?speaker fill?, but which nicely enough adapts to different speaker configurations, Headphone virtualization for creating surround-like space in headphones and the new Volume Mixer.
While we have made many improvements in Windows Media Center for Windows Vista, these new capabilities become really compelling with great support for high-end audio. So, in addition to making it easier to manage sound in the productivity scenarios, we have also introduced new audio functionality including features and performance that you typically get in a high-end audio/visual receiver, including Room Correction and Bass Management. Together, these new capabilities make Windows the platform for enjoying digital content — whether you are doing it on a laptop or desktop, in your living room or in your home theater. With these improvements, a PC running Windows Vista with the appropriate sound hardware is the best integrated source of high-end audio and visual content. Here?s why.
Have you ever been watching TV and suddenly an ad comes on that is much louder than the show you were watching? Or, have you ever been listening to the radio and then switched to a CD and had everything get much quieter? The reason for this is that while most audio devices allow you to control the volume of the source, they do not allow you to control its dynamic range. Additionally, most dynamic range solutions in use today aim to maintain a constant signal level, but what your ears perceive is loudness. So for Windows Vista, we added Loudness Equalization which uses an understanding of human hearing to reduce perceived volume differences. The result is that when you change audio sources, the level of loudness that you hear remains much more constant. Some receivers have this feature today, but if you make Windows Vista the source for your digital content in your living room or home theater, you will “just get it” in software, regardless of the capabilities of your A/V receiver. Source: Windows Vista Team Blog
Let?s hope his music background has really helped the audio in Windows Vista, here is an excerpt from MOTU talking about their new drivers.
Windows Vista, Microsoft’s highly anticipated next-generation operating system for the PC, is due to ship worldwide next month. In advance of Vista’s formal release, MOTU is now shipping a public beta release of Vista-compatible drivers for all MOTU Firewire, PCI and USB hardware interface products. Are you running Windows Vista already? If so, download the Vista public beta drivers at the link below that applies to you to run MOTU audio and MIDI hardware with your favorite Vista-compatible audio and MIDI software.
All current MOTU hardware products are supported, including Firewire and UltraFast USB2 audio/MIDI interfaces such as the UltraLite and 828mkII, PCI core systems such as the 2408mk3 and HD192, and all MOTU USB MIDI interfaces. Source: MOTU
Here is a document from Microsoft that describes the driver compatibility for Windows Vista.
In a post from Microsoft’s Jim Allchin, he compares the Windows Vista RTM and the Windows XP RTM, comparing the number of drivers released on the “final product”, 19,500 for Windows Vista and 10,000 for Windows XP, over 11,000 when Vista went to RTM and only 2,000 when XP went to RTM. Windows XP is one of the finest operating systems I have used, the only times I have had a system lock up is when installing a new driver, and usually going and grabbing the latest edition takes care of that little problem. XP is solid, if Vista is anywhere near as good as XP, I will be happy, although I’m sure I will end up cussing it occasionally, as problems with other software packages arise. I can see using XP well beyond the day Microsoft stops supporting it, because even if they do quit, or when they do quit updating it, with just a few precautions, I can see my kids running it on their computers for a long time.
While we worked hard to get a comprehensive set of drivers on the DVD prior to release-to-manufacturing (RTM), the magic of Windows Update and Automatic Updates makes this “frozen in time” distribution problem basically a non-issue. For Windows Vista we are excited to have over 19,500 device drivers on the Windows Vista DVD (in contrast to just 10,000 for Windows XP when it shipped). The number of device drivers is really a small way of looking at it, since each driver can usually support numerous actual different device models. Indeed, sometimes a single driver can support hundreds of different models, as often is the case with video drivers. But, what is even more significant is that at the RTM for Windows Vista, we already had an additional 11,700 device drivers on Windows Update compared to just 2,000 for Windows XP when it RTM?d in 2001. And while we will have significantly more drivers online by official availability, we will continue to add more drivers even after the launch. Because of the improvements in Automatic Updates for Windows Vista, users that choose the recommended setting for Automatic Updates will have the latest drivers installed and available when they add a new device.
While it may go without saying, I also recommend that you take the default setting for Automatic Updates when you setup Windows Vista so that you also get recommended updates. That’s the best option for getting the best experience in my view. Source: Windows Vista Team Blog
Of course you should always update when it asks, the only updates that piss me off are the ones that pop up and say they are rebooting unless you stop it, those can really screw you up, if you have unsaved documents open and it shuts down, you’re hosed.
I thought about making a separate post for this, but, nah. Saw a post on Robert McLaws Windows Now website, called The Worst Windows Vista Review Ever, so I assumed he was reviewing it, but he was referencing a post from PCWorld by Stephen Manes called Full Disclosure: Windows–New! Improved! Yada Yada Yada! with the tagline Every Microsoft upgrade sets a new standard–in hype.
Well, I will agree with Robert, this guy is already complaining about Windows Vista and all he has ever seen are videos, he has seen the demos and read the propaganda and first looks. Talking about how you will be tearing your hair out figuring out the new features, Yada, Yada, Yada, as he says in his title. I can understand being skeptic, but how can you complain about something you haven’t seen yet?
Less time “shutting down the PC”? To this day my XP machines often hang until I hold down the physical on/off switch awhile. A Windows that goes 90 days without a single crash? Yeah, right. Hey, XP won’t go even a month without a forced reboot to install security fixes!
Apart from Microsoft hype, one thing never changes when the latest version of Windows arrives: the time you have to waste coping with the peccadilloes of the new regime. Will the upgrade really deliver productivity increases that let you get that time back? Not bloody likely.
He most have done something to his copy of XP, as I never have trouble shutting down or rebooting or lockups at all, and I think most people are the same. Every pc in our house runs XP and we never have any trouble at all. Might be time for a reload Steve. I read some of his other posts, and all he does is complain about stuff, every post seemed negative. If he hates computers so much, maybe it’s time for a job change?
Oh, and another post by Robert says that Microsoft is giving Windows Vista beta testers free copies of the Business or Ultimate editions to “any invited technical beta tester who submitted a bug. Period.” So, if you submitted one bug, you get a free copy. Sounds pretty cool and much better than what the Office 2007 beta testers got, he said they got the shaft, so I don’t know if that means they got nothing or some other crap.
An exploit involving a wireless driver created by Broadcom Corp. that is built into millions of new laptops created by HP, Dell, Gateway and other computer makers as well as some devices made by Linksys and Zonet, has been released, it is for a specific version, but the writer says it could easily be modified to different versions from different manufacturers. The flaw could be used to take complete control of any vulnerable machine that is within a few hundred feet. This flaw is active on most of these machines because of the background checking it does for wireless networks, so even if it is not connected to a wireless network, it is vulnerable.
A security researcher has released a set of instructions for exploiting a security flaw in the wireless Internet devices built into millions of new laptops from HP, Dell, Gateway and other computer makers. An attacker could use the flaw to take complete control over any vulnerable machine located within a few hundred feet, so be forewarned that reading the rest of this post could make you awfully leery of that guy sitting in the corner booth at Starbucks gleefully clacking away on his laptop.
According to the latest addition to the Month of Kernel Bugs project, the vulnerability resides in a flawed device driver from Broadcom Corp. that is bundled with many different laptops and built in to some devices made by Linksys and Zonet. The flaw is exploitable on vulnerable Windows machines whether or not the machine is connected to a wireless network. In fact, it is the wireless card’s background scan for available wireless networks that apparently triggers the flaw. Source: Exploit Targets Widely Deployed Wireless Flaw from SecurityFix via Faill.com
Here is a quote from the original post and a link to it.
The Broadcom BCMWL5.SYS wireless device driver is vulnerable to a stack-based buffer overflow that can lead to arbitrary kernel-mode code execution. This particular vulnerability is caused by improper handling of 802.11 probe responses containing a long SSID field. The BCMWL5.SYS driver is bundled with new PCs from HP, Dell, Gateway, eMachines, and other computer manufacturers. Broadcom has released a fixed driver to their partners, which are in turn providing updates for the affected products. Linksys, Zonet, and other wireless card manufactures also provide devices that ship with this driver. Source: Broadcom Wireless Driver Probe Response SSID Overflow
This could be a SERIOUS problem in the future, some organizations use Dell exclusively for their laptops, if they don’t come up with an easy way to update these laptops to the latest driver, lots of people could be exploited. I can see a whole new crop of botnets springing from Internet cafes, and places that allow free wireless internet access. Someone setting outside with a better antenna could seriously take advantage of some organizations, this could get ugly. Ask your resellers about it now, not later, and get them working on an easy solution for you.
Update: George OU, who writes Real World IT blog at zdnet, has some more information and a fix posted using an updated Linksys driver. The exploit no longer functions with this driver, but they have only tested it on a couple devices, while it should on work on most, I would think, there is always a chance something could go wrong.
Yes this is an UGLY solution but it’s all we have at this point. Broadcom should have provided certified drivers to Microsoft for inclusion in Windows Update but they didn’t. But even then, Microsoft device driver updates are never pushed out as automatic critical updates and we all know that if it isn’t automatic and seamless it probably won’t get done. This is something Microsoft needs to address with the PC industry in general because driver exploits are becoming very common and very dangerous. Source: Real World IT
Security researcher HD Moore has released code that shows how attackers can exploit an unpatched flaw present in some Apple wireless drivers. Moore said he tested this on a 1.0Ghz PowerBook running Mac OS X 10.4.8 with the latest updates, and while Apple released updates to fix three other problems with these wireless drivers, this flaw is still unpatched.
“With all the hype and buzz about the now infamous Apple wireless device driver bugs (brought to attention at Black Hat, by Johnny Cache and David Maynor, covered up and FUD’ed by others), hopefully this will bring some light (better said, proof) about the existence of such flaws in the Airport device drivers,” said LMH (the alias of the hacker who runs the Kernelfun blog) — referring to an Apple wireless driver issue covered by Security Fix earlier this year (the links in the quote are his). Source: Security Fix
To see the exploit code and the release, click here Apple Airport 802.11 Probe Response Kernel Memory Corruption,
The Apple Airport driver provided with Orinoco-based Airport cards (1999-2003 PowerBooks, iMacs) is vulnerable to a remote memory corruption flaw. When the driver is placed into active scanning mode, a malformed probe response frame can be used to corrupt internal kernel structures, leading to arbitrary code execution. This vulnerability is triggered when a probe response frame is received that does not contain valid information element (IE) fields after the fixed-length header. The data following the fixed-length header is copied over internal kernel structures, resulting in memory operations being performed on attacker-controlled pointer values.
A spokesman from Apple had this to say,
We were recently made aware of this security issue in our first generation AirPort card, which has not shipped since October 2003. This issue affects a small percentage of previous generation AirPort enabled Macs and does not affect currently shipping or AirPort Extreme enabled Macs. We are currently investigating the issue.” Source: Security Fix
Fun, fun, fun.