Right! So, after ages of saving, you’re finally there: you are just a step away from completing the “build your dream PC” journey. Your motherboard is sitting inside that pretty case and everything is working smoothly.
However, before you start getting those kill streaks going in Domination, you’ll want to take the time to install your motherboard drivers.
Luckily, for you, you do not live in the 90s. Installing all necessary motherboard drivers has never been simpler, but it still can be a little daunting for beginners. If you have an optical drive, then you can simply use the disc that came with your motherboard to install your drivers. Yes, it’s that simple.
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However, the process is more hectic if you didn’t install an optical drive. As most gamers avoid optical drives in today’s day and age, we will provide a simple guide to help you find and install your motherboard drivers.
What Are Drivers?
Listen, don’t give a rat’s crap about someone laughing at you for not knowing something basic. It’s totally fine if you do not know what drivers are. At some point, we all are unaware of certain things.
In simple words, a driver is software that allows the operating system to communicate and use certain hardware in a computer.
It could literally be anything from input devices like the mouse and to internal components of the motherboard, such as the audio adapters, USB ports, or the LAN port. Windows 10 comes preloaded with a plethora of basic drivers that will enable your computer to work as soon as it’s installed.
However, in the case of gaming PCs, we will want to use the drivers provided specifically by the motherboard and graphics card manufacturers for optimal performance.
Where to Find Your Motherboard Drivers?
To start off, the least bit of information you need to have with yourself is the make and model of your motherboard. Perform a quick Google search for your motherboard and head over to the manufacturer’s website to find the drivers.
It is highly recommended to never use a third-party driver website or program; only install drivers directly from the manufacturer when possible. Third-party websites and driver programs are the main sources of viruses and bloatware, and their drivers don’t even work most of the time. Only resort to third-party websites if you are an advanced user and understand the risks involved.
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Different manufacturers may have different website designs, but accessing the driver’s section should be fairly simple and easy. Most websites will ask you about the correct version of your OS (for example 64 or 32-bit versions of Windows 10). Make sure to choose the correct one.
Next up, you’ll need to navigate to the list of drivers on the website. In this section, you will see everything from the SATA drivers to the network and integrated graphics drivers (assuming your board has integrated graphics capabilities). Your experience will obviously vary based on the motherboard manufacturer.
If you know how to download and install a program, then the next step should be a piece of cake for you. Check out the list of drivers and download all of the applicable drivers. Most of you won’t need to install the RAID drivers unless you have your hard drives in a RAID configuration.
Note: It is a great practice to make sure that your BIOS is up to date. If you don’t know what and how your BIOS works, skip this.
Some manufacturers will have a simple installer that you can run within Windows 10, while others will still require you to put the installer on a thumb drive and install directly through the BIOS.
How to Install Motherboard Drivers?
After all the drivers from the previous step have been successfully downloaded, let us move to the installation part. It is greatly advised to install the drivers one after the other, instead of going for all at the same time.
Moreover, after installation, rebooting your system is essential. Without restarting, the drivers may not finish their complete installation which can lead to corruption of the drivers and/or Windows 10. It is tempting to skip this step, but for the sake of long-term PC stability, take the extra thirty seconds to restart. Come on, don’t be as lazy as I was!
also read: What Motherboard Do I Have On Windows 10 ?
For beginners, finding the correct installer can often be confusing. In many cases, the installer comes inside a zipped folder that will need to be extracted, and once it’s open there’s often a folder full of poorly labeled files.
You will be looking for an executable/application file that will likely be called “Setup”, “Installer”, or something similar. Look a the picture given below for a basic idea.
Once you execute/run the installer, the process is typically similar to any other program installation. You may need to choose the install location, but the process is fairly simple.
As discussed above, you have to restart your PC once each driver is finished installing. The installer may even force you to restart.
Verifying the Installed Drivers.
After installing anything, whether it’s a game or simple software, it is always a good practice to verify if the installation process was successful or not. You can skip this step, but you can verify your drivers in two ways.
You can either perform a driver query through the Command Prompt or look through the Device Manager for each driver.
While the Command Prompt method is faster, it can get confusing for a lot of people, especially those not used to DOS commands.
Open Device Manager either by searching for it in the search bar of the Taskbar or by right-clicking the Windows Icon on the Taskbar and selecting Device Manager from the list of options.
The Device Manager is a powerful program that will list all of your internal components and peripherals with their associated drivers. You can verify your drivers by selecting the drop-down menu of each device, right-clicking on the desired driver, selecting “Properties”, and verifying that the driver installed matches the one installed.
Consider the example given below. You can see that the driver is a Windows driver, but your PC should show the drive you just installed.
Navigate to the driver you want to verify, right-click on the driver, and select “Properties”. For this example, we’ll look at the Intel network adapter. Your adapter will likely be different than what’s pictured.
If you want to find more information about the driver, feel free to select “Driver Details”.
By reviewing the drivers by using Device Manager, you have now learned how to verify your drivers. If you see a different driver listed than expected, it may be worth reinstalling the driver and rebooting your computer again.
So, these were the basic steps of identifying, installing, and verifying your motherboard drivers. As discussed earlier, every manufacturer operates differently, but the basics are the same for each of them.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to triple-check that you are installing the correct drivers for your motherboard. Oh, and don’t forget to reboot your PCs after installing any drivers. Sorry for rubbing it on you again 🙂
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