How to update network drivers on Windows 7: description, installation, setup procedure

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How to update network drivers on Windows 7: description, installation, setup procedure
How to update network drivers on Windows 7: description, installation, setup procedure

The network adapter connects the device to the network. The term was originally popularized by Ethernet settings for PCs, but has also been applied to USB networking and other types of connections to access the Internet.

Most modern devices come with a NIC or network card installed on the motherboard. This applies not only to wired gadgets such as desktops and laptops, but also to tablets, cell phones.

How to update network drivers on Windows 7? This question is relevant for many users. Before answering it, let's clarify that a network card is different in that it is an additional device that provides wireless or wired capabilities in equipment that did not previously support it. For example, a desktop computer might use such an adapter to communicate with Wi-Fi.

As you can see, the process of updating network drivers is in high demand. In our article, we will take a closer look at how this is done onpractice.

windows 7 network driver update
windows 7 network driver update

Types of adapters

There are many different types of devices. Considering the question of how to update network drivers on Windows 7, it is important to navigate each of them. This is necessary in order to make it easier to find the necessary software.

Microsoft Windows users can determine the network card installed on their computer by doing the following:

  • Click the Start button and then click Programs.
  • Click "Accessories", then the "System Tools" folder.
  • Select the System Information tab.
  • In the System Information window, click the plus sign next to components in the left navigation.
  • Click the "+" next to "Network" and highlight "Adapter". On the right side of the window, you should see complete information about the network card.

Microsoft sometimes installs a different but compatible driver for some network cards. As a result, it may not match the exact manufacturer or model installed on your computer. This problem is often seen on laptops. In this case, when considering how to update network drivers on Windows 7, you should contact the device manufacturer and see the full name of the adapter. Then the installation process is noticeably simplified.

Network driver for Windows 7
Network driver for Windows 7

Upgrade step by step

Now you need to go directly to learning how to update network drivers on Windows 7. Users must take their time and complete each action exactly as described.

Windows and other operating systems support both wired and wireless network adapters through software called a device driver. They are required by software to interact with network equipment.

Some of them automatically when you first connect and start the adapter. However, updating network drivers for Windows 7 may be required for various reasons. The advantage is that the order of actions will always be the same.

For example, it will be necessary to install drivers in Windows 7 for a piece of equipment. This is necessary in such situations:

  • You are fixing a problem with the device.
  • Driver is not installed automatically during system boot.
  • Update includes new features.

The following step-by-step guide is required for users to complete the steps correctly. Installing the files can be a little tricky, so the recommended steps should help clear up any confusion users might have when following the how-to guide. Updating network drivers for Windows 7 should take less than 15 minutes for most types of hardware. However, if errors occur, the process can drag on indefinitely.

Update network adapter drivers Windows 7
Update network adapter drivers Windows 7

Download the latest software

The first thing you need to do is download the latestWindows 7 network driver version for the device from the hardware manufacturer's website. It is important to download it directly from this source to be sure that the product is tested and the latest available archives.

You need to download a 32-bit or 64-bit driver that matches the type of Windows 7 you have installed. It is listed immediately after the operating system version.

Many Windows 7 network drivers available today are packaged for automatic installation. This means that all you have to do is run the downloaded file. The data will be updated automatically. The instructions on the manufacturer's website should indicate if the drivers you download are customized. If so, then there is no reason to continue with the installation process. Just run the program and follow the instructions. If it is not possible to automatically update the program, you should proceed to the actions described below.

Information extraction

Updating the Windows 7 network adapter driver starts with unpacking the archives. It should be noted that with manual data integration, this action is mandatory. When you install a driver for hardware on your computer, you are actually downloading a compressed file that contains one or more actual folders, as well as various other supporting data necessary for the program to function in Windows 7.

Before you can update your drivers forcertain piece of equipment, you must extract the data from the archive.

Windows 7 has built-in compression/decompression software, but experts advise using a dedicated program like the free 7-Zip for this. This is recommended because it supports many more formats than Windows 7. There are many free programs available to extract files if the recommended one doesn't suit the reader.

Regardless of the program you are using, you can right-click on the downloaded file. A list will appear on the screen. You need to select "Extract files to folder". To extract the files, be sure to create a new folder and make sure it is in a location that you can quickly find on your computer.

Device Manager

The Windows 7 network driver is updated through system applications. You don't need to download any third party software for this method. When the driver files are extracted and ready to use, you need to open the "Device Manager". It is in the control panel in Windows 7.

With its help, hardware management is carried out in this operating system, including updating drivers. There is no other way to replace files. The developers deliberately limit this ability to prevent accidental damage to the system data of devices.

Hardware device

Installing a Windows 7 network driver can be complicated by the fact that it will be problematic to immediately find the right type of device. Navigate through their categories using the ">" icon. Under each there will be one or more devices. The listings below provide a complete description. If you already know the brand of the network card, it will not be difficult to find it in this tab.

Device properties

It is worth noting that the installation of the Windows 7 network driver without the Internet is carried out completely. There is no need to connect to global resources to upload information. The Internet is needed only at the beginning to download the archive.

After finding the hardware you want to update the driver for, right-click on its name or icon, then select Properties.

Make sure you right-click on the actual device entry, not the category it's in. Otherwise, a new window will appear with a description of the entire group of installed files.

Software Update Wizard

Next, the installation of the Windows 7 network adapter driver is carried out in a semi-automatic mode. This significantly reduces the download time of all data. Run the Software Update Wizard by first clicking on the "Driver" tab and then on the "Update Driver" button. The advantages of operating systems of the Windows family are that most tasks are performed according to a pre-formed algorithm. That is, the user's tasks are simplified, since most of the processes are performed automatically.

Installing the Windows 7 network driver
Installing the Windows 7 network driver

Manual selection setting

GuidedThe prompts on the loading screen require you to do a few things. Windows 7 network card drivers will be installed according to the developed algorithm. Remember, you can't run a previously downloaded file to integrate new data.

Be clear about how you plan to look for driver software.

Click Browse My Computer to get the software. This option will allow you to manually select the driver you want to install (the one you downloaded and unpacked earlier into a folder). It is important to remember the place where it was previously placed. If you have lost access to the folder, you can use the quick search system.

Highlight required items

Network driver for Windows 7 64 bit must be stored in a separate file. When choosing, it is important to pay special attention to this. On the next screen, where the system prompts you to find the appropriate software on your computer, click "Let me choose from a list of device drivers on my computer."

In some cases, simply navigating to the location of the extracted folder would be sufficient. However, the option above gives more control in situations where multiple drivers are available in the extracted folder. If the wrong format or file type is selected, the system will notify the user about the error.

Installing the Windows 7 network adapter driver
Installing the Windows 7 network adapter driver

Install from disc

Driver for network adapter Windows 7 after archiving has more than 50 files. Therefore, it is importantselect the shared folder where all this data is located. You do not need to select a network adapter here. One or more entries in this field do not represent the actual device you have installed, only the available drivers. They are already in Windows 7 for this particular piece of hardware.

By clicking "Have Disk" you skip this process of selecting existing drivers and tell Windows 7 that you have other (higher quality) ones you want to install. While the system does not know about them.

The title of this screen will vary depending on the type of hardware you are updating drivers for. It is important here to know the make and type of the network adapter in order to determine the appropriate entry. As soon as a suitable copy is selected, the installation will continue.

Folder with previously extracted files

The Windows 7 network card driver can come in several versions at once. This allows you to select the desired data that is most suitable for a specific version of the operating system.

In the 'Find File' window, use the 'Browse In:' dropdown to navigate to the folder containing the extracted driver files created earlier.

There may be several other folders, so be sure to navigate to the one required for Windows 7 (if it exists). Some downloads will also include both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the driver with their respective file formats in each individual item saved.

Network Driver for Windows 7 64
Network Driver for Windows 7 64

Selecting an INF file in a folder

Click on any INF file displayed in the list. Next, click the "Open" button. The Driver Update Wizard reads information from all INF files in this folder.

They are the only ones that Device Manager accepts for information about setting them up. Although you may know that there are all kinds of files in your chosen folder, only this extension can grant access to them and configure each entry individually.

Starting the Windows 7 driver installation process

After selecting the appropriate file, the operating system installer starts. It is important to understand that the speed of unpacking all software directly depends on the overall performance of a personal computer or laptop. It is important not to interrupt the entire installation process until it is complete.

Please wait while the driver software update wizard completes the installation process. Keep in mind that Windows 7 uses the information contained in the.inf files you selected earlier to make the appropriate registry entries for your hardware.

Assuming the update process is complete, you will see the message "Windows has successfully updated your driver software".

Click close. This must be done to complete the installation process.

After that, you need to restart your computer and make sure your hardware is working properly with the new drivers.

Not all updates require you to restart your computer. Even if you do not have a request for this action, you should still performthis step.

The driver update process involves changes to the Windows registry and other important areas of your computer. Restarting is a good way to confirm that the process you performed did not adversely affect certain other areas of Windows.

Check device status for errors

After logging in, you need to check its status. To do this, you need to go to the "Device Manager". If you see the message "This device is working properly", then all the steps were performed correctly.

If you get an error code that didn't exist before the update, there might be a problem uploading files. In this case, you should immediately roll back the new driver.

Check equipment

This whole process is not yet complete. In order for your computer to function properly, you must check the hardware device and make sure it is working properly. To do this, you need to set up an Internet connection and test it. If each step above is followed correctly, the connection will appear immediately and no errors will occur.

Driver for network card Windows 7
Driver for network card Windows 7

Alternative way

You can use an easier and faster way to update the network driver. To do this, you need to use specialized software that exists to load and edit the system files of the equipment.

However, many of these programs are paid. Before downloading this softwaresoftware, you need to specify the type of its license. Its main advantage is that the programs only work with official driver developers.

This makes it possible to obtain specific system files without adware and malware, as is the case when downloading archives using unverified sources. In addition, only current and versions are offered that allow you to update Windows 7 network adapter drivers in minutes.

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