Q:

What are some sources for free driver downloads?

A:

Quick Answer

Sources that provide free drivers include the Drivers section on CNET.com and the support sections on websites of hardware and software manufacturers, such as Microsoft, Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. These sources provide options to specify the device type, operating system and product family, which help users download the most appropriate driver version. These sources also provide access to archives that host older driver versions and drivers for legacy devices.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, the Drivers section on CNET.com features more than 75,000 drivers for audio and display devices, optical drives, peripherals and printers, among other devices. To narrow the list of results, select the Free option in the By Price section, and check the boxes next to the desired device category and operating system. Sort the list if necessary, select the number of results the website should display per page, and click on the Download Now button for the desired driver. Each result shows the driver version, its number of downloads, the date it was added to the website, and its ratings from users and editors.

Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. include an option to automatically detect the device installed on the user's computer and download the appropriate drivers. Alternatively, these companies let users specify the product model and operating system and then download the desired driver from a list generated from the selected parameters. In the Download Center section on Microsoft.com, Microsoft provides free drivers in addition to updates, utilities and installation packages.

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