drivers

How Can I Find Drivers for an Old Laptop?

 ACER Aspire

Episode 1618

John from Ohio

John's first computer was an ACER Aspire laptop. He wants to upgrade his operating system, but he isn't sure if it's 64 bit or 32 bit. Leo says that Intel was using 64-bit architecture long before everything moved from 32 bit, so he'll likely have it. But John is having trouble finding drivers. Leo says that companies that stop development often don't offer those drivers online, so many driver archives have sprung up. But often users don't get what they think they are getting. And Microsoft usually stops writing security updates for old computers, making them a security threat online.

Why Won't My Fingerprint Reader Work After WIndows Update?

Fingerprint Reader on Laptop

Episode 1607

Andrew from Riverside, CA

Andrew got burned by the MicroSD counterfeit cards that Chris Marquardt talked about here. Leo says that Andrew bought them on Amazon and he says that Amazon has got to start vetting these vendors to make sure they aren't selling counterfeit or bogus SD cards. The important thing to remember though is "if it sounds too good to be true, it often is." Caviat Emptor.

How Can I Turn Off Memory Dump When My PC Crashes?

Windows 10 Laptop

Episode 1605

John from Los Angeles, CA

John records music on his laptop, but his software is crashing a lot. When it crashes, it compiles error data for a long time. Can he turn that off? Leo says that John has a 64GB of RAM and that can take a long time. You should be able to turn off the memory dump in the system and security under "advanced." Hit the Windows Key and type startup and recovery. Windows+X select system, advanced, startup, and recovery, then you can turn off the memory dump. Select NONE.  But Leo also says that if it's crashing, it could be that your drivers are corrupted.

How can I delete and reinstall a bad driver for my trackpad?

Windows 10

Episode 1601

Al from North Florida, Florida

Al has lost control of the synaptic of his trackpad with Windows. He disabled it, and then uninstalled it. But Windows reinstalled it and it's crashing. Leo says that Windows isn't installing a new driver, it's re-enabling the old corrupted one. R/C the trackpad, go to properties and delete the driver. That will force Windows to download a new driver and install it. You can also go to the Toshiba site, which makes that trackpad, and download the driver directly. Then reinstall it. 

What is a Blue Frowny Face in Windows 10?

BSOD

Episode 1598

Ben from Los Angeles, CA

Ben is getting a "blue frowning face," which Leo says is the new bluescreen of death. Leo says it's likely a hardware or driver issue. Modern operating systems don't BSOD when an app crashes anymore. But low-level errors like drivers or hardware will cause it. If it's just doing it when he's doing nothing, it could mean a failing power supply. Also, make sure the drivers are up to date.

Why can't my laptop read USB 2?

Episode 1561

Carlo from Ontario, BC CAN

Carlo has a small laptop with a USB 3.0 port. But suddenly, it won't read USB 2. What gives? Leo says that USB 3.0 is supposed to be backwards compatible as long as the plug is Type A. It could be a faulty connector, or the connector pins are dirty. The connector could have also shorted out. Shine a light in and look for some cruft, or even damage on the surface of the contacts. ScooterX in the chatroom suggests that it may be a driver issue. Go into the device manager (windows key + X) and look to see if there's a red X. Or delete the drivers and then restart to reinstall.

Why isn't my trackpad working after updating Windows?

Windows 10 Start Menu

Episode 1558

Sam from San Diego, CA

Sam had three laptops upgraded to Windows 10, but one won't work with the trackpad. Leo says that a driver may be missing. Leo recommends going to the laptop manufacturer website and looking for a driver package for his laptop. If that doesn't work, he should try using the Windows 8.1 driver. It should be OK to do so. Sam should look in the device manager for any red "X", which indicates devices without a driver.

Why is my keyboard and mouse shutting off after running updates?

Keyboard

Episode 1543

Anthony from San Diego, CA

Anthony has Windows 7, and he's started having problems with his keyboard and mouse after a recent update. He tried to talk to Microsoft about it, but the tech told him there was a conflict and the updates it was installing were actually for Windows 10, and it would cost him $300 to resolve it. Leo says whoever that was he was talking to wasn't Microsoft. Leo says in theory that could happen, but Microsoft Update is smart enough to not do that. It should only be installing Windows 7 updates for a Windows 7 machine.

How can I stop a blue screen of death in Windows 10?

Blue Screen of Death

Episode 1536

Simon from Yorktown, VA

Simon recently encountered the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. He suspected it may be his Chrome browser. Could it be? Leo says that modern versions of Windows don't really allow a program to call a BSOD these days. The operating system protects against it. But it could be a bad driver. Flakey hardware like a power supply or loose RAM can also cause it. But Chrome doesn't have system access to cause a BSOD. If he can replicate it, that could lead him toward the culprit. If it's crashing right away, that's usually a hardware issue.