What can I do when a driver crashes?

Episode 1005

Deborah from Mojave, CA

Deborah is suddenly having trouble with her Windows Netbook after it locked up. Apparently, a device driver got installed. Leo says that's probably OK. Drivers crash and the Windows OS finds new drivers all the time. Leo says that more important is the age of the netbook. And for the price of it, Deborah is lucky she got that much use out of it. Leo thinks she should start saving and just run the netbook into the ground. When she can't use it anymore, move on. But for now, a driver issue is minimal.

Why am I getting a blue screen of death whenever I boot up?

Episode 1004

Jack from Riverside, CA

Jack is getting the dreaded Windows Blue Screen of Death on boot up. Leo says it has to be a driver if it crashes on boot up. First, boot holding down the shift or F8 key and get into the boot screen. He should choose 'logged mode' so it will log what is happening. Then he should reboot into safe mode so he can read the boot log. The last line in the boot log will be the driver that is causing the crashes. He can then uninstall that driver, and download and install a new driver.

Why does my computer's display appear shifted over?

Episode 992

Ed from Marina Del Rey, CA

Ed says his display is shifted, and things are not appearing correctly in Windows. Leo says it could be a driver issue. He should try to boot up to Windows in Safe Mode by holding down the shift key or F8 during start up. This will load Windows with basic drivers, including a basic VGA graphics driver. If it looks normal, then he'll know that he has an incorrect driver, or that the driver is set wrong for his monitor. He should download and install the latest display driver and reboot.

How can I get my HP printer drivers to work?

Episode 986

Don from Virginia

Don and his brother have the same printer and Don has non stop driver issues with it. HP has given him another model, but he's learned that Windows update may be at fault for corrupted drivers for a wide variety of printers. Leo's never heard it and doesn't buy it. In fact, HP hasn't been a great printer company for a long time. It's possible that drivers could have gotten screwed up, but it's very common for companies to pass the buck and blame someone else for their problems.

Why did I lose my audio after restoring Windows on my Acer Aspire One?

Episode 963

Dana from Georgia

Dana has an Acer Aspire One netbook and when he restored the OS, he lost his sound drivers. Leo says to run Windows update. If that doesn't do it, then he can go to Acer's support site and get the drivers from there. The Windows update should fix it, though. The chatroom says another option is to use Linux Mint.

How do I get out of Safe Mode?

Episode 959

John from Downey, CA

John's computer is booting up in Safe Mode. Leo says it's likely a driver issue which is causing Windows to boot up in the most basic configuration possible. It's probably either a corrupted or wrong driver for the monitor. Leo advises going into device manager and deleting the monitor and video card (making a note of what kind of card he has) and then rebooting so Windows can acquire the right drivers. Do *not* delete the VGA driver!

Why won't my mouse double-click?

Episode 956

Mike from Pacific Palisades, CA

It could be clicking speeds in Windows though, so he should first check in the Windows mouse settings. Leo also suggests getting a cheap wired mouse to see if that works. Then he'll know if it's a hardware issue. If it's not hardware, then he may need to update his mouse drivers, or reinstall them. Windows may have also broken the relationship with the mouse and that could be a registry issue. Leo says to log into safe mode and see if the mouse works there.

How can I get FireWire to work in Windows 8?

Episode 953

David from Cambria, CA

David upgraded to Windows 8, but he's lost his firewire connection as a result. Leo says that upgrading an old PC to Windows 8 usually isn't recommended, but it sounds like David needs to get a firewire driver from the motherboard manufacturer. There's no indication that Windows 8 doesn't support it. He just would need the driver. Leo also says that doing a clean install wiped out all the older drivers, this is one case where an upgrade may have been the better move.

Can I replace a failed motherboard in my desktop computer?

Episode 948

Michael from Tejunga, CA

Leo says most of his trouble will be with Windows Genuine Advantage, which will think he's installing it on a new computer. He'll have to call Microsoft and let them know he's changed the motherboard. He should also make sure he gets all the drivers he needs before he installs the new motherboard. Then he will install them immediately after booting into safe mode in Windows.

How can I get an old program to work with Windows 7?

Episode 942

George from California

George has an old program called PrintMaster Gold and since he upgraded to Windows 7, it won't work because of driver issues. Leo says that George could try right-clicking on the icon and selecting "compatibility mode," which will run the program under a virtual XP configuration.

There is a version called PrintMaster 2012 Platinum. Buying the recent version will probably be the simplest solution.