Another Question About Device Drivers

The question device has raised an interrupt:
[quote]I have no audio device installed on my Toshiba, and I don’t know where to download one from without having to buy/register for a driver software app.

Can you help? I get hear alert noises, just no audio noise.[/quote]
Firstly, like any annoying geek, I must raise a clarification. There are devices, and there are device drivers.

The device is the physical piece of hardware inside your machine. It might be a plugged-in expansion card, or it might be a set of chips soldered into the motherboard. Either way, most of these devices are relatively inert in the absence of a device driver. The operating system (e.g. Windows or Linux), may be able to make basic requests of the device (e.g. draw unaccelerated 640×480 video), but it usually cannot use the advanced features of the device without the correct driver.

Basically, the device driver tells the operating system where to poke the device, and with what sized stick.

So, having got that out of the way, I’m hoping that you’re missing merely a device driver, and not an entire device.

Secondly, as a rule of thumb, you should never, ever, ever, ever need to buy, pay, register, or otherwise comply in any way with any request for compensation in order to obtain a device driver for a consumer peripheral. Any PC, or PC component maker worth their salt will provide a download link to drivers for all but the most ancient versions of hardware they have built.

ToshibaDriversUnfortunately, in some cases it can be difficult to find these drivers. It would appear that Toshiba Australia’s website is guilty of this in the most heinous manner. Their website is atrociously bad, unbookmarkable, and hard to navigate. Seriously Toshiba, running the entire site in a single frameset? Listing drivers by “OpSys”? Come on!? Even a freaking monkey could make a site more usable than that. I’m angry at that website. It makes a mockery of all that is good and great about the internet.

If you click around the site for a bit, you eventually find this page. If you use  that page, in combination with a device name or model number,you get a barely intelligible list of available drivers. At this point, you can ask a geek to help you out, or you can try to work out that the “Audio” category driver for the appropriate “OpSys” (e.g. Vista or XP), will be the one you want to download and install.

Good luck. If you get it sorted out, please let me know. I’m writing an email to Toshiba right now to complain about their website, and I’m not even a customer.

2 Comments

  1. Contrast that with the HP site.

    3 clicks to a driver or manual for your machine and OS. (Assuming you know both!) 😉

  2. BTW, for fairly mainstream hardware, you can always try Windows update.

    You’ll get the vanilla MS certified version of the driver, but at least it should work.

    Otherwise, go to device manager, right click the component that is causing the issue (it will generally have a yellow warning flag next to it) and open the properties. Then select ‘Update Driver’ and tell Windows to search on the Internet. You may get lucky.

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