Windows 7 has just been released all over the world and I am sure many of you are gearing up to upgrade the OS of your PC to Windows 7. One thing which comes to my mind immediately when I think of upgrading my OS, is about the compatible drivers.
A lot of older hardware and software were not designed for Windows 7 (or even Vista for that matter), so they may require an update or new driver in order to operate correctly on Windows 7. The decision to provide a Windows 7 driver or update will lie with the developer/manufacturer of the product. The good thing is manufacturers are now releasing Windows 7 drivers for their products. Updating to the latest Windows 7 drivers may help keep your PC running at its best.
The below section lists popular driver and software updates to download for Windows 7. Please feel free to suggest any Windows 7 driver download that I have missed. The list is inspired from about.com and enhanced further.
Acer Drivers (Desktops and Notebooks)
Windows 7 drivers are available for Acer desktops or notebooks, they can be downloaded via Acer’s Service and Support site, linked below. They have not grouped the Windows 7 drivers together. So, I would suggest you to go to this page and select your country from the list. Under Service & Support tab you will see a link for “Driver Download”. Click on that, choose your desktop/notebook/netbook model and select Windows 7 as the OS in the dropdown available. Example link (Acer India site)
ASUS Drivers (Motherboards)
ASUS Windows 7 drivers can be downloaded via ASUS’s Windows 7 Compatible ASUS Motherboards list, linked above. ASUS has made available Windows 7 drivers for many of their motherboard lines including those based on AMD, Intel Socket 775, Intel Socket 1366, and more.
ATI Radeon Driver
The latest ATI Radeon Windows 7 driver is the ATI Catalyst 9.10 Suite. This Windows 7 driver from AMD/ATI contains the entire Catalyst suite including the ATI Radeon display driver, ATI WDM driver, and the Catalyst Control Center. This Windows 7 driver is compatible with ATI Radeon HD series GPUs.
BIOSTAR Drivers (Motherboards)
BIOSTAR Windows 7 drivers are listed on BIOSTAR’s Windows 7 Ready motherboard list. The above listed BIOSTAR motherboards have passed Windows 7 WHQL logo testing completely and yield best user experience. The Windows 7 ready motherboards include those based on socket 1366, 1156, 775, AM3, and AM2+ designs.
Download the latest Biostar drivers for Windows 7
C-Media drivers (Audio)
Windows 7 drivers for C-Media are available for download from C-Media’s standard support site, linked below. Currently, the drivers present are for RC version of Windows 7. Note that the Windows 7 beta drivers do not support to record the playing digital audio (WAVE).
Download the latest C-Media AC97 drivers for Windows 7
Canon drivers (Scanners & Printers)
Canon hasn’t yet officially released the drivers for Windows 7. For most of the products, the drivers for Windows Vista SP1 would work on Windows 7 as well. When digging through the Canon website, I could see that, for some scanner models like CanonScan LiDE 100, LiDE 200 and LiDE 700F, Windows 7 compatible drivers are already available. As per one support ticket, Windows 7 drivers for following Canon scanners will be available – link. Link for Inkjet printers
Compaq Drivers (Desktops and Laptops)
If any Windows 7 drivers are available for Compaq computers, they can be downloaded via HP’s standard support site, linked below. Compaq is now part of HP. Compaq’s newer computers typically come with Windows 7 installed and of course have Windows 7 drivers available. HP’s site may have Windows 7 drivers listed for older Compaq computers as well.
Creative Sound Blaster Drivers (Audio)
Windows 7 drivers for Creative are listed on Creative’s Driver Availability Chart. Creative has made available Windows 7 drivers for many of their popular Sound Blaster products including their X-Fi, Sound Blaster Live, Audigy, and more. The chart also has details of Windows 7 drivers for MP3 players, Speakers, headsets, cameras and others.
Dell Drivers (Desktops and Laptops)
Windows 7 drivers for Dell desktop and laptop computers can be downloaded via Dell’s standard support site. Check out the updated list of their computer systems that they have successfully tested with Windows 7 – Microsoft Windows 7 Compatible Dell Systems
Gateway Drivers (Desktops and Notebooks)
Windows 7 drivers for Gateway desktops and notebooks will be available via Gateway’s support site, linked below.
It is surprising that Gateway doesn’t seem to have any Windows 7 drivers available at this time. I also did not find any list of Gateway computers that were otherwise compatible with Windows 7 but chances are that the more recent models are. Keep a check on the below link for updates
HP Drivers (Desktops and Laptops)
Many of HP’s desktop and laptop PCs have Windows 7 drivers available. Any available Windows 7 drivers for HP desktop, laptop, and tablet computers can be downloaded via HP’s standard support site, linked below. Check it out.
HP Drivers (Printers and Scanners)
The most current information on Windows 7 drivers for HP printers and scanners is available from the HP Imaging and Printing Software and Driver Information for Windows 7, linked below. It includes HP Deskjet, Officejet, Photosmart, LaserJet, Designjet, or Scanjet imaging devices.
Intel Drivers (Motherboards)
Windows 7 drivers for Intel motherboards can be downloaded via Intel’s Microsoft Windows 7 page, linked below. Intel lists the various motherboards that have passed WHQL testing and also links to the various motherboard models where Windows 7 drivers are available. The few motherboard driver download pages I looked at showed Windows 7 drivers for Intel’s integrated video, audio, ethernet controller, and more.
Intel Chipset Drivers (Motherboards)
The latest Intel Chipset Windows 7 driver is version 188.8.131.520 which was released on 9/17/2009. This Windows 7 driver download contains both 32-bit and 64-bit driver versions for Windows 7. The page clearly mentions the chipset models which are fully compatible with Windows 7. Do not install this driver on a motherboard not listed.
Lenovo (Desktops and Laptops)
Windows 7 drivers for Lenovo desktop and laptop computers can be downloaded via Lenovo’s support site, linked below. It states that these are for Windows 7 RTM so that’s the real deal and may be worth checking out by Lenovo owners pulling an early upgrade. There seems to be a lot of drivers, covering a ton of Lenovo systems. This post lists out Windows 7 beta drivers for all Lenovo products.
Lexmark Drivers (Printers)
Windows 7 drivers for Lexmark printers are available from the Windows 7 Printer Drivers list on Lexmark’s site, linked below. You can check if your specific Lexmark printer will work best with the native Windows 7 driver, with the latest Windows 7 driver downloaded directly from Lexmark, or with the latest Windows Vista driver, also available from Lexmark.
Download the Latest Lexmark Printer Drivers for Windows 7
Microsoft Drivers (Keyboard, Mouse, Etc.)
In addition to creating operating systems like Windows 7, Microsoft also produces hardware like keyboards, mice, game controllers, webcams, and more. Microsoft hardware products with Windows 7 drivers are listed on on their Microsoft Hardware Support for Windows 7 page, linked below.
NVIDIA GeForce/ION Driver (Video)
The latest NVIDIA GeForce/ION Windows 7 driver is version 191.07 which was released 2009-10-05. This Windows 7 driver is compatible with NVIDIA GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, and 200 series GPUs and also NVIDIA ION GPUs. You might also wish to check out your motherboard manufacturer’s website for NVidia Windows 7 driver that better fits your hardware. This must hold good for NVIDIA 3D vision as well.
Realtek AC97 Driver (Audio)
The latest Realtek AC97 Windows 7 driver is version 6305 which was released on 2009-09-07. This download contains both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of this Windows 7 driver. It is important to note that the AC97 chipset may be a part of your sound card or motherboard but Realtek only created the chipset. This means that it’s possible there’s a Windows 7 driver that better fits your hardware available from your actual sound card or motherboard manufacturer.
Realtek High Definition Driver (Audio)
The latest Realtek High Definition Windows 7 driver is version R2.35 which was released on 2009-10-12. This download contains both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of this Windows 7 driver.
Sony Drivers (Desktops and Notebooks)
Any Windows 7 drivers for Sony desktop or notebook computers can be downloaded via Sony’s eSupport site, linked below. The Sony Windows 7 upgrade page has all the information required about Sony PCs and Windows 7, including a handy tool to see what Windows 7 drivers and other information is available for your specific Sony computer.
Toshiba Drivers (Laptops)
Windows 7 drivers for Toshiba laptop computers can be downloaded via Toshiba’s standard support site, linked below. Toshiba has a list of Windows 7 supported laptops here: Toshiba laptop models supported for use with Windows 7. Toshiba also has a roundup of various Windows 7 information on their Windows 7 Support page.
VIA Drivers (Audio, Video, Ethernet)
Windows 7 drivers for VIA ethernet, Audio and integrated graphics can be downloaded via VIAARENA’s standard support site, linked below. You need to select the OS, type of driver and the specific model to be able to make it Windows 7 compatible.