How to identify and troubleshoot potential OS Reinstall & Drivers issues on my Dell computer?

Summary: This article is a series of links to articles answering some basic questions about the various operating systems.

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When your replace or upgrade your hard disk drive, you encounter a specific sequence of steps required to either re-install Windows, drivers and applications to your system or restore them from a backup image that has been stored in a separate location. The link below will assist you in replacing the drive and additional information in this article will assist you in the reinstallation of Windows or restoration of your backup to the new drive.

Resource DVD or CDs are a legacy tool that allows you to install all the drivers for a system from single media that either shipped with the system or you download from our website. The downside of this shipped media is that the drivers are only as current as of the date of the media's creation. The preferred manner is to download the drivers for the system from the Dell Support Website.

Updating the system BIOS allows for updates to the system motherboard. Some are urgent, and highly recommended, others make changes that while not urgent in nature are recommended to improve performance and/or system usability. As a general rule, when updating drivers, check and see if the BIOS is the most current version and update as needed.

Note: Systems with BitLocker drive encryption should disable BitLocker prior to any BIOS update then enable it again after the update is completed.

Windows 8, 8.1 & 10 driver installation processes are essentially the same. So articles describing installation of a Windows 8 driver will be generally the same process in Windows 10. In most instances, if a device driver is not available for Windows 10 but is available for Windows 8.1, the 8.1 driver will work for Windows 10. More information is available at the Dell Windows 10 Portal:

Ubuntu Linux installs all drivers as part of the operating system install. However you can update the driver packages as newer ones come out. The drivers will be classed as packages or applications:

Note: Before restoring/refreshing or reinstalling your operating system, it is always wise to ensure that you have all your data (Photos, Documents, Music files etc.) backed up to a different location (External HDD, DVD, Network share etc.) before starting the process.

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Affected Product

Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Fixed Workstations

Last Published Date

26 Feb 2021



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