How to Install Dell Drivers in the Correct Order

Summary: This article provides information about how to download and install the device drivers in the correct order on a Dell desktop or laptop computer.

Article Content


Symptoms

Device drivers must be installed or updated when the operating system is reinstalled using either a CD, DVD, USB key or when you are experience issues like Wi-Fi not connecting, video or graphics issues, audio or sound issues, or system performance issues and so on.

Cause

Dell recommends that you install or update the device drivers if you have performed a factory restore on the Dell computer using Dell Backup and Recovery or other factory restore methods. Installing the latest device drivers optimizes the performance of hardware components and resolve common issues with network, Wi-Fi, video, audio, and so on.

NOTE: Dell recommends you print this list for reference when installing device drivers. To learn more about device drivers, see the Dell knowledge base article Drivers & Downloads FAQs.
Resolution

Installing Device Drivers in Correct Order

WARNING: Downloading and installing device drivers or software from unknown sources may cause the computer not to work correctly, crash, not boot into the operating system, or infect the computer with virus, trojan, or other malicious software.

Follow the sequence mentioned in the table below to install the drivers. If a driver is not applicable or available for your Dell desktop or laptop, proceed to download and install the next driver.

For information on how to download device drivers and factory-installed software for a Dell computer, see the Dell knowledge base article Where Can I Download Drivers and Dell-Installed Software for My Dell Computer.

Dell Drivers & Downloads website contains drivers for Dell products. Drivers for third-party devices must be downloaded from the device manufacturers website. If you are unable to find a driver for a Dell desktop, laptop, printer, and so on, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Download Drivers That Are Unavailable on Dell Support Website.

Correct order of driver installation

Driver or application name

Category

What it does

BIOS

BIOS

Supports the system that controls the keyboard, monitor, disk drives and other devices. This driver updates the BIOS firmware on the system board of the Dell computer.

Dell System Software (if available)

System Utilities

Provides critical updates and patches for the operating system.

Chipset Driver

Chipset

Helps Microsoft Windows or other operating systems control the system board components and controllers such as USB ports and other internal components. Chipset category may contain multiple drivers such as Intel Management Engine driver and application, Intel vPro or Intel AMT drivers, Intel Thunderbolt Controller drivers and so on. Dell recommends that you install all the chipset device drivers under the Chipset category.
The chipset software installs Windows INF files which provide the operating system with information about the hardware components in a computer. This allows the operating system to show the correct name of the hardware component in Device Manager.
Chipset driver or software does not install device drivers for AGP (video) or USB. Installing a chipset device driver will not resolve issues with AGP (video) or USB on a computer.
During the installation of the chipset drivers or software, ignore any error message if the driver or software is not applicable for your computer and continue to install the other drivers under the Chipset category.

Note: Restart the computer after installing each chipset driver.

Memory Card Reader Driver

Chipset

Enables and enhances the memory card reader on the Dell computer.

Note: Restart the computer after installing the driver.

Accelerometer Driver for Free Fall Data Protection (if available)

Chipset

Free Fall Data Protection enables the feature to power down the hard disk drive when it senses a jolt to protect it from damage.

Note: Restart the computer after installing the driver.

Ethernet or Network Interface Card (NIC)

Network

Enables and enhances the ethernet controller for LAN connectivity.

Wi-Fi or Wireless Network Card (Wireless NIC) (if available)

Network

Enables and enhances the wireless network controller for WiFi connectivity. Your Dell computer may have either a Dell Wireless, Intel Wireless, Killer Wireless or Qualcomm Wireless network card, see the original System Configuration of your Dell computer to identify which wireless network card is installed. To download Wi-Fi drivers for external USB third-party or non-Dell Wi-Fi adapters, visit the device manufacturers website.

Intel Graphics Driver or NVIDIA Graphics Driver or AMD Graphics Driver

Video

Drivers for video cards (also known as video adapters, graphics cards, display adapters and video boards). Video drivers control how data between a computer and its display (monitor or built-in LCD). The video driver allows a user to adjust display properties such as refresh rate, color depth and screen resolution. Depending on the original configuration, select Dell laptops may have two video cards. For example, Intel and Nvidia, or Intel and AMD. Install both video drivers on Dell laptops with two video cards.

Bluetooth (if available)

Network

Enables and enhances the bluetooth controller for bluetooth connectivity with bluetooth-enabled devices.

Audio or Sound driver

Audio

Audio drivers helps improve the performance of the audio components such as sound cards and speakers. To download drivers for external or internal third-party or non-Dell audio or sound cards, visit the device manufacturers website.

Dell Touchpad (if available)

Mouse, Keyboard & Input Devices

Enables and enhances the touchpad functionality on a Dell laptop. To download drivers for external third-party or non-Dell touchpad devices, visit the device manufacturers website.

Touchscreen Driver (if available)

Mouse, Keyboard & Input Devices

Enables touchscreen input on select Dell laptops or Dell All-in-One desktop computers. With the latest version of Windows, touchscreen drivers are pre-installed with the operating system and may not be available as a separate download. To download touchscreen drivers for third-party or non-Dell monitors, visit the device manufacturers website.

Webcam (if available)

Mouse, Keyboard & Input Devices

Enables the built-in webcam on select Dell laptop or Dell All-in-One desktop computers. With the latest version of Windows, webcam drivers are pre-installed with the operating system and may not be available as a separate download. To download drivers for external third-party or non-Dell webcams, visit the device manufacturers website.

Airplane Mode Switch (if available)

Network

Enables and allows you to control the Wi-Fi toggle switch using pre-defined keyboard shortcut keys or hot-keys.

Fingerprint Sensor Driver (if applicable)

Security

Enables and allows you to control the fingerprint sensor for enhancing security on select Dell laptops.

Intel Matrix Storage Manager (if available)

Serial ATA

The Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver is only applicable to certain Intel chipset computers.

Dell Data Protection (if applicable)

Dell Data Security

It helps detect data security risks, protect data by enforcing access control policies, authentication, and encryption, manage data centrally with policies and support key and data recovery for protected devices. Note: This may be applicable for select Dell computers only.

Docking Station (if available)

Docks/Stands

Drivers to enable and enhance the functionality of ethernet controller (LAN), display controller (VGA, DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort (DP)) ports, USB 3.0 ports and other components on Dell docking stations such as Dell Thunderbolt WD15, TB15, TB16, TB18DC, WD19, WD19TB, WD19DC and so on. See the User Guide of the Dell docking station on how to install the drivers correctly. To download drivers for third-party or non-Dell docking stations, visit the device manufacturers website.

Dell Wireless Mobile Broadband Driver (if applicable)

Modem/Communications

Enables and enhances the mobile broadband controller for mobile broadband connectivity. Mobile broadband connectivity is provided through AT&T, Verizon or other mobile service providers.

ControlPoint Drivers & Software (if available)

Control Point

Dell ControlPoint (DCP) controls power management for certain Dell Latitude laptops. ControlPoint System Manager controls power management and ambient light sensor settings, ControlPoint Security Manager controls security features and ControlPoint Connection Manager controls wireless connection profiles.

Dell Command | Update (if available)

System Management

A utility that allows you to automate driver, BIOS and firmware updates on your Dell computer.

Dell Command | Monitor (if available)

System Management

A utility that allows IT administrators to remotely collect asset information, modify CMOS settings, receive proactive notifications about potential fault conditions and get alerts for potential security breaches.

Dell Command | Power Manager (if available)

System Utilities

Replaces Dell Power Manager, it allows end-users to maximize their battery life by configuring how the battery should be maintained based on preferences. IT administrators can enforce specific settings or limit features through Group Policy snap-in.

Dell Update (if available)

Application

Allows your computer to automatically updates critical fixes and important device drivers as they become available. This is applicable for select Dell Inspiron, Dell Vostro, Dell XPS and Alienware computers.

 

Dell Digital Delivery (if applicable)

Application

It allows you to download and install available software titles on select Dell computers. Installation files and product keys (if any) of software purchased from Dell can be accessed using Dell Digital Delivery.

Dell Help & Support (if available)

Application

It helps you start using your Dell quickly and easily with step-by-step guides, videos, system information and support.

Dell Quickset (if available)

Application

A utility that provides easy access to configure settings for power manage, icon and font size, display brightness, volume control and Wi-Fi toggle switch on most Dell computers. This utility may be available for select Dell computers only.

Printer Driver (if applicable)

 

Enables and allows you to control the printer and settings of a printer. For more information, see the Dell knowledge base article Getting Dell Printer Drivers, Software, User Guides and Firmware. To download drivers for third-party or non-Dell printers, visit the device manufacturers website.

Operating System Recovery Image (if required)

Operating System

Download the recovery image of the operating system that came installed on your Dell computer. Use the Dell OS Recovery Tool to create a USB recovery drive that you can use to reinstall Microsoft Windows or Linux that was factory-installed on your Dell computer.

Article Properties


Affected Product

Desktops & All-in-Ones, Laptops

Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021

Version

5

Article Type

Solution

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