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Availability of Software and Drivers for Vista

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This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista.

Why are you looking for drivers?

HP is aware that some customers are looking for drivers that support the use of the Vista operating system on older PCs. Also, some customers are looking for drivers to downgrade newer PCs that are designed for Vista to the XP operating system.
This document contains answers to hardware and driver questions on PCs that are designed for XP but are running Vista, and Vista PCs that are now running XP. It explains what you can and cannot do to resolve concerns.

Why does a PC need drivers?

Hardware components such as sound, graphics, optical drive, webcam, network, etc., require the installation of drivers designed for a specific operating system. The drivers interpret the commands that pass between the specific operating system and the specific components. Drivers and components designed for one operating system, or for one brand of component, will NOT work on a PC with a different operating system. For instance, you cannot use XP drivers on a Vista PC.
If you noticed problems after installing a new component, or after installing drivers from Microsoft or other third-party suppliers, you should uninstall those drivers and reinstall the original HP drivers.
NOTE:HP provides drivers for components that are designed for, and approved by HP, for specific PC models and operating systems.

Are you still using the operating system that was shipped with your PC?

If you are using the operating system that was shipped with your PC (either XP or Vista), and a hardware component is not working properly, perform one, or both, of the following tasks to install the appropriate HP drivers.
  • Reinstall the original drivers using the HP Backup and Recovery Manager. To launch the Backup and Recovery Manager on Vista and some XP PCs, restart the PC and immediately press F11. On the Recovery Manager window, click Advanced options, and then click Reinstall original device drivers. You can then select any of the original device drivers.
  • If you have installed the original drivers and the component is working, but not as well as possible, you can search for and install updated HP drivers for your operating system. For detailed instructions, refer to Install updated drivers to improve device performance .

Have you changed the operating system that was shipped with your PC?

If you have modified or changed the operating system that came with your PC from XP to Vista, or from Vista to XP, there are three common troubleshooting scenarios.
  • If your HP Pavilion or Compaq Presario Notebook PC shipped with XP, and it is an HP-Certified Vista Capable PC, and you upgraded from XP to Vista using the HP Upgrade Utility, all the drivers you need are available and organized by operating system on the HP web site.
    For instructions on how to find updated drivers after using the approved HP Upgrade to Vista utility, refer to Install updated drivers to improve device performance .
  • If your PC shipped with XP, and it is NOT on the official list of HP-Certified Vista Capable PCs, and you upgraded it to Vista, your PC may not work properly because it is using generic drivers from Microsoft or other third-party software manufacturers. HP does not provide drivers for PCs that are not certified for Vista. HP recommends reinstalling the original XP operating system using the XP Recovery discs that you created with the Recovery Manager when you first used the PC.
  • If your PC shipped with Vista, but you decided to downgrade it to XP, your PC may not work properly without specific drivers designed for Windows XP. HP recommends reinstalling the original Vista operating system using the Vista recovery discs that you created with the Recovery Manager when you first used the PC.
    For additional information on recovering the original operating system, refer to See also .
    NOTE:Select business notebook models will support a downgrade of the operating system from Vista to Windows XP.

Did you use the HP Vista Update utility before upgrading?

Many people have experienced problems with specific devices and drivers after they followed the Microsoft instructions on how to upgrade any PC to Vista. An upgrade to Vista with the Microsoft upgrade program depends on the availability - and functionality - of generic drivers, from Microsoft and third-party manufacturers. The devices and drivers may work but with limited functionality.
HP notebook customers should have used the HP Quick Update utility that eliminates the driver compatibility problems by automating the upgrading process. Even if you did not use the HP Quick Update utility, you should verify that the following changes were made to your PC.
  • The upgrade utility checks the motherboard to verify that the PC is HP certified to meet or exceed the Vista standards. If you did not use the utility, or the utility reported that your PC was not capable of being upgraded, you should not upgrade to Vista. You should restore the original XP operating system.
  • The upgrade utility installs (flashes) the latest BIOS designed for the specific PC. If you did not use the utility, you should go to the HP Software and Driver Download page for your specific model PC to download and install the latest BIOS.
  • The upgrade utility installs and runs HP Update to search for newer, updated Vista programs and drivers. If you did not use the HP Quick Update utility, you should download and run the HP Update (English only) utility now to check for Vista software.
  • If you have searched other web sites and downloaded third-party drivers, there is no guarantee that the devices will work properly. HP has no control over the quality or functionality of drivers supplied by other manufacturers. You should download and install the proper HP updated drivers, and, if necessary, reinstall the original operating system.

Reinstall original drivers to get the hardware devices working

If you are concerned that you may have updated or installed the wrong drivers, use the HP Backup and Recovery Manager to reinstall the original device drivers and return the PC to a stable operating condition:
NOTE:These instructions are for a consumer PC, sold in 2006 or later with the HP Backup and Recovery Manager application. They do not apply to older model PCs that were shipped with separate operating system recovery, and HP driver and application recovery discs.
  1. Restart the PC, and when the HP or Compaq logo appears, press F11 to launch the HP Backup and Recovery Manager.
    Alternately, click Start, select All Programs, and then locate HP Backup and Recovery Manager.
  2. In the Recovery Manager, click Advanced Options, and then click either Software program re-installation or Hardware driver re-installation.
  3. Follow the instructions to reinstall the original files, and allow the PC to restart if needed.
After the original drivers are installed and the device is working, install updated drivers from the HP wen site. Refer to Install updated drivers to improve hardware device performance .

Install updated drivers to improve hardware device performance

To ensure that you always have the proper updated drivers, download the updated drivers from the HP web site, uninstall the existing drivers, and then install the downloaded drivers:
  1. Open a web browser and go to the HP Software and Driver Download page.
  2. Enter the product name/number in the for product search field, and then click the start search icon .
  3. Select the correct operating system. The drivers are operating system specific, and there are several different editions of Vista.
    NOTE:To determine the edition of Vista is on your PC, click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.
  4. Click the desired driver, and review the displayed information.
  5. For the desired driver, select Download, and when prompted, click Save to save the driver to a convenient place, such as the desktop, on the PC.
  6. Open the Device Manager.
    • For XP, click Start, right-click My Computer, click Properties, select the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.
    • For Vista, click Start, right-click Computer, click Properties, and then click Device Manager. If prompted, select Continue.
  7. In the Device Manager window, click the plus sign (+) next to a device to see a list of currently installed drivers.
  8. Right-click the installed driver, and select Uninstall to remove the installed driver.
    If prompted, select delete the software for the device, or click OK to continue the actions.
  9. When the driver is uninstalled, close the Device Manager window.
  10. Double-click the updated driver file that you downloaded (to the desktop) earlier, and if prompted, click OK to complete the installation.
If prompted, allow the PC to restart, then test that the component is working properly.

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