XP install: how do I find my sound card's drivers? And what programs do I really need?
December 16, 2004 3:23 PM   Subscribe

Laptop Clean XP Install:
1] My (on board?) sound card is unrecognised. How do I find out what drivers to use?

2] What programs do you really think I need? I already have VNC, VLC, Firefox, Thunderbird and AVG installed. What else should I add? (Freeware/OS appriciated but not needed.)

VNC = Remote access program
VLC = DVD player type thing
AVG = AntiVirus
posted by twine42 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
You're going to need to know what chipset the motherboard uses, I think. For example, AMD processors are often paired with VIA chipsets, so you'd need the VIA sound drivers. Typically this is an all-in-one driver installation which would also include the ATA/DMA drivers as well.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:47 PM on December 16, 2004

You'll might likely need to find the drivers via either the motherboard or laptop's website. Some companies don't support laptop drivers and are supported only through the laptop company's and if they don't offer the apporpriate drivers, well, you're in trouble. IE, Raedon isn't very good about supporting drivers for their video cards and you can only get them through the laptop company's drivers (or 3rd party if going Linux).
posted by jmd82 at 4:30 PM on December 16, 2004

You can download Everest from lavalys.com and it will tell you much about the chipsets on the motherboard if your laptop documentation doesn't have that info.

Oh, and IrfanView for an image viewer. Much better than what XP comes with, and free.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 5:27 PM on December 16, 2004

Ugh, InfranView is too clumsy.

Here's my list on a fairly new install:

Miranda IM

World of Warcraft

I'll toss Photoshop on here once I find the install CD again.

I also have a folder of programs that don't need to be installed. They are simply copied from one machine to another, merged occasionally. Current highlights include:

acid64 (SID player for hardware SID cards)
Proxomitron (brilliant filtering proxy)
PTFB104 (Push The Freak'n Button automation)
posted by krisjohn at 5:40 PM on December 16, 2004

I second Irfanview as a good image viewer. (its batch processing can be a lifesaver)

And as far as drivers go, you can always try using Windows Update, but there's lots of implications.

Cygwin (for me anyhow) usually gets installed.
Winamp (or Foobar 2000)
Power Toys
posted by stovenator at 11:41 PM on December 16, 2004

1) Google "your laptop model" sound driver

2) Spybot Search & Destroy (yes, I did notice you have Firefox).
Sun J2SE 1.4.2-05 or later.
Microsoft Office XP or 2003 (get the student edition so it doesn't cost quite so many arms and legs). At some point you will need to print somebody else's Word document, and if there are any tables, text boxes, pictures, page borders or odd fonts in it then OOO will break it.
posted by flabdablet at 4:16 AM on December 17, 2004

using the generic drivers often breaks things, so for sure get the ones meant for your laptop. have the original system restore disk for it? dirvers should be there somewhere.

i like to add the powertoys, and always set winamp as the default player (generally try to find some codec packs to make it more universal as well) but you might want to go with iTunes, haven't used it myself but my officemate is hooked. either way FoxyTunes for firefox is a recommended plus.

RealAlternative + QuicktimeAlternative.

there was a thread a while ago that had a good listing of "essential" software to go on any new system. i'd add to that, and to the above, microsoft's clear type tuner control panel, to make the LCD on your laptop give you the best font display settings for your screen.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:06 AM on December 17, 2004

Response by poster: 24 hours, and it vanishes off the page. Wonderfull. :)

Thanks for your suggestions guys. The sound problem is going to be slowed by the fact it was built by a small manufacturer rather than a major company. I'll download that checker or open the bugger up and laugh and laugh and laugh until I have to put my scalpel down.
posted by twine42 at 3:02 PM on December 17, 2004

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