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Article Updated: November 05, 2009

KB Article Q01-1038

Locating and installing drivers.

Applies To

All Products

Summary

This article describes how to determine driver versions as well as how to locate and install new drivers for video and/or sound cards.

Resolution

Determining drivers and driver build numbers (versions)

Prior to looking for new drivers, it is important to determine which sound and video card and driver versions are currently installed on your PC. There are several methods that may be utilized to determine the driver versions and dates. The method selected is a matter of personal preference.

  • Click on the Windows Start menu, select Program Files/RealFlight/ RealFlight Control Panel (or Program Files/RealRace/ RealRace Control Panel). In the Control Panel click on the Technical Support button. The video and sound card information will be located in the dialog box in the upper, left corner. Please note: this process is only applicable to certain versions of our software. If your software does not include a control panel, then it will be necessary to access this information using a different method.

  • Click on the Windows Start menu, select Run and type 'DXDIAG' in the space provided. Click OK. This will launch the DirectX diagnostics tool. Click on the Display tab to determine the video card you are using as well as the driver version. Click on the Sound tab to view the sound card you are using as well as the driver version. Some individuals will have two Display tabs. One is a 2 Dimensional Card; the other is for the 3 Dimensional Card. You will most likely want to update both cards.

  • Alternately, you might wish to right click on the My Computer icon. This is located on the desktop of your computer. Click on Properties. The System Properties window should appear. If you are running Windows 95/98 click on the Device Manager tab. If running Windows 2000, click on the Hardware tab followed by the Device Manager button. Next, click on Sound, video, and game controllers and to determine the sound card. Click on the Driver tab to determine the drivers utilized. Click on Display adapters, in the Device Manager to view the video card information. Click on the Driver tab to determine the drivers utilized.

Locating and Downloading Drivers

After you have determined the make, model and driver information for your sound and video cards, you are now ready to locate and possibly download recent drivers. To do so, you will need to locate the company that manufactures the video and sound cards.

Please note, unless it has been suggested otherwise, you should download the most recent driver available for your sound and video cards. Occasionally this will be suggested as the recent drivers might cause difficulties or conflict with your computer.

  • When you start to download the driver it will ask you to either Save to a disk or Open file from its current location. You should check save this file to a disk, and download to your Documents section. Open up your Documents section, and find the drivers you have just downloaded. Click on the driver files, which should be in zipped form. Generally speaking, most drivers are self-executing or self-extracting. This means that after you have downloaded them to your PC you click on the file and the program will 'walk you through' the installation with on-screen instructions.

  • If the driver or drivers are transferred to your desktop in zip form you will have to unzip them. Your computer should have an unzip program already installed, but if you do not have an unzipping program you can download a free trial version of Winzip. Unzip the download into the Windows temp folder. Make sure you know the exact location of the folder. It should be extracted into the windows directory as: C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\DRIVER NAME AND VERSION NUMBER.

  • Make sure that you carefully review the Readme.txt that is in the download. Following the directions listed, as they are generally the most appropriate directions to correctly install the drivers for your respective card or cards. It may be helpful to print these instructions for use at a later date.

Old Drivers

Occasionally the old drivers may still be present in your system. If this is the case, they may cause conflicts in certain applications. These drivers may not be apparent in the standard Windows mode. To remove them, please access the Windows Safe Mode.

  • For Windows 95 users reboot your computer. Enter the Safe Mode by pressing the F8 key on the keyboard when the message Starting Windows 95 appears.

  • For Windows 98 users reboot the computer and holding down the left control (ctrl) key during the reboot. The screen will display a menu, which has an option for Safe Mode, after a short period of time. Please choose the Safe Mode option.

  • Once you get into Safe Mode right click on My Computer, left click on Properties, go to Device Manager, and left click the plus button next to Display Adapters. If there are any listings for sound or video cards that you no longer have or multiple entries for your current video Card, it is necessary to remove them.

Special Purpose Drivers

Some manufacturers offer what they term "Special Purpose" drivers. In most cases you should download and install the "special purpose" (or "alternate," or "beta") drivers, rather than the "recommended" drivers.
The "special purpose" (or "alternate," or "beta") drivers are the latest, and often fix known problems that exist in the "recommended" drivers.

For some cards, problems in the "recommended" drivers can cause lockups (computer "freeze"), graphics/sound problems, etc., in RealFlight. This has been particularly true for ATI cards (Radeon, and earlier cards such as the Rage series). So, be sure to use the latest drivers for your cards. In many cases, this means you should use the "special purpose" drivers.

 Manufacturers Web Sites

Video
ATI http://www.atitech.com/
MATROX http://www.matrox.com/mga/
NVIDIA http://www.nvidia.com/
SiS http://www.sis.com.tw


Audio
Aureal A3D Chipset

 

Unfortunately, the Aureal company is no longer in business, so support for the following sound cards is limited. Reference drivers for the A3D chipsets can be found at http://www.vortexofsound.com/drivers/drivers.htm. You may also want to visit your card manufacturer's website for the latest available drivers for your sound card.

 

Sound Blaster Live! Family http://soundblaster.com/
Crystal PNP CS4236B and SoundBlaster 16 compatible http://www.cirrus.com/
Soundscape http://www.ensoniq.com/







 



 


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Software Distributed Exclusively by:
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