Windows 7 in-OS Drivers

Windows 7 has a nice feature built in that if you know how to turn it on can make connecting older devices a snap. This is what Windows 7 calls in-OS drivers, meaning all the drivers you need for your printer or other device are already part of Windows 7 (or part of an update). Let’s take an example of an HP printer it’s a little older model but it still works great.

You’ve purchased a new desktop and installed on it is Windows 7. You get it home, get it all set up and your final step is to install your printer. You plug in your printer and insert your cd (if you still have it) that came with the printer to do the setup. The cd says it’s not compatible with Windows 7, so you figure you can go to the manufacturer website and download the drivers. Great idea. You get to the site and no drivers are available for  your model, it just says divers are “in-OS“. What? Your computer can see the printer but refuses to install the driver, if the drivers are in-OS then why aren’t they automatically coming up? As you bang your head against the desk in sheer frustration your final desperate move is to turn to the web. Surely someone out there has the answer right?

Hp.com does have a very helpful video to walk you through how to turn on the automatic update option for driver installation which will in fact search through all the windows updates to find the one that has your in-OS drivers. Here’s a quick walk through of how to do it:

  • On the taskbar, click the Windows icon ( ).
  • In the Search Programs and Files box , type change device installation .
  • Click Change device installation settings . The Device Installation Settings window opens.
  • If it is not already selected, select Yes, do this automatically (recommended) , and then click Save Changes .
  • NOTE:     Windows 7 might prompt you to restart the computer. Make sure that you bookmark this page so that you can quickly access it again.

This time when you go to add your printer you will get a dialog saying “checking automatic updates. this may take awhile” and it may take a few minutes but if your device says the drivers are in-OS it will find them. Happy printing everyone!

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