If you've already upgraded to Windows 10 you may find some of your drivers aren't working properly. Here's how to fix driver issues in Windows 10.
(For more on Windows 10, also see: Windows 10 review.)
A reader wrote in to Helproom to ask: "I have a Dell Inspiron 9400 laptop that runs Windows 8.1. Unfortunately, I can’t get any updated video drivers for the 256MB Nvidia GeForce Go 7800 it came with, which means the 17in screen shows an awful, sickness-inducing blurred screen. The update to Windows meant it downgraded to the Microsoft Basic Display Adaptor, which ruined the previously clear picture. It doesn’t even seem to see the Nvidia processor any more. Is there a workaround or any way to replace the Nvidia processor? The rest of the laptop still works really well."
It's an interesting issue that affects PC users whenever they make an OS upgrade. The same will be true of anybody upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 10. Here's how we solved their problem. (Also see: How to get Windows 10 now.)
How to fix driver issues in Windows 10 (and Windows 8)
It’s an unfortunate fact that this situation often arises when a new release of Windows is released. Unlike desktop graphics cards, laptop graphics processing units are often left in the hands of the laptop vendors when it comes to driver updates. So when a model is no longer sold, there is often little incentive for the vendor to keep on producing driver updates for it. As an example, the GeForce Go 7800 isn’t listed on Nvidia’s list of GPUs supported under Windows 8.1 nor Windows 10.
Under certain rare circumstances it is possible to upgrade the graphics card in a laptop, but it’s seldom worthwhile doing so.
However, all is not lost. As you might imagine, you’re not the only person wishing to get Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 running on an older laptop and there are tricks that can be employed to fool the graphics driver installer into working on your hardware.
You could try searching the forums of a site such as forums.laptopvideo2go.com to see if anyone has found success with the combination of your particular laptop and Windows 8.1. After a little searching, we found one user able to run Windows 8 on a GeForce Go 7800 using drivers found on Microsoft’s Windows Update site at tinyurl.com/mdlfkt2.
Unfortunately, if you're still stuck on finding the right drivers for your laptop or even desktop PC, then you'll most likely have to upgrade your parts. Alternatively, you can rollback to an older version of Windows, such as Windows 7 which might still have compatible drivers for your PC (in our case the GeForce Go 7800 has compatible Nvidia drivers for Windows 7). Read next: How to downgrade Windows 10.
Thanksfully, with prices constantly dropping you can build yourself a nice high-end gaming PC for under £500! Here's our guide on how to build a PC the right way.