FAQ on device drivers

What do drivers do and why may I need to upgrade them?
  • This document will try to explain what drivers are, why it is important to update drivers, when to update drivers, where to get them, and how to install them.


Drivers - The what?
  • Drivers are programs or files that contain sets of instructions for the operating system detailing how best to operate or drive a certain piece of hardware.
  • Each piece of hardware on your system has its own specific driver. Your audio, video, and modem are some of the components that require drivers.
  • If you just add the component, the operating system will not know what to do with it. However, when you install the driver, the operating system knows exactly what it is and, more importantly, it understands how to use it.

Drivers - The why?
  • If your modem driver does not perform - your modem does not work. It may be time to refresh or update your drivers.
  • The other instance when it is necessary to update your driver is when new additions are made to it.
  • Since manufacturers cannot make their components compatible with every new component that comes on the market, they create newer drivers, adding the instructions to make the drivers more adaptable. Your video driver is a good example: as new technologies develop in 3D drawings, it may be necessary to upgrade your video driver to be able to understand those new technologies.


Drivers - The when?
  • So, if each new driver is better than the old one, should not I always have the latest and greatest driver? This kind of reasoning is great, but not always necessary.
  • Remember, every time you add, delete, or change your system files corruption may occur. It is a very small chance, but a chance nonetheless. If your system is running fine and you are not having any problems, you may not need to update your drivers.
  • All drivers are tested on what Lenovo calls clean machines, which means that they will work flawlessly on newly reloaded machines.
  • These new drivers have not been tested with any programs or hardware that you may have added to your system and that small possibility of corruption exists.
  • When you notice poor performance from a component it is time to upgrade your drivers.Example: If your audio is not working (after checking all volume controls) then maybe it is a driver issue; if that new game you purchased looks fuzzy, then maybe it is a driver issue.

Drivers - The where and the how?

You can find the latest downloads and drivers for your system using the following options:

Option 1: ThinkVantage System Update (TVSU)

Note: This is only for Think products
You may choose to download your drivers automatically using the TVSU.

Option 2: Driver Matrix.
To download your required drivers, go to Driver Matrix

Option 3: Driver download listing.

  1. Go to Lenovo Support
  2. Choose your product category
    How to download driver
  3. Choose your product detail from the drop down menu or key in your product name at the search box:
    How to download driver
    Product Name (ie W540, Yoga 12, Y500 or N500).
    For more details, please refer to Help me find my product name
  4. Click Go
  5. Click Downloads tab. You will see all your drivers arranged by Category and Operating System accordingly.
  6. Filter following your Category and Operating System requirement.


Drivers - Third Party Hardware
  • All drivers and software listed here are verified compatible with Lenovo machines. Please visit the third party manufacturer's website for the most recent updates.
Help me find my product name
Help me find my product name
Did this work for you? let us know

  • Alias ID: MIGR-4F4QKX
  • Document ID: HT001609
  • Last Updated :29 May 2015
  • © 2015 Lenovo