After I format my hard drive?

After I format my hard drive - What drivers do I have to install so my PC can work without problems.

First I install Windows from the XP Pro CD.
And then?

Can someone list all the possible drivers that should be installed.

For example:
Do I have to install Main Board drivers?
Mouse & Keyboard drivers?
Audio drivers?
Monitor drivers?

I have Pentium 4 1.5GH 256MB RAM
OS XP Professional.

All help is appreciated

Wow, you want a super detailed answer but you provide sooooooo much information!


Lots and lots of drivers COULD be necessary. Odds are that most of your hardware (99.99%) will be supported one way or another by the Windows CD. Video card and motherboard will likely need some extra stuff to perform 100%. Maybe sound card.

I know a few things about the issue but I have never formatted my hard drive before all by myself, so I just wanted to do it nice.

I have the drivers for my video card.
Do you know where I can download the drivers for the Motherboard?
It is a little old - Matsonic.
And you mentioned sound card - I should look for these drivers too.


Any other suggestions would be welcome also

If you “already have” drivers, they’re no good. You want the latest drivers from the site of the maker of your card. :slight_smile:

Same goes with anything else.

Try your motherboard manufacturer’s site for their drivers. If that fails, figure out which chipset it uses and hit THAT site.

But rest assured, Windows has generic drivers that work for most boards.

You mean the XP Pro cd?
And where exactly are these generic drivers?


I’m guessing that you have the initial Windows XP Pro (without Service Pack). Here’s what I would do.

  • Download Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 from here (it’s over 260MB) and install this first. The SP2 will have some newer drivers for your system and it will install it automatically. Just a little tip: save this huge file for future need!
  • Look at your System/Device Manager. If there are yellow icons (meaning the device is not installed correctly yet) then you need to obtain drivers for that particular devices. Find the uptodate drivers from the manufacturer’s website.

I hate to say this, but with your level of inexperience it is INADVISABLE for you to attempt a windows install unaided. Trust me.

Interesting thought. Why would a noob have XP pro given how much it costs :disagree:


This is what the forum for. To aid the inexperience.

Interesting thought. Why would a noob have XP pro given how much it costs

huh, I have been on tech forums long enough to realize there are alot of folks out there with more money than brains. ROFL

Guys, guys can we go back to the main topic please.
Instead of prowessing yourselves why don’t you offer you suggestions about this issue from your experience.

And one more thing:
I have Installed Windows XP Pro from scratch(replace the old Windows folder with a brand new installation of Windows)many times and the essential programs that you need afterwards like Microsoft office and similar.
BUT I have never formated the hard drive.
I fear that after I format it I will have problems with the Motherboard drivers and many other drivers that I dont know of.
So if you remember the essential drivers that are needed I am open for any advice.

@Thanks a lot zevia

Why don’t you just back up all the drivers, before you format the HD?

We are not trying to be insentive but what you ask can be so easy to do yet so hard to explain how to do it. What motherboard? How smart is it out of the box with no Operating system installed. Do you have the disc that came with the motherboard / computer, the manual ?

you could download free softwares from these and post back your info,then more help could be given


I’m running a machine that I built myself and I have never needed to get specific drivers for the motherboard, DVD drives, keyboard, mouse, monitor etc. The Windows CD has generic drivers for these devices. I would suggest using the manufacturers drivers for devices such as a graphics card, sound card, printer, modem etc. But I would only use the manufacturers drivers for a monitor, keyboard etc if wanted something extra that the Windows drivers don’t cover. Such as the shortcut keys that are available on some keyboards.

Hope this helps.

Yes it does, Gary, thanks a lot.

you can run the compatibility test of the xp install disk in order to see if the OS should work. If the test finds no problems, just install, and worry about the drivers afterwards :smiley:

If you haven’t formatted the hard drive, then you’ve never installed ‘from scratch’.

That’s sweet. LOL
Thanks for the compatability test tip.