Device Manager, which remains the default program to manage or
troubleshoot hardware and drivers on PC, comes with some minor
improvements on Windows 11.
If you’ve issues with your driver or the computer manufacturer
wants you to install drivers from their websites, there’s a way
to load drivers manually. To do this, you can use Device
Manager and navigate to the path where drivers are available
instead of using the installer package offered by the OEM.
This is necessary in some cases only or when you’re trying a
new set of drivers for the first time and drivers are blocked
by the manufacturer. You can manually load drivers by clicking
on the “Driver” tab in the properties window and then you’ve to
click the “Update Driver” button.
To manually replace drivers, we need to pick packages from a
“list of available drivers on my computer”. This can be
accessed via the “Have Disk” button at the bottom right corner
of Device Manager.
In Windows 10 or older, Device Manager’s default location is
set to A: when you browse menus like “Have Disk”.
A is apparently not just a random letter assigned by Microsoft.
As per a blog
post published in 2014 for Windows Vista, A and B are
usually reserved for floppy disk drives. If your computer does
not have floppy disk drives, it doesn’t make sense for Device
Manager to use A: location.
Microsoft took a while to figure out that the A:/ assignment is
pointless as the era of Floppy drives is now over. This has
been fixed in Windows 11 Build 22000 (stable). Starting with
Windows 11, Device Manager no longer defaults to A: i.e it
doesn’t ask you for a floppy disk for drivers (icon has also
Device Manager can now automatically detect the OS drive, so
you can easily locate the driver package if you extracted the
downloaded zip file to a folder on the system drive.
As some users have pointed out, ancient floppy disks are still
supported on Windows 11, including the 5.25” floppy disks. If
you have an ancient floppy disk, you can still connect it to a
Windows 11 device and it will be recognized by the OS.
Other improvements to Device Manager
Device Manager now lets you view drivers alongside devices.
There are new “Devices by drivers”, “Drivers by type”, and
“Drivers by devices” filters so you can easily users to view,
install, and remove drivers.
There’s also a new “Add drivers” button that lets you add and
install new drivers across all supported devices.
These changes should make managing drivers easier and more