Driver Installation via the Device Manager

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This is an unofficial workaround and is necessary when drivers are locked to a particular version of Windows or when a driver bundle checks for specific hardware.

I will use the Dell Wireless 1708 (Broadcom) driver for a Windows 7 install with a Dell Wireless 1501 (Broadcom) card as an example.


Open the Device Manager

Opening the Device Manager is slightly different for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Windows 8.1 and 10

Right click the start button and select Device Manager:


The Device Manger will open see Extracting the Driver

Windows Vista and 7

Left click the start button, then right click computer and select properties:1708-5

To the left select Device Manager:


The Device Manger will open see Extracting the Driver

Extract the Driver

Most drivers from Dell allow an extraction and an installation. Old drivers can also be extracted with 7zip.

In this case of this example, the Dell Wireless 1708 driver select extract:


Select make new folder under downloads.


Rename the folder as desired


You'll be informed of the extraction, select view folder…


You can try to launch the setup, in this case the following error message will be encountered as it is looking for both a wireless and a bluetooth module. The Dell Wireless 1501 card is a wireless card only:


Updating the Driver

If the device has no driver it may have a ! and be listed as "Other devices". The hardware can be determined using the hardware IDs see Checking Hardware IDs in the Device Manager for more details.


Alternatively if it has a basic or older driver expand the category and right click it and select properties:



Select driver and view the driver version. Then select update driver…


Select Browse my computer for driver software:


Specify the location of your extracted driver folder and ensure include subfolders is checked:


The updated driver will install:



You will see the latest version:


Power Management

Some newer drivers may not handle power management well for some devices particularly the likes of wireless cards. If you experience issues such as frequent disconnects then alter the power management settings.

It advisable to select the power management tab if available and uncheck allow the computer to turn off this device to save power if you have any further issues:


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