Last Updated on November 6, 2020
A few decades ago, data for computers was stored externally in floppy drives (diskette). For those who never saw one, it was a small plastic storage device, and the more recent ones were just a little larger and thicker than a credit card.
They were the standard back then and they offered a portable way of storing data. Then came the Compact Disk. This was initially developed for sound storage but later adapted to store data. For many years since their invention, optical disks were the ideal way to store data. Soon, computers started shipping with CD. Most people were using them anyway and many drivers at the time also came in CDs. And then came the time we are living in now which has seen decline in the optical drives now.
So this brings us to the question in hand, how to install motherboard drivers without CD Drive? This question is being asked more and more as the CD Drive goes obsolete.
Basically, to install the drivers, you will need an internet connection. With an active internet connection, either via WiFi or Wired LAN, you can access some methods that can allow you to download drivers.
Also Read: How Hot can a Motherboard Get?
The CD Drive – Almost Obsolete
CD drives, aka optical drives, have almost gone completely obsolete. Just as the Floppy Drive once became a part of digital museum, so it the PC optical drive on its way.
The high speed internet has made it possible to access all kinds of software and drives online without having to relying on something physical.
Therefore, it makes complete sense why someone would want to learn how to install motherboard drivers without CD Drive.
Motherboard Drivers and Device Manager
At the very core of your computer is the motherboard. It is an intricate device whose function is to ensure that all the computer’s subsystems are connected and working together properly.
It is a hardware component like any other and hence it needs files and programs that enable the computer OS and the motherboard hardware to communicate.
On a Windows Operating System, you can find your motherboard’s drivers through a built-in utility called Device Manager.
It lets you identify all the hardware devices that make up the computer as well as those it’s connected to and using externally.
If there are any issues with the detection of a particular driver i.e say a driver for LAN card is missing, it will highlight it as missing.
How to Install Motherboard Drivers without CD Drive
Because they are so important, you will often need to ensure that you have all the necessary drivers for your motherboard installed. It is also advisable to keep them up to date for better security and stability.
You can just as well install them using the Driver CD if one came with your motherboard. However, what happens when you don’t have the CD Drive?
Installing from Within the OS
If your computer manages to boot up into your OS then all is fine. There are a couple of ways you can go about installing the drivers from a computer that has successfully turned on.
1. Using Windows Updater
For Windows users, this program lets you do more than just update your OS. You can get new driver updates using windows updater in the following steps.
Navigate to “Windows Update”. On Windows 10 you can simply hit “Start”, go to “Settings”, click on Updates and Security then go to the “Windows Update” tab. From there, click on the “Check for Updates” button.
If drivers are available for your system, you will find them here. You can then go ahead and install them and voila!
2. Download the Drivers from the Website
This is not the easiest method in the lot, but it ensures great results when properly done. To do this, you need to go to your motherboard’s website. Hardware manufacturers provide easy ways to install needed drivers.
You will need to search for the drivers for your specific motherboard and once you find them, download them.
It is important to ensure that you have the correct drivers since some files are not cross-compatible between different bards, even from the same manufacturer.
Make sure you are on the relevant motherboard page since most motherboard from the same manufacturer have VERY identical names.
Once the file is downloaded on your computer, go ahead and install the program. Bear in mind that they may require administrative access over your computer and you may have to restart the system after the process is done.
This method is not a quick fix for all scenarios. If your computer currently doesn’t have any network drivers for Ethernet or Wi-Fi, you will not be able to connect to the internet in the first place.
This can be done on a separate machine and copied over though.
3. Use a Driver Installer Program
This is arguably the easiest way to go about installing drivers as the third-party program takes care of finding the latest drivers for your motherboard and installing them for you automatically.
They make it easy for you by taking out the time you would need to spend looking for the correct drivers online and even the confusion that may come with wondering whether you have the correct drivers.
Some programs come with a one-click search and install method while others may take more than a few steps to get everything up and running. Regardless of the means used, this is a simple method to install your motherboard drivers without a CD Drive.
Some of the programs used for this purpose will require you to purchase a license to let you continue with driver installations. It is, therefore, best to find out the cost you may need to pay for the service.
Can’t Connect to Internet?
Most of these methods work under the assumption that you can connect to the internet and if not, you can access external storage devices through your USB ports.
Copy to an External Hard Disk or USB
If you have a flash drive or an external hard disk, you can use a second computer that is operating normally to download and copy all the drivers in it.
This is in situation where your first PC cannot even access the internet.
Hooking Up the Internal Hard Disk to a Second PC
In extreme cases where you can’t copy the drivers or download them, a “hardy” method to fix this problem would require you to have a second computer that’s operating normally.
You can then take the hard drive from your computer and plug it into the second computer and boot it up.
If the second drive is identified, copy your downloaded driver files into one of its visible partitions and once this is successfully done, take it out.
Reinstall the hard drive into your computer and reboot it. Once loaded, find the driver files in the partition where you put them and attempt to install the drivers.
This might take some time and the computer may need to be restarted. However, if this is done correctly you will have your drivers ready and your computer will be ready to use.
Benefits and Precautions
You may purchase a board that has stayed in the shop for a while, as a result, end up getting outdated drivers out of the CD. Installing drivers from the web will most often get you the newest versions available.
As a precaution, you should ensure you get good stable drivers for your motherboard. Bad ones will often disrupt your computer’s performance. Also, follow the proper methods provided by your hardware manufacturer for installing the drivers.
Lastly, if you will be downloading third-party drivers for whatever reason, be sure that you can trust the vendor and their software.
Here we talked about how to install motherboard drivers without CD Drive. Basically, if you need to install motherboard drivers and don’t have a CD drive, don’t despair.
You still have options and apart from simply waiting for an update, you can head to your board’s manufacturer’s website and find the appropriate files you need.
Going about this will require patience with the download and a good amount of research done to ensure that you have the correct drivers from the right vendor.
After all is said and done, installing the drivers will require a few clicks and a little bit of setting up. For manual installations, you will often be guided through the installations by the installer. If you opt to get help from other tools you trust, you can still accomplish the same.