Windows 11’s Device Manager finally uses OS path instead of A: (floppy disks) – GetintoPC

Device Manager, which is still the default program for managing or fixing hardware and driver issues on PC, comes with some minor improvements in Windows 11.

If you are having problems with your driver or the computer manufacturer wants you to install drivers from their websites, there is a way to load drivers manually. To do this, you can use Device Manager and navigate to the path where the drivers are available instead of using the installation package provided by the OEM.

This is necessary only in some cases or when you are trying a new set of drivers for the first time and the drivers are blocked by the manufacturer. You can manually load drivers by clicking the “Driver” tab in the properties window and then you need to click the “Update Driver” button.

Device manager properties

To manually replace drivers, we need to choose packages from a “list of available drivers on my computer.” This can be accessed via the “Have Disk” button in the bottom right corner of Device Manager.

Install from disk
Device Manager defaults to floppy drive location in Windows 10

In Windows 10 or earlier, the default Device Manager location is set to A: when you navigate through menus such as “Have Disk.”

Apparently, A isn’t just a random letter assigned by Microsoft.

According to a blog post published in 2014 for Windows Vista, A and B are generally reserved for floppy drives. If your computer doesn’t have floppy drives, it doesn’t make sense for Device Manager to use the A: location.

Device Manager floppy drives
Device Manager now uses the system drive path for drivers

Microsoft took a while to realize that the A:/ mapping is pointless since the era of floppy drives is over. This was fixed in Windows 11 Build 22000 (stable). Starting with Windows 11, Device Manager no longer defaults to A: i.e. it doesn’t prompt you for a floppy for drivers (the icon has also been replaced).

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, older floppies are still compatible with Windows 11, including 5.25″ floppies. If you have an older floppy, you can still plug it into a Windows 11 device and the operating system will recognize it.

Other enhancements to Device Manager

Also, Device Manager now allows you to view drivers along with devices. There are new filters “Devices by Drivers”, “Drivers by Type” and “Drivers by Devices” so that users can easily view, install and remove drivers.

There is also a new “Add Drivers” button that allows you to add and install new drivers on all supported devices.

These changes should make driver management easier and more intuitive.

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