View Full Version : What are chipset drivers?

01-29-2003, 01:57 PM
Hello. I've been reading in the Dell forums concerning Windows 2000 installation issues, and I've seen some references to chipset drivers being a problem. What are chipset drivers?
I have a Dell XPS-R400 with the Intel 440BX motherboard (or Dell version thereof). And Powerleap 1.2Ghz upgrade.

01-29-2003, 02:35 PM
Hi Dogsday
Let's see how wrong I can be.

Chipset drivers are the drivers that "tell"/ "allow" the north & south bridge(s) on the motherboard how to work.

Easy way of possibly explaining.
For your graphics card to work to is full extent you install drivers specially made for it. The chipset drivers do the same for the motherboard.

(Come on guys set me right :rolleyes: )

01-29-2003, 02:38 PM
North & south bridges...are they specifically for AMD cpu's, then?

01-29-2003, 02:48 PM
Nope. As far as I know all motherboard have them.

Someone will probably explain exactly what the N & S bridges dov better than my feeble attempts

01-29-2003, 03:08 PM
North bridge controls the fast stuff - memory, graphics etc.
South bridge controls the slower stuff - com ports etc.

01-29-2003, 03:26 PM
Thanks deddard
If I had tried to say that I would have used half a page up with nonsensical rubbish:D

01-29-2003, 04:00 PM
The gist of it as I understand it is that chipset drivers are the hardware instruction sets, determining the upper limits of what your motherboard can do. As technology evolves, chipsets evolve that allow use of that technology. WinXP is finicky about what it will work with, but it will probably work with most newer chipsets.


01-29-2003, 05:14 PM
And here I thought they were those guys who carried the trays around to the tables at the casinos...:D

01-30-2003, 10:42 AM
A memory lane post..:) Had trouble with Sony CD writer, called Sony. Sony tech says, "You will never get your new CD writer to work unless you upgrade your bus masters."
"What's a bus master?"
"Drivers for your chipset."
"What's a chipset?".....etc and etc...:confused::o :confused:

Several days later, armed with mobo ID and other essential specs, I was still baffled, and getting desperate, and found my way here...Thank you, God!...:) And thank you, ixl, for providing a rescue center!

Dogdaysdude : It turned out that the Sony tech was incorrect; chipset drivers were not my problem. All I had to do to get the Sony to work was install the abCD packet writing thing. I think you're probably safe enough to go ahead and load 2K, and just see. You can update chipset drivers later, if necessary, from the chipset manufacturer.

01-30-2003, 11:11 AM
Kay and all, thanks much. But where are they located? Are they something that resides on the hard disk and gets loaded? Are they resident on a rom chip on the MB? Is it a bios upgrade from Dell? (Already have the latest available bios for XPS-R Dimension.)

01-30-2003, 11:51 AM
They are just like any other driver, stored and loaded from your hard drive. Specifically they are the drivers that detail, for Windows, the capabilities of the various components of your motherboard. Windows includes support, at the most basic levels for all those devices. The driver package from the chipset manufacturer usually has much greater performance than the standard (generic) Windows set.

01-30-2003, 11:58 AM
So if I do an fdisk and format C: to do a clean install of an operating system, I would need to back those up first? If so, how do I recognize them? Or where would they be located?
I'm going to be doing a clean install of Win 2K this week-end.

01-30-2003, 12:30 PM
Some reading

Bus Bridges

System Chipset & Controllers

The Importance of drivers

I believe the drivers go in “C:\Windows\System” [could be wrong].

I once installed “Via 4in 1 Chipset Drivers” [on my son's PC] and they went on the HDD just like other drivers.

I think the “.inf” file includes all the necessary info for installation of drivers.
It lists driver files and registry settings etc.

01-30-2003, 01:16 PM
Adequate chipset drivers should load with Windows 2000, just like Windows 2000 has adequate drivers for most video cards on the market. New drivers are released periodically to fix problems (example: I had an older socket 7 mainboard and was running 98SE - when I got a CD-RW drive 2 years ago I was strongly advised at the Nero website to update the chipset drivers).

If you're doing a reinstall anyway, it wouldn't hurt to visit your mainboard's website and download the newest drivers.