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DirectX 9 Driver Download

DirectX is a Microsoft technology that enables Windows-based PCs to run applications - particularly games - that have multi-media elements. It comprises three parts that together create special visual and audio effects. Direct3D handles three dimensional animation, DirectDraw deals with two dimensional effects, and DirectSound boosts the performance of audio effects.

Why You Need to Update DirectX Drivers

Various versions of DirectX drivers have been released over the years. The latest, DirectX 10, is available as standard with Windows Vista. It is an integral part of the operating system and so cannot be uninstalled.

For other Windows operating systems, earlier versions of DirectX may be installed. You can check the version you have by clicking the Start button, typing ‘dxdiag’ in the Search box and pressing Enter. Select the System tab and you will see the version number under System Information.

DirectX is designed to be backward compatible so that games should run on a later version than the one for which they were written. However, you may hit problems trying to run a new game with an older version of DirectX, which does tend to have small incremental releases. This means that those showing versions 9.0, 9.0a, 9.0b and 9.0c may have significant differences that can result in incompatibility. Errors may occur, often reporting that a required dll (dynamic link library) cannot be found, initialised or has caused a problem. You may also experience poor sound quality, no sound or a blank screen.

If you do have problems, the usual solution is to update DirectX driversso you have the latest version installed. This version will have security and performance updates, new features and will allow more games to be run.

How to Undertake Driver Downloads

For all but Windows Vista users, the latest version is DirectX 9.0c, which was released in November 2008. This will work on most editions of Windows, but not Windows 98 or ME, where DirectX 8.1 is the latest suitable version. Additionally, you cannot update DirectX on Windows NT.

If you want to update DirectX drivers, downloading the latest version 9 from the Microsoft website and installing it will overwrite the previous version. Once this occurs, you can’t officially remove it. You should therefore ensure that you create a restore point first in case you encounter problems and need to revert to a working version. You will only be able to undertake driver downloads if you have a genuine version of Microsoft Windows.

A driver download of version 9 is an active download that is installed without the files being saved. The main drawback to this is that, if you also want to update any other computers, you will have to download drivers separately to each one.

DirectX 9.0c, on the other hand, is a redistribution version that is provided so that developers can distribute it with their products. This means that you download all the files in one package, which you can save, and then update DirectX drivers on as many machines as necessary. Having downloaded the package and created your restore point, double-click the package to extract its files to a temporary folder. Then run DXSETUP.exe, complete the installation and restart your computer if required.

Note too that just updating your DirectX drivers may not be enough to solve all your multimedia problems. Often, you need to download related video and audio drivers too for that overall heart-thumping multimedia experience. To easily do this, you can use a 3rd party driver update tool such as Driver Detective.