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How to install drivers for any Android device on Windows

While following any rooting method for an Android device, one of the most important steps is to setup the device drivers correctly on your PC/ Laptop before using any rooting tool. I am writing out this guide, as this is the step where most of my readers get stuck, i.e. driver installation part. This guide should work for all Android devices out there and on all Windows versions. I have tested this method on a variety of devices and on Windows XP and 7.

How it Works!

An application called Pdanet allows you to tether your PC via your Android device to connect to internet on PC. For the app to run, a small application needs to be downloaded on the pc end. The Pdanet for PC application, during its installation, installs the drivers for all kind of Android devices, and that's the only thing we are currently interested in.

How to get it to work!

So, now you know how the installation of Pdanet will install the drivers for your device. Read the simple step by step guide below to install drivers for your device. And remember, it won't get any simpler guide than this one for installing your Android drivers.
  1. Download Pdanet from here.
  2. Double click the file you just downloaded.
  3. Don't connect your device until I say that!
  4. Continue through the installation by pressing next > next, till a screen saying something about drivers appears.
  5. Skip to the next step if this one doesn't apply to you. If you already tried installing some drivers, it will ask you if you want to uninstall currently installed drivers and install them using pdanet. Click yes there. Clearly put, if it asks you to overwrite previous installation of drivers, or anything like that, you have to press yes.
  6. The pop-up screen will look almost like the one attached below asking you to select your device manufacturer. Choose your device operator and click ok. If your device is not in the list, click Others and then press OK.
    Device Manufacturer selection: Pdanet
    Note: All Indian Device manufacturers like Karbonn, Micromax, Spice, Lava and every other brand not listed in the options that appear fall in the others category.
  7. A scary warning in red will appear saying that Windows couldn't verify the publisher of the software. Click on "Install this Driver Software anyway". This warning may appear multiple times, keep clicking on install drivers anyway until it stops appearing.
    Windows warning during Driver Installation
  8. Then Pdanet will ask you to connect your device to the computer. Now you have to connect your device to your PC/ Laptop using USB cable. Don't enable any modes like: USB storage or tethering. Just let the driver installation complete.
  9. Once the installation of the driver completes, you have successfully setup your device drivers.
  10. Now exit pdanet from the taskbar by right clicking on the app icon (as shown in the snapshot below). This will prevent pdanet from interfering with ADB/ anything else you are going to use. This is just a precautionary measure.
  11. Now you can continue with rooting your device or playing around with ADB and Fastboot.
  12. To check if your device drivers have been installed successfully, try setting up ADB on your PC using this guide. The process will be a lot easier now, as you have already installed the drivers. If on giving the command "adb fastboot", you get a response with your device name (may not be device name laways, in my case it was ?1234567890), your drivers have been installed successfully. Otherwise, if nothing appears under "List of devices attached", then you still have to do it rightly.
  13. Another (easier) method of checking whether your drivers have been installed correctly is, connect your phone to the PC, and don't turn USB Storage/ Tethering on. Start Device Manager, your device should be listed as Android ADB Interface as shown in the snapshot below.
    Is your device listed there?

P.S. A small utility named USB Deview lets you uninstall prior installation of drivers. To use that, make sure you right click on it and run as administrator.
Once the drivers are installed, you can use a large set of PC based tools to customize your Android even more.

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