While it’s true a whole bunch of you build your own PCs, it’s also true there are many out there with Dell PCs. Something Dell does not do (or at least not to the best of my knowledge) is ship their PCs with driver discs in case you have to reinstall Windows. Fortunately it’s easy to create your own either on CD/DVD or USB stick.
Step 1. Find your service tag
The Dell Service Tag is a sticker on the top, back or side of your PC or on the bottom of your laptop. It’s alphanumeric (contains both letters and numbers) and usually does not exceed 8 characters in length. Note that this should not be confused with the "express code", which is all numbers and different.
Step 2. Go to Dell Support
Step 3. Enter your Service Tag
Choose to "Enter a Tag":
Enter your tag:
Step 4. Choose your OS
This varies depending on what Dell PC or notebook you have, but ordinarily you will see drivers for both Windows XP and Windows 7. Choose the OS you currently have.
Step 5. Download your drivers
Which drivers do you want? The safest thing to do is that if you don’t know which you need, download all of them. Expand each section and click the blue Download button to get the installer file.
Step 6. Copy to CD/DVD or USB stick
Once you’ve downloaded all the drivers, copy them to your media of choice. You may want to categorize into folders such as "audio", "video", "wireless" and so to differentiate them easily.
Step 7. Tape the stick or disc to the case
"You mean physically attach the disc or stick to the case with tape?"
Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.
If a CD/DVD, put the disc in a paper sleeve and tape to the side of the case. If a USB stick, close the stick and tape to the side just like you would the disc sleeve. You might also want to label the media with "Dell Drivers – Do Not Remove".
Why do this? If the time ever comes where you need the drivers, it will probably be a long time from now and of course you’ll totally forget where you put your drivers by that point – but not if it’s actually taped to the case.
If using a notebook, put the disc or stick in your laptop carry case.