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How to find the correct display driver (Intel)

Problems with updating a Windows driver for Intel HD Graphics

Installing an up-to-date Graphics driver proves to be far from straightforward.
Here our experiences with an HP Elitebook laptop, with integrated Intel graphics. Integrated means that no special graphics card is present in this laptop:the graphics card functionality is performed by a part or the main board. On this laptop the chips for this graphics part have been manufactured by Intel, and named the "Intel(R) HD Graphics Family".

Sorry about the screenshots in Dutch: this laptop was running a Dutch Windows version.

Windows device manager screenshot
The Windows Device manager shows the Display adapter and it's driver.

You can see which graphics adapter is present in your PC via the Device Manager (Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Device Manager). Click on the arrow in front of "Display adapters" to see your adapter. See the illustration above: on our laptop the adapter is called "Intel(R) HD Graphics Family".
Doubleclicking on this line will open the dialog "Intel(R) HD Graphics Family Properties", The second tab called Driver will then show which Driver is being used. In our case an Intel driver from 2011, see the image above.

Windows error message screenshot
The error "DeskProto has stopped working. Check online for a solution or Close the program."

Normally it is no problem at all to keep using a display driver that is a few years old, however in this case it resulted in a crash. DeskProto (V6.1) started and worked OK, however when exiting the program Windows popped up the feared "DeskProto has stopped working" error message (twice). Clicking on "View Problem details" revealed that the crash had appeared in module "ig4icd64.dll", and we have found that this is a module of the Display driver. So a Driver update was needed so solve this problem.

As one of the options that the Device Manager offers is "Update Driver Software", this seems to be the best way to update the display driver. Not so: running this update option results in a dialog telling that "The best driver software for your device is already installed".

Intel website screenshot
Start screen of the Intel driver update utility.

Our next step was to visit the Intel website. Under Support Intel offers a page to Download Drivers and other software, and this page offers a tool to analyze and update all Intel drivers: the "Intel(R) Driver Update Utility". Unfortunately again no success: the utility updated the drivers for the LAN adapter and for the WIFI adapter, but not for the Display adapter.

The download "Intel(R) Graphics Driver for...", listed under Popular downloads. did not work either: it reported that the graphics card in our laptop was not supported.

Device manager screenshot showing the new driver
The Windows Device manager shows the Display adapter and it's new driver.

Finally, after seeking expert advise, we found what we needed to do:
the download page on the Intel website also offers an option to "Search for a download" by entering a "Product name or keyword". The trick was to look for the name of the laptop's processor. That name can also be found in the Device Manager (see the image above), under Processors. For our HP laptop this was an "Intel Code i5-2520M". This is needed as this integrated graphics card uses the processor for the graphics display, which makes the driver depend on the processor type. On your own PC this will of course in most cases be a different type.

Entering "i5-2520M" in this Intel search option resulted in a list of drivers, including a few for the graphics card. Selecting and running the download for the correct Windows version nicely installed a new Display driver (see the image above). As you can see it even changed the name of the graphics adapter. Anyway it did solve the crash problem, which was what we intended.

We have found that updating the display driver may fix many problems that do not even seem related to the graphics card.