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Software for Updating Drivers

Discussion in 'Software' started by ad, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. ad

    ad Bit Poster

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    Hi everyone, does anyone here use either free or paid software for updating/managing their drivers? I've seen a number of lists and reviews such as Driver Reviver, Driver Max and SlimDrivers by sites such as Tomsguide. But wanted I was hoping for end user experiences here to get a better idea on which to get.

    From what I have read (please correct me if I am wrong) updating drivers manually from the manufacturers website can be problematic if traces of the old driver remains. If people have a found a software that handles everything seamlessly that would be great.

    Thanks.
     
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    I have to be honest and say that I haven't had to use a 3rd party to install drivers at all for years now.

    I have various computers here with a mix of hardware and either the OS knows about it and installs a driver or there is a driver disk to use and it just works after installation.

    What are you thinking needs to use a 3rd party installer?
     
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  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Drivers run in 'ring 0', meaning its incredibly important to know that they are trusted programs, thats also why we have driver signing.

    Third party installers such as you mention make no warranties as to where the programs have come from, making their use potentially dangerous.

    I agree with SimonD, let Windows Update manage 90% of it, if you want finer control do it manually with drivers you are 100% sure come from the manufacturer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
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  4. ad

    ad Bit Poster

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    Well that is information I hadn't even considered before, thanks.

    I initially thought my graphics card (ATI Radeon 4850HD) would benefit from a 3rd party driver installer. This is because there was no notification that the driver needed an update, when one was actually available on the manufacturers site.

    There is an AMD Driver Autodetect Tool from AMDs official site, but I also read online that when updating a driver one would also need to manually remove the old driver(s) (especially with graphics cards) otherwise serious faults can occur. I thought a specialised software for drivers could do that more efficiently, for all drivers as well as AMD.

    I was concerned that other hardware which might have driver updates available were also being missed. My reasoning was if there was a reliable software that could manage all driver update checking, installation and old driver removal for me, that might be best.

    It sounds like you guys mostly rely on "Windows Update" for driver updates, checking my update history, on one occasion in February 2011 my ATI Graphics card got an update. I'm not sure why "Windows Update" has missed the different driver releases since then though. I checked "Devices and Printers", right clicked on my pc name and clicked device installation settings which shows I have selected "yes, do this automatically (recommended)" for "Do you want Windows to download driver software and realistic icons for your devices?". So the issue isn't there.

    I'm planning to clean re-format my PC soon so perhaps when I install Windows 7 again all the latest drivers will get installed that way. Before I do that though do you think it might be worth installing testing say for e.g. slimdrivers software and see what happens specifically how and where it has downloaded the latest driver? There is a new driver for my graphics card according to the AMD site so the software should detect at least one new driver, hopefully.
     
  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Windows update only installs drivers that have passed WHQL, manufacturers typically don't put all driver revisions through this process as its too long winded.

    So you use Windows Update for the 90%.

    Then you go to AMD, Intel or NVidia site and run the related driver update tool. This generally deals with all issues and keeps you safe and upto date.
    http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/detect
    http://www.nvidia.co.uk/Download/Scan.aspx
    http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/auto-detect-tool

    There is generally only a problem removing old drivers for badly written drivers or when you've installed the wrong driver initially. Its generally not a problem for display cards as these drivers are updated all the time and therefore get decent installers and a lot of testing.

    AMD and Nvidia driver installers also have windows services that can run in the background and do auto driver updates if you install them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
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  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    No for the reasons I already outlined.

    They let people upload drivers to their web site, all these companies do. These people are the general public, there is no vetting.

    Just imagine, russian hacker uploads virus/trojan infected driver, possibly with hacked or spoofed authenticode, you download and install it as its a 'nice new driver'.

    Now you have been pwned...

    The 'Crowd' doesn't mean you will get decent quality stuff in the instances where 99% of people know nothing about the subject. This is the case with device drivers.

    If you are lucky they will auto upload drivers from everyones machine and require a few 100 identical versions of the same driver from different locations before they accept it into their database, but how would you know...
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
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  7. ad

    ad Bit Poster

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    Great feedback dmarsh thanks! I'm glad I didn't install any software now, instead today I ended up opening my PC to clean out 4 1/2 years worth of dust, my joints are aching, but my fault for leaving it this long. Good job I read your post after the clean up.

    For the software drivers I will setup an alert on my PC to remind me fortnightly to check for driver updates myself, listing links to the official manufacturers' websites, like the ones you listed, and check and download them manually if needed. With people making software to make things more automated I have become quite lazy and in this case wrongly favoured saving a few minutes instead of using the secure route of updating drivers manually via official manufacturers.

    Cheers.
     

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