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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Updating Windows 7 drivers

    I was having issue that made me wonder if my drivers needed updating. I tried two different driver update programs: DriverFighter and Driver Genius. I got different result from the two, and both were different than Windows Update. So, here's the questions:

    Who uses a driver update program other than just relying on Windows update? If so, why, and if not why not? And then, if you do use a separate product, which, and why?

    Thanks guys,
    Chuck
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    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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    3 Star Lounger bassfisher6522's Avatar
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    Personally, I stay away from driver update program as well as Windows updates (for drivers). If I need a driver or a driver needs to be updated, I manually update my drivers. This way I know I have the correct and latest driver.

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    IMO, driver programs are a solution looking for a problem. Unless you are certain you have a driver issue, leave your drivers alone. I do leave mine well alone.
    Rui
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    If you know you need a new driver go to the OEM that manufactured the piece of equipment. Remember though, that for notebooks in particular the big PC OEMS often get slightly modified NIC and graphics devices. You should only update drivers for a notebook from the notebook vendor.

    Joe

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Driver update programs are not trustworthy, neither is Microsoft's Windows Update when it comes to the latest or fully functional drivers.

    The 3rd party softwares often make mistakes, leading to incorrect drivers, or an excess of (wrong) drivers being installed/loaded or attempting to load. I see evidence of this frequently when looking at BSOD crash data.

    MS driver updates are usually limited in features or older than those from the chip maker; graphics drivers, for instance, are capable of Aero but gaming may be impossible with them.

    When it comes to notebooks, those using Optimus or similar switching dual graphics - always stay with the notebook makers' drivers.

    More 'normal' hardware-equipped notebooks may be usable with a full set of original chipset makers' drivers - but that really depends on how much the notebook makers have modified the BIOS/Firmwares for the hardware.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    The one time that Windows Update is definitely a good thing for hardware drivers is when you have an on-board NIC, but have no idea which driver is correct for it.

    You temporarily connect another NIC, then you do a Windows Update. You will see the correct driver for your on-board NIC. Install it, shut down, and remove the temporary NIC.

    You will now be able to connect with your on-board NIC.

    This method has saved me many times.

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassfisher6522 View Post
    Personally, I stay away from driver update program as well as Windows updates (for drivers). If I need a driver or a driver needs to be updated, I manually update my drivers. This way I know I have the correct and latest driver.
    What you say makes sense, but how do you know if there is an update to a driver? Do you follow the alerts of Windows Update but then track down the drivers yourself?

    Chuck
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    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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    There are only two instances where I'll go looking for a driver.

    1.) I'm having a problem with a device which is malfunctioning for no good reason that I can detect.

    2.) A new version of Windows when the device vendors are more likley to release updates frequently because they did an inadequate job of creating and test drivers before the OS release. This happened with both Windows 7 & Windows 8.

    At a minimum you need to know what the new driver is supposed to fix and what are known problems.

    Joe

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    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Joe that makes sense. I suppose what I thought was that the mfg.'s rush out updates with fixes for part of an issue, where the rest cone 'later.'

    I suffer from the state of mind that nothing works as well as it might, so upgrades are a good thing.

    Chuck
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    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  12. #11
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    I wonder if this method is used by Windows Update to locate hardware drivers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CWBillow View Post
    I suffer from the state of mind that nothing works as well as it might, so upgrades are a good thing.

    Chuck
    Think you need to cure yourself of that.
    Rui
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  15. #13
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Truly Rui, I think so as well!

    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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    Quote Originally Posted by CWBillow View Post
    Truly Rui, I think so as well!

    Chuck
    Rui
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  17. #15
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    I wonder if this method is used by Windows Update to locate hardware drivers.
    Not really, Microsoft/Windows Update will only offer updates from their own catalogue of 'qualified' drivers. That frequently means only a small selection of published versions are held or offered, and then only if the driver maker has offered them to MS as 'qualified'. Many don't offer drivers to MS.

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