Don’t get burned by driver-update scams

Scott dunn By Scott Dunn

Although you can find free tools to help keep Windows and your other software up-to-date, you’ll have to pay to get the best tool for scanning your system’s drivers and downloading the updates you need.

I found some good driverupdaters but also one full-on scam — Prosoft3D’s Driver Update 5 — that simply points you to Windows’ Device Manager and tells you to do the job yourself.

Driver Update 5 is a joke masquerading as software

Most driver-update products let you scan your computer for free before expecting you to pay. Prosoft3D’s Driver Update 5 is an exception, requiring a full purchase before you get to install or use it at all.

Once you pay, the reason becomes evident: The product has only two features: It (1) opens Windows’ Device Manager for you and (2) displays a short message box with basic instructions on using Device Manager to update a specific driver. In other words, you pay U.S. $20 (or more) for a product that does what Windows Help itself does — and a whole lot less.

There is no scanning to tell you what drivers are out of date. You have to know that yourself and correct it more-or-less manually using Windows’ own tools.

The program’s installer prompts you to accept a folder where the product will be installed but doesn’t store anything in the folder or even create it to begin with.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2008-07-31: