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Author Topic: Does anyone recommend a driver updater?  (Read 2631 times)

Bowdon

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Does anyone recommend a driver updater?
« on: October 16, 2015, 04:24:10 PM »

Is there such a thing as a program that can check a computers drivers are up to date?

If so, is there any that you can recommend?

I find, particularly with Win10, it no longer seems to list drivers for devices, and in some cases even gets them wrong.

It would be good to have a program that can scan the computer and highlight any drivers that need updating or installing.
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loonylion

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Re: Does anyone recommend a driver updater?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2015, 06:15:47 PM »

there are such programs but I cannot recommend them as they are often badware. They're also usually horribly out of date also.

Intel has one specific to their hardware (i.e only finds drivers for intel stuff), my experience of that is it only finds nic drivers even though my entire motherboard is intel pretty much.
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tonyappuk

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Re: Does anyone recommend a driver updater?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2015, 06:27:26 PM »

Winzip do a paid for version (don't know cost) but it will scan your system free and tell you how many drivers are out of date. I'm still wondering whether to invest and I would hope (perhaps forlornly) that as Winzip is a long established company it would give reliable results.
Tony
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roseway

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Re: Does anyone recommend a driver updater?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2015, 06:42:49 PM »

I'm not qualified to talk about Windows, but as a general principle I would suggest that hardware drivers fall into the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" category. Driver updates are commonly produced to fix issues which only a few users are affected by. If you suspect that any hardware is underperforming, you can always check with the manufacturer to see if updates are available to fix the problem.
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  Eric

AArdvark

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Re: Does anyone recommend a driver updater?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2015, 10:55:58 PM »

I would generally avoid such programs.
They are of very dubious provenance and I would rather trust the original hardware manufacturers supplied software.
Such programs are an ideal way to get low level access to peoples hardware.
I am not a very trusting soul ... :) :)

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loonylion

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Re: Does anyone recommend a driver updater?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2015, 11:08:12 PM »

I'm not qualified to talk about Windows, but as a general principle I would suggest that hardware drivers fall into the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" category. Driver updates are commonly produced to fix issues which only a few users are affected by. If you suspect that any hardware is underperforming, you can always check with the manufacturer to see if updates are available to fix the problem.

Graphics card drivers should be updated whenever possible while your card is supported, in most cases. pretty much anything else doesnt need updating unless the driver fixes bugs or adds features.
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guest

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Re: Does anyone recommend a driver updater?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2015, 06:15:23 PM »

I'm not qualified to talk about Windows, but as a general principle I would suggest that hardware drivers fall into the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" category. Driver updates are commonly produced to fix issues which only a few users are affected by. If you suspect that any hardware is underperforming, you can always check with the manufacturer to see if updates are available to fix the problem.

Graphics card drivers should be updated whenever possible while your card is supported, in most cases. pretty much anything else doesnt need updating unless the driver fixes bugs or adds features.

Sort of agree on gfx drivers but only for desktops. Laptops often have drivers which will throttle back the GPU long before the "official" temperature-related throttling recommendations as the manufacturers know there's no chance of any sort of rapid temperature dissipation in their case design.

For anything else (motherboard etc) I'd be inclined to leave it alone unless there's an issue you think might be fixed by an update.
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Weaver

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Re: Does anyone recommend a driver updater?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2015, 08:15:37 PM »

I agree with the advice given by earlier posters, on the whole, unless you have a specific known problem, don't update. Laptops as mentioned earlier are an exception because of power management issues and suspend/resume sleep/wake problems, which can be difficult to track down and extremely nasty in their effects.

Graphics chipsets are an exception, worth checking the mfr's website once a year or so, but you will need a tool to identify your chipset.

Processor microcode bugs and the like do need fixing. Windows update should deal with this.

Sometimes network interface chipsets benefit from new drivers offering performance enhancements.

But that's about it as far as I can remember.

Be very very careful about identifying the source of drivers. You do not want to be downloading bogus code or code for the wrong h/w. Driver code signing is designed to keep you safe, but doesn't help prevent you from picking the wrong h/w version.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Does anyone recommend a driver updater?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2015, 08:36:38 PM »

As with any other 'software update' remember 'update' is only a word - a more honest word would often be 'afterthought'.

Point being, while these 'afterthoughts' are occasionally helpful to protect you from vulnerabilities, they can cause new problems too.   As often as not, the original authors of the software have moved on to new pastures, so those writing the afterthoughts are not even terribly familiar with the code they are 'fixing', one reason why ancillary problems are so common after 'updates'.

For spurious driver updates I'd strongly agree, if it is working  leave it alone, it may not work any more after the 'update'.   If you must update, if at all possible, make sure you have some means of restoring the previous version before updating.
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tonyappuk

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Re: Does anyone recommend a driver updater?
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2015, 04:54:37 PM »

I am quite amused by the much brighter and younger sages on here who are universal in their recommendation to take Windows updates but I usually don't take updates at all. The recent furore over Windows 10 "updates" does rather support my practice. Of course if you are still gainfully employed and using MS software there is a lot of pressure to keep everything updated in case a nasty gets on your system and in business that can be catastrophic but for a retired old fart like me why invite changes to your system if it's working alright for you. The question about updating drivers causes the same split opinions but generally I would support the "if it's not broke..." philosophy hence no Windows update. Of course the real solution is to switch entirely to Linux but I need Publisher!
I received the offer to take the Winzip driver prog because I have a paid for (yonks ago) command line Winzip and they still remember and I thought it was worth a mention.
Tony
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Does anyone recommend a driver updater?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2015, 05:01:48 PM »

Talking of software updates for drivers I suddenly thought, we could be referring to the VW emissions fiasco?   :D
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renluop

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Re: Does anyone recommend a driver updater?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2015, 08:26:04 PM »

Merely because someone mentioned graphics cards, as the only ones they'd update, I looked up mine with Speccy, 1024MB ATI Radeon HD 4300/4500 Series (ASUStek Computer Inc). Then I went to the ATI site, where I found a confusion of drivers for 4300/4500 cards. IMHO for a awful (not characters ;)) lot of folk It'd be too easy to choose the wrong one.

Not that I would think of updating as it is likely to be legacy now: just like me!
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