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Windows 7: Device Manager Steering Me Wrong

14 Mar 2011   #1
stevieray

windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 
Device Manager Steering Me Wrong

Every once in a while, I open my device manager and run down the list of each device, asking it to check for newer drivers. It invariably tells me everything is up-to-date.

A few days ago, I was chasing down a bug in a video capture utility, and in the course of fixing it, I discovered my audio driver was old -- out-of-date by a full year! Yet my device manager never figured out there was a new driver, even though I manually told it to check at least 10 times since the new driver's release date.

Why? What can I do to fix this?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Mar 2011   #2
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

It only checks the windows database on the device. Typically windows will only recognize the driver as being out of date if it's actually a pre win 7 driver.

Now that you are up to date, I wouldn't really worry about it, the only driver that typically needs updating on a regular basis is graphics, and even then only on gaming or performance machines, and these drivers should always be downloaded from nvidia or ati/amd directly.
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14 Mar 2011   #3
stevieray

windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Ahhh... I didn't know that. I figured it searched manufacturer's websites, not just its own.
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14 Mar 2011   #4
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Mind you I'm not 100% sure of this, but if it's as it was in the past (many things changed with win 7) They will only serve a driver to you if it is locally hosted on the microsoft update servers, and has been verified by them. (a process they don't seem to really keep up to date on)

I can honestly understand this as it's a hell of a lot of work to wade through 100's of manufacturers and distributors looking for updated product information and drivers, and then testing them.
It would really be a monumental task to undertake.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2011   #5
stevieray

windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

That would be a monumental task for sure. That's why I always figured it checked manufacturer's websites as well. I just guessed there was a small db of some sort in device manager where it stored the urls of a pc's specific device makers, and it would go straight to the source for new drivers... but I never really gave the whole issue any more thought than that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2011   #6
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

yeah you also have to consider most manufacturers package their drivers inside of installers or archive files, and don't just have the driver itself sitting on the server.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2011   #7
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Who told you it actually went out and checked manufacturer's websites? Not even Windows Update does this! That's a new one for me.

With Windows 7, you can always check with Windows Update, but even then, it may lag behind, or not include all of your drivers anyway. It isn't that big of a task to check your manufacturer's websites yourself, to be honest...almost as easy as running through Device Manager. I would have never thought to do anything but check the manufacturer's sites, as that's where drivers are first posted. Always go to the source!
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 Device Manager Steering Me Wrong




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