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Windows 7: Myth: You have to uninstall drivers to update them?

22 Aug 2009   #1

Windows 7 x64
 
 
Myth: You have to uninstall drivers to update them?

I remember a few years back, when I used Windows XP, that driver updating was sort of troublesome -- sometimes you had to completely remove the older version of the driver to install the newer, and so on.

But.. once I installed Vista, I never really had to deal with that. My NVIDIA drivers always updated properly without uninstalling them first.

Now, I hear people still using programs that entirely erase all traces of a previous driver.. why do they still use those? I don't believe you have to use them anymore to update drivers..

If you install, for example, the latest NVIDIA driver -- the installer erases the previous driver from your system, then installs the new driver.

I think people are living in the past when I hear: "I'm uninstalling my current drivers right now, then I'm gonna run a sweeper to erase all traces of it. Then I have to reboot, and install the updated driver. Then reboot again."

Comments?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Aug 2009   #2

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

it's sometimes better to be safe rather than sorry, even if you waste a few minutes thereby.

in the end i suppose it boils down to the hardware and the driver.

twice now i have updated my ati graphics driver only to find that my wei scores had plummeted. a quick runthrough with driver cleaner pro and a reinstall sorted it out. i'll be doing it in the future.

i've also become extremely suspicious of windows update drivers, especially nics - i've been let down a few times now, wit various machines and os's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2009   #3

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Perhaps it boils down to the driver's distributor (ATi, NVIDIA) rather than the generic process of "updating drivers"

I've yet to have a problem in Vista or Windows 7 with driver updating :\
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Aug 2009   #4

win 7 X64 Ultimate SP1
 
 
Old Drivers (home)

I can't remember ever erasing a driver. But, then I have forgot a lot of things. I remember assigning Int's and DMA, setting jumpers and whole lot of crap that's passe with PNP. But never ever erased a driver, never had one change after an install. Don't know where the old one went. To the driver bone yard, I guess.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Jason View Post
I remember a few years back, when I used Windows XP, that driver updating was sort of troublesome -- sometimes you had to completely remove the older version of the driver to install the newer, and so on.

But.. once I installed Vista, I never really had to deal with that. My NVIDIA drivers always updated properly without uninstalling them first.

Now, I hear people still using programs that entirely erase all traces of a previous driver.. why do they still use those? I don't believe you have to use them anymore to update drivers..

If you install, for example, the latest NVIDIA driver -- the installer erases the previous driver from your system, then installs the new driver.

I think people are living in the past when I hear: "I'm uninstalling my current drivers right now, then I'm gonna run a sweeper to erase all traces of it. Then I have to reboot, and install the updated driver. Then reboot again."

Comments?
Not exactly true, there are always files left over after you uninstall a driver. Just run driver sweeper after you uninstall a driver and look at all the left over driver files.
The problem is that sometimes installing over the old one works, other times it doesn't work very well or it will cause other problems to manifest themselfs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2009   #6
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I have a feeling you will find that most problems when updating drivers (mainly ATI or Nvidia) comes down to what, if any AV you are running and whether it gets out of the way or not, and whether you disable it first or not (Norton comes to mind for this sort of thing).

Also as far as motherboard/chipset drivers go, unless there is a specific fix or feature in a new driver, not really recommended to update on a working system, unless you are ready to do a system restore (if you can) or system re-install if it goes wrong. One big thing with these, don't uninstall them first. May not necessarily be as bad in Vista/7, but nothing like uninstalling your SATA/RAID driver and making Windows un-bootable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I bought a new Microsoft comfortcurve keyboard. When I plugged it in (USB) Windows automatically installed HID Keyboard Device drivers by Microsoft 6.1.7600.16385 . I went to the Microsoft web site and wanted to install the correct drivers for the keyboard Intellitype pro ITPx86_1033_7.00.260.0 (This is my wife's computer running Windows 7 Ultimate x86) When I ran the utility I got a message that this driver was already installed and had to be removed before installing it. I went into device manager and manually deleted/removed the keyboard driver and keyboard. It must have worked because I could not type anything. I ran the downloaded utility again and I got the same message that the driver must be uninstalled before installing. The message also says to check help, which I did but couldn't find a specific answer. I next unplugged the USB keyboard cable and then plugged it back in. The same old drivers that I was trying to update are there again in the device manager. I tried the same exact procedure this time not allowing the computer to receive automatic updates from Windows update and that did not work also. The only way I know of to remove drivers is through the device manager. What I don't understand is why the drivers are not automatically updated when I run the downloaded utility. The same exact thing word for word is happening when I am trying to update the mouse drivers also. The device manager has generic HID Microsoft Mouse drivers but when I try to update to the correct Microsoft Mouse drivers for windows 7 it will not let me update. I really need to install the correct mouse drivers because the mouse is not responding properly. Microsoft Laser Mouse 5000. I keep getting a message to replace the batteries and I have to reset the defaults each time I start up the computer. The pointer jumps all over the place without ever touching the mouse.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Myth: You have to uninstall drivers to update them?




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