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Windows 7: a program that will scan my computer and tell me what drivers i need?


03 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
a program that will scan my computer and tell me what drivers i need?

i really need to find a free one.. i had one i thought was free but only does 2 drivers a day... i have like 10


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03 May 2012   #2

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

please help?
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03 May 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

How about none. At most you might get lucky and actually get an updated drive. At worse it will offer something that borks everything leaving you loading a backup image if you have one, or re-installing Windows. Most of the drivers that those so called update programs find are native Windows drivers, and they only get update (very rarely) through Windows update.

The only drivers that should ever really require updating on a properly working system outside of external peripherals like printers/etc, is the video and possibly sound drivers. For those it is far easier to make a folder in your favorites/bookmarks with links to the download page for those devices you may want to update, and then just go there once a month or so and check for any updates.
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03 May 2012   #4

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

Wise words from stormy13 there. These programs are nothing but pure snakeoil, and they charge you for the privilege of downloading drivers which you can get for free directly from the hardware manufacturers (in addition, some of the drivers that they offer might not be the latest, and they have been known to offer drivers for devices not present or that have never been present).
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05 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

If your system is working, don't change the drivers, EVER. The only times to change are:
- If a Graphics driver is out that has a major improvement to performance (almost never)
- If you add new hardware (Windows generally finds a working driver for you)
- Something goes wrong and all hell breaks loose (Uninstall the faulting driver and let windows get you a stable version again)

If you are concerned about corruption in your drivers then open a command prompt and type "sfc /verifyonly". The System File Checker will check all of your signed drivers against a database to make sure they haven't been corrupted or modified. There are different switches you can use to have it automatically fix the damaged ones too.

There is a reason why Windows doesn't often have new drivers: it's rarely needed. Even my motherboard Bios hasn't changed in 6 years: it only had 4 versions (increased compatibility with newer processors) and nothing had to change after that. I prefer a stable system to an ever changing system
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05 May 2012   #6

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
what about this one

BELARC ADVISOR

FREE and VERY USEFUL

Belarc Advisor - Free Personal PC Audit

This actually tells you whats on your computer (Software and Hardware) -- gives you info which you can then use to get what you need.

Gives you product keys as well (useful if you've lost the original install disks etc).

No "Sneakerware" -- DO NOT USE SITES LIKE DRIVERMAX -- they say search computer for FREE but then you have to PAY to get anything from the site -- and this stuff is public domain so they shouldn't charge for it either.

Cheers
jimbo
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05 May 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Drivers are best left alone if your system isn't experiencing any problems. Even an updated driver directly from the manufacturer like Realtek, Intel, etc may not improve you computer. In fact, an updated driver could actually cause major problems.

Case in point: a couple of months ago Windows Update said I had an updated Intel Graphics driver available. I checked on the Intel site and it was indeed a new driver. I installed it and almost immediately started getting BSODs. Rolled back the driver to the previous version and everything was good again. Contacted Intel and their response was to the effect that when they release a new driver, every OEM like Dell, Sony, Acer, HP, etc is free to modify the driver as they see fit. Intel suggested that drivers should only be updated if the OEM supports it and it's on the OEM driver support download site. I'd guess the same would apply to any driver that's been modified by an OEM.

Moral of the story, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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07 May 2012   #8

Windows 8 64-bit (6.2, Build 9200) (9200.win8_rtm.120725-1247)
 
 

If your video card is ATI, the new Catalyst Control Center can be set to notify you of driver updates, I think it is an additional program that handles it, but it makes sure your video card is up to date. But if everything works fine, then don't worry about being up to date. Under the old adage, "If it isn't broke don't fix it, or it will soon be broke."
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07 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I still consider the catalyst control centre the biggest breaker of them all.
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07 May 2012   #10

Windows 8 64-bit (6.2, Build 9200) (9200.win8_rtm.120725-1247)
 
 

Just remember only use the Catalyst Control Center if you are using an AMD/ATI Video Card, as it will only work for those GPU's. And unless you get it from the AMD/ATI site, don't download it.
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 a program that will scan my computer and tell me what drivers i need?




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