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Windows 7: Whats The best Driver Update Tool..

14 Jul 2009   #11
Lordbob75

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ussj4brolli View Post
Only if MS update has these updates....unless you downloaded the update, in turn you wouldnt need an update tool to start :P

As stated before, go to device manager, figure out what ya got, and start googling going to the devices page for updates.
It does not use Update. It searches in MS database for new drivers. I have never had a problem with it.

~Lordbob


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14 Jul 2009   #12
stormy13
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Lordbob, you've been lucky. There have been lots of people that have found themselves with a hosed Windows install after installing a driver through Windows Update (lost track of the number of times I have seen this reported over the years).

Another thing that occurs quite often with getting drivers through Windows Update or using the update option in Device Manager is that it is the base driver only, and doesn't provide the necessary control panel (in the case of video cards e.g.)

Like I said previously the only drivers that should really be updated on a working system are the video and/or audio drivers. And that is only because in most cases they get updated for performance enhancements, new game comes out and requires newer driver support, etc. Other system drivers should be left alone, and only use an updated driver on a clean install.
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14 Jul 2009   #13
Antman

 
Let this false belief die.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lordbob75 View Post
It does not use Update. It searches in MS database for new drivers. I have never had a problem with it.
..
At first, I was going to let your earlier post slide.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lordbob75 View Post
...The best tool, imo, is the Device Manager. Just find the device you want to update, and right click and select Update Driver. Works amazingly well...
But now, I have to challenge you.

Where do you think Windows/MS Update searches for drivers? Both methods are different doors into the same room. In that room, you will find a limited selection of drivers.

Finding a driver for an obscure piece of hardware is challenging, and MS does not maintain a driver library for every piece of hardware in use or existence.

Each piece of motherboard/daughterboard/peripheral hardware LEGALLY sold in the US (and most countries, at least the ones with a reliable power grid) is assigned an FCC ID number, and that number is labeled on the device. At the lowest level, driver searches can begin there. Unless the device is pretty damned old, you likely do not have to go to that extreme.

Also, MS will use the lowest common denominator, or most common configuration, when archiving drivers. Just because MS might provide a driver for a given piece of hardware does not mean that driver is 100% appropriate or compatible.

The real gist of expert responses in this thread is: Don't use software sold as "Driver Miracle". There really is no such thing nor is there a valid need.
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14 Jul 2009   #14
Antman

 

I do use MS/Windows Update to apply drivers for relatively new Dell/HP/eMachine et al platforms under those circumstances where I have a high degree of confidence and direct knowledge that no additional hardware has been added to the machine since it left the factory. A wonderful time saver.

But those machines belong to casual users. Also, I will know immediately if the driver application is invalid and could correct my mistake before stamping the work as completed.

Like you, LordBob, I have never been bitten by this snake. Nonetheless, your knowledge in this matter requires expansion.
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14 Jul 2009   #15
Lordbob75

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Antman View Post
At first, I was going to let your earlier post slide.

But now, I have to challenge you.

Where do you think Windows/MS Update searches for drivers? Both methods are different doors into the same room. In that room, you will find a limited selection of drivers.

Finding a driver for an obscure piece of hardware is challenging, and MS does not maintain a driver library for every piece of hardware in use or existence.

Each piece of motherboard/daughterboard/peripheral hardware LEGALLY sold in the US (and most countries, at least the ones with a reliable power grid) is assigned an FCC ID number, and that number is labeled on the device. At the lowest level, driver searches can begin there. Unless the device is pretty damned old, you likely do not have to go to that extreme.

Also, MS will use the lowest common denominator, or most common configuration, when archiving drivers. Just because MS might provide a driver for a given piece of hardware does not mean that driver is 100% appropriate or compatible.

The real gist of expert responses in this thread is: Don't use software sold as "Driver Miracle". There really is no such thing nor is there a valid need.
Oh, ok. Thanks for the explanation AntMan.

What I meant when I said that, was this: I have had the driver search direct me to the NVidia website......
Ah.... crap. I have no idea what I meant.....

Anyways, thanks for the correction and explanation. That makes a lot more sense.

I would agree with just going to the manufacturers site for drivers. That works best all the time, as opposed to getting lucky like us.
In the future, I will do that as well.

~Lordbob
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15 Jul 2009   #16
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Agree strongly with everyone else regarding NOT using the driver apps to automatically provide you "newer" drivers. Tried several of them (won't say where I got them) and in ALL cases, one or more of the following was true:
1) Driver "discovered" was no newer than the one already installed -- which I got either from the hardware manufacturer's site or Windows Update
2) Driver was billed as newer (file date), but in opening the file, discovered it was actually older than the one I already had,
3) Driver was actually for a different make or model of the hardware, or for a different version of the OS. Lost track of how many "Vista" drivers were actually "XP" drivers.

Recently, I saw another post in this forum for the Microsoft Update Catalog and used that to located a newer video driver for Windows 7 than the one I had installed, and that was after I launched Windows Update and asked it to check for newer versions! In case you don't have that, the link is below:

Microsoft Update Catalog
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15 Jul 2009   #17
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Sorry ... deleted duplicate post.
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15 Jul 2009   #18
7echno7im

Windows 7 7600.16384 x64
 
 

Driver Updater: http://driveragent.com/?q=driver+update (gives you the results, but have to pay for files, I have used to see what is out of date, then search.)

Application Updater (in depth): Download - Personal (PSI) - Vulnerability Scanning - Secunia.com

Application Updater (quick): FileHippo.com Update Checker - FileHippo.com

Really, Windows update is the best driver updater (with the exception of some NICs) for WHQL drivers.

The FileHippo.com updater can also check some drivers.

A lot of apps/drivers are now coming with auto updaters.
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15 Jul 2009   #20
Antman

 

Come on, guys. Do not breathe life into this mythology, especially you 7im. I hold you to a higher standard.

That stuff is crapware and you should all know better.

What am I going to see next - clean your registry weekly and defrag daily?
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 Whats The best Driver Update Tool..




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