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Windows 7: Drivers after reformat

21 May 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
Drivers after reformat

I need some advice and recommendations please on how to identify the specific drivers (and possibly utilities) that should be installed after a reformat and fresh install of the OS, and those that can safely be ignored. Iím aiming for as uncluttered a system as possible.
On my first attempt, things went badly wrong as soon as the OS was loaded. The problems Iíve encountered included Windows Update failing to install all important updates, including IE 11, intermittent internet connection drop-outs and failures to open web pages and the BSOD appearing for no apparent reason. I have no reason to suspect that there any hardware issues and am wondering if Iíve installed the wrong or conflicting drivers.
My hardware is:
Gigabyte Z77X-DH3 MoBo
Intel i7 3770K chip
16 GB DDR3 Ram
Gainward Nvidia GeForce GTX 670
Kingston 112GB SSD
3 x Seagate 2TB SATA hard drives
Pioneer DVD-RW
LG Blu-ray drive

There is no separate sound card as yet.
Gigabyteís MoBo Userís Manual does not sufficiently explain many of the features of the MoBo nor the problems Iíve encountered.
I have flashed the BIOS to the latest version available.
The OS is Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
I intend to put the OS and as little else as possible on the SSD (drive C). The first Seagate 2 TB drive has been formatted and is totally clean and will be home to all my applications and anything else that would normally go on ĎCí. The other 2 drives are intended for data and back up.
The Newegg TV series on building a PC, which has been widely praised in several forums, was very helpful insofar as it went. But Iím confused about just what Gigabyte MoBo drivers need to be installed.
These are the listed Driver downloads as appearing on the latest Gigabyte web page for my MoBo (revision1.0) and OS Windows 7, 64bit
VIA audio driver
(Note: please reflash the latest BIOS before update VIA audio driver)

Intel Management Engine Interface
Intel INF Installation

Atheros LAN Driver

Intelģ Rapid Storage Technology
Intel SATA Preinstall driver
(For AHCI / RAID Mode)
Note: Press F6 during Windows setup to read from floppy.
Marvell Preinstall Driver
Note: Press F6 during Windows setup to read from floppy.
Marvell Storage Utility
Marvell SATA Controller Driver

VIA USB 3.0 Driver
Intel USB 3.0 Driver

Intel VGA Driver (for Ivy Bridge CPU)
Intel VGA Driver (for Sandy Bridge CPU)Ē

Apart from the 2 chipset drivers and the LAN driver Iím not sure which of the others should be installed.
First, is the VIA audio driver required? No other audio driver is mentioned and this driver is only available because Iíve updated the BIOS (although I had audio, presumably the basic windows 7 version, before the reformat). What exactly is VIA?
Secondly, as I donít intend setting up a Raid array, do I need any of the drivers under the SATA RAID/AHCHI heading? In particular, Iím completely mystified as to what the Marvell items do?
Thirdly do I need both USB drivers or will the Intel one suffice? Again what is the VIA driver for?
Newegg doesnít mention VGA at all but I assume I need to install the VGA driver for Ivy Bridge CPU?
As far as my video card, a Gainward Nvidia GTX 670, goes, Iím not exactly sure which version of the GTX 670 I have. But am I right in thinking that I can simply install GeForce_Experience_v2.4.3.31 and the latest driver released a few days ago by Nvidia for the GTX 670 series - 352.86-desktop-win8-win7-winvista-64bit-international-whql , from the official Nvidia site rather than using the old and now out of date driver and utility disc supplied by Gainward ?
Is it safe to install all these drivers (which I can download from another PC) and running Windows Update before installing an anti-virus app? Iíve a suspicion that the anti-virus app (Avast) may have interfered with my first attempt.
Finally, is it usual for some Windows Updates to fail? I use Chrome as my browser but it was a bit disconcerting to find Internet Explorer 11 not just failing to install but causing crashes.
Thank you everyone for your patience in reading all this. I do very much forward to your replies.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2015   #2

windows 7 home 64bit

Hi ... The Network Driver is a must so as you can get online ... Then run Windows Updates that should take care of most of your Drivers apart from USB 3 ... The Intel Management Engine is not needed in some cases but may show as an error in the Device Manager if not Installed ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2015   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x32

Hi and thanks,

I'm still in the dark about the SATA RAID/AHCI drivers which appear on the Gigabyte page and particularly references to Marvell under this heading. Are any of those drivers needed for a non-RAID array? Similarly VIA appears under the Audio and USB heads. Have you any idea why there are 2 USB 3 drivers listed, one VIA and one Intel?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 May 2015   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Any issues in Device Manager ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2015   #5

windows 7 home 64bit

Your Motherboard possesses two usb 3.0 chipset controllers,So both are needed
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2015   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x32

I think it's cracked. No issues in Device manager. I'm still ignorant about the SATARAID/AHCI stuff though. Could anyone point me to where I can learn more about this level of computing (most online tutorials and the "XYZ for Dummies" stop far short of this.
Thanks again for all the advice!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2015   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by oscarcat View Post
I think it's cracked. No issues in Device manager. I'm still ignorant about the SATARAID/AHCI stuff though. Could anyone point me to where I can learn more about this level of computing (most online tutorials and the "XYZ for Dummies" stop far short of this.
Thanks again for all the advice!
Windows supplies its own AHCI drivers.

Intel AHCI drivers are optional and at most offer very little additional benefit.

I have a Gigabyte board and experimented with Intel versus Windows AHCI drivers within the last week. Virtually no difference.

As a general proposition, I'd try to use Windows own drivers. I'd consider ditching them if I had hardware issues after the installation was done and I had completed Windows Update for critical and important items. With drivers in particular, I tend to go along with "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2015   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Check your BIOS whether it is AHCI or RAID. If RAID you would need the pre-install drivers. Put them on a USB stick ad have handy just in case.

You can see what drivers your SATA controller using by downloading and running AS SSD benchmark (no need to start the benchmark). The driver will be in green text in upper left.

Also, using Windows AHCI drivers here, called msahci.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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