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Windows 7: Do I Really Need To Install OEM-Provided LAN Controller Drivers?

08 Jul 2018   #1
Magnakai

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Do I Really Need To Install OEM-Provided LAN Controller Drivers?

I have owned several HP Laptops in the past, and the OEM Support/Driver-Download site usually includes some LAN Driver from either Broadcom or Realtek. My latest acquisition is a circa-2011 HP DV7 Pavillion. Issues in this thread mainly refer specifically to this machine.

My Windows test build is permanently Ultimate 64-Bit (Build 7601: Service Pack 1), with NO further Microsoft upgrade.

For the DV7, a Realtek GBE-Family LAN Controller Driver, released on Nov 18, 2011 is downloadable from HP. But my question is, is this really neccessary? From past driver installations on similar machines, I never noticed the need to install a separate PCIe LAN Controller, simply because the machine would not exactly be the latest in the market (and or has any specific/rare network controller installed), and the automatically-installed signed drivers provided by my initial windows installation usually have something already compatible.

Sevenforums what is your advice? Will installing the 2011 Realtek driver provide some real benefit to my system, or do I just rely on the ones provided by Ultimate Build 7601: Service Pack 1? It is my mission to cut-down on OEM bloatware/redundant drivers

Thanks in advance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Jul 2018   #2
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

All drivers are written by their specific hardware manufacturers, the case with Base level components is often complicated as the chip manufacturer and the Motherboard/System Manufacturer will both list them, also if provided to windows the OS will also load drivers automatically (especially important for network components).

I regard the choice of driver to use as a fairly simple, but important one
  1. The windows Driver is often a basic one to get you online during the initial install, but can be used for day to day use.
  2. The one from the Chip Manufacturer is designed for general use with any motherboard with the chip installed, again this can be used full time
  3. The One from The Motherboard / System manufacturer has normally been fine tuned to allow it to work most efficiently with the specific motherboard / System,

The third driver in the list Is the one I would always recommend as it is likely to be the best driver for your system,

It may also be that all the drivers are the same code from different places or that the Manufacturers / Windows may not have updated their driver when the Chip Driver was updated, so it's not totally straightforward, but the third driver in my list is usually the best
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2018   #3
Magnakai

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi thanks for your reply.

I do agree with you, and as you said, I think the third driver you mentioned is in fact in my case fairly outdated? 2011. Still i don't think i might be digging for newer realtek driver, in case i incorrectly identify my hardware. I guess i would most probably choose installing the 2011 over the one offered by windows, since my windows version is not exactly recent either.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jul 2018   #4
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

I'm not disputing Barman's advice - it makes a lot of sense.

But what most people recommend is that if a device is working, there is no need to update the driver. Stick with the one currently on the machine. This is the simplest approach, and it is the approach I take.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Do I Really Need To Install OEM-Provided LAN Controller Drivers?




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