Let's not make things complicated. A clean-install is necessary only when the current OS is already a mess by installing and uninstalling stuff. If it is OK, you shouldn't need to clean-install. An update of the drivers should be enough.
However it is a known annoying behavior of Windows 10 to replace all drivers after each version upgrade with Microsoft generic drivers and there is where all the problems arise. To make the computer working properly again, unfortunately, the user must reinstall all the drivers starting from the chipset driver.
This issue was never appeared in Windows 8 and earlier since it was ALWAYS keeping the currently working drivers and only in very rare cases replaced older drivers through Windows Update. So yes, it is a Windows 10 issue. But the solution is simple for the 99% of the cases (there are exceptions). Just update all your drivers starting from the chipset after each version upgrade and you should be OK.
Another annoying issue is that all security settings in Internet Explorer and elsewhere are reset to default and you have to redo your custom changes. As long as you keep an eye and correct things, you should have no problem with Windows 10.
Important: If anyone has used the show/hide tool to disable some unwanted driver updates he should use it from time to time to block any newer driver updates and avoid any BSOD. I suggest to use it before each manual search for updates just to be on the safe side.
Any idea on why drivers would be replaced only within select environments? I've re-deployed Win 10 to my Alienware 18 three times [not due to Windows 10 or an update] at this point, as well as flip flopped between insider and public builds, with my drivers never being replaced with generic ones by Windows. I do know Dell doesn't provide a Win 10 driver for the freefall sensor, of which Windows Update was able to pull and install a compatible Win 10 driver.
Were any of the users experiencing this able to verify whether they had installed Win 10 drivers prior? Windows 7/8/8.1 drivers are copied over to the new Windows directory during a Win 10 upgrade, with Windows not always replacing those previous drivers with Windows 10 versions.
It would make sense Windows 10 would replace those specific drivers with generic ones, especially if they're system critical drivers. This seems to be the only plausible explanation, at least that I can see, going back to the fact it's environment related and not due to Windows 10, or Windows 10 updates, per se.
- Since it's inefficient to track down the oemxx.inf name for each driver copied over, it's far less time consuming to simply do a clean install, also providing the opportunity for the end user to guarantee they're starting from a base install with no issues (at which point a WIM should be taken once drivers are installed in the proper order and Windows updates applied).
Last edited by JW0914; 24 Dec 2015 at 16:42.
Second or third time its happened actually. I formatted the other two times, glad I figured out the cause this time.
I wish I could tell ya. I don't know how it changed, or why. My VPN software installs its own network device (TAP driver?). I also have Team viewer running but I don't think that'd do anything.
Can't say I know too much about the subject.
I occasionally have problems on my other win 10 laptop where the internet stops working, when I run Windows troubleshooter it resets the dhcp itself and it works.
I forgot to mention in my previous post that if the currently installed drivers are Windows 10 from Microsoft or from OEM, they are usually retained after an upgrade to the next version. But if anyone has an older machine with Windows 7 or 8 drivers installed, these older drivers are ALWAYS messed after an upgrade to the newer build. So this issue concerns the majority of us that use Windows 10 on older hardware. For the others that use Windows 10 on a new computer (not older than 2 years), they don't see this issue. So don't be surprised if you never had issues while others have.
Also stating that Windows 7 and 8 drivers should not be installed in Windows 10 is completely wrong! Most of the times we have the choice of either installing a generic Microsoft Windows 10 driver (if any) which is limited to functionality, or install latest OEM Windows 7 or 8 driver which is working perfectly enabling all device's features. In this case I always recommend to install the latest OEM driver for best compatibility and performance. And of course there are too many cases that user has no other choice than install Windows 7 or 8 (sometimes even Vista or XP) drivers for the device as there is no other driver available. And yes, I suggest doing that to keep the device usable in Windows 10 and avoid buying a newer device. Of course if for a device there is a Windows 10 driver (OEM not Microsoft), it should be preferred, provided it works properly without issues (there are Windows 10 drivers that do not work properly or have limited functionality compared to Windows 7 or 8 versions).
If an OEM no longer supports a device by no longer offering newer drivers, then:
- the only drivers that should be installed from the OEM are CPU chipset and IMEI drivers. It doesn't matter what OS these two were originally built for, they must be installed.
- all other drivers should be pulled from their respective component manufacturers.
System critical drivers [any component attached to motherboard] for prior Windows versions are not compatible with Windows 10 and should not be installed or utilized on Windows 10. This is why a clean install is required...
- Whenever a driver is installed, two places it's copied to are:
- %SystemRoot%\INF, renamed to oemxx.inf
- %SystemRoot%\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository, saved in a folder whose name includes the inf name and a hex code
- The problem with running an upgraded OS is it's about 75% new OS, 25% old OS.
- All the Windows 7/8 system critical drivers, their sys files, and dll's are copied from the Windows 8 %SystemRoot% directory to the Windows 10 %SystemRoot% directory.
- It's inefficient to track them down since most have been renamed to oemXX (where XX is representative of numbers).
- All users running upgraded Windows 10 installs are running Windows 10 with incompatible Windows 8 drivers installed, of which is the cause of majority of the issues end users are having with Windows 10.
While you can manually uninstall all Windows 8 system critical drivers, you're now left with a conundrum since the Windows 10 versions of those drivers not only must be installed in a very specific order, they must be installed prior to installing Windows Updates or other applications. Even if this wasn't an issue, it would take several hours, making it impractical and inefficient, to track down every system critical driver file for the previous OS.
- Drivers must also be installed in a very specific order prior to anything else being installed, including Windows Updates.
- Failing to install chipset, followed by IMEI, drivers first will result in having to reinstall. Upgrading to Windows 10 and then re-installing drivers in the proper order, as you stated in a previous post, will solve very little and the underlying problems will still be present since the previous OS's system critical drivers are still present.
Sequence of events should be:
- Upgrade to Windows 10
- Verify Windows 10 is Activated
- Backup all data to be saved from System partition
- If UEFI firmware, and HDD is not formatted GPT, backup all data to be saved on HDD
- Boot Windows 10 Setup DVD
- Skip Product Key
- If UEFI firmware, use diskpart to convert to GPT
- Format system partition via GUI
- Install Windows 10
- Disconnect LAN cable
- Once booted to Windows 10
- Do not connect to wireless or plug in LAN cable
- Install System Critical Drivers in proper order, rebooting after each install
- Proper install order is:
- CPU Chipset -> IMEI -> Intel RST [if Intel CPU has integrated graphics, even if not utilizing RAID] -> Any other CPU related drivers, such as thermal mgmt -> Integrated Graphics [CPU] -> Discrete GraphIcs [GPU] -> Audio -> LAN -> WiFi -> BT -> TP [laptop] -> Random system drivers, such as Free Fall Sensor, Webcam [laptop], etc.
- Connect to internet and run Windows Update
- Once WU finishes, install Applications and Peripheral drivers, rebooting after each install
Last edited by JW0914; 27 Dec 2015 at 11:17.