Windows 10: A discussion about updating drivers

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  1. Posts : 196
    Windows 10 Insider Build 17035 / Ubuntu 17.10
       03 Jan 2018 #1

    A discussion about updating drivers


    I want to initiate a serious talk about updating drivers on Windows 10. Some of you use tools for updating, some of you don't recommend tools. Some of you recommend the WU version of the drivers, some of you recommend the OEM drivers and some of you recommend the ones provided by the Laptop provider. Most of you recommend not touching the drivers at all.

    From my personal experience, I'm really confused about this matter. I don't know what to think. I also don't really understand how to not touch the drivers at all.

    I'll post you my experience with all this. There was a time (long time ago) when I started using driver updater utilities and I screwed up my PC a couple of times. Since then I thought: OK, I will just update GPU drivers from the OEM. Said and done. Time has passed, laptop got old and new updates more or less affect the performance of my laptop (GT 840M/Intel HD Graphics 4400 Family GPUs).

    In regards to the Windows Update database it seems that it's a bit outdated, since it's overwriting my current Intel GPU driver with an older version. So how and why should I use the WU version of the drivers if in some cases they are wrongly labeled or outdated versions?

    Another "utility" that I have used is the Windows Update MiniTool (WUMT), which supposedly has the same database as WU, and yet it finds some drivers that WU doesn't detect and not even my laptop providers don't? How does this even work?

    Anyway, as you can see, I find every version to have some issues.

    Drivers Utilities - break stuff.
    Provider updates - get outdated.
    OEM updates - get overwritten and it's hard to track all the device drivers.
    WU - not always accurate.

    Someone in the Insider Build thread recommended me something called "Snappy Driver Installer" and seems to be a nice, open-sourced program. Might give it a try and come back with feedback.

    What's your opinion about it and how do you think it should be done?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    03 Jan 2018 #2

    Drivers Utilities - break stuff. Yes, seen few examples of that lately. "Snappy Driver Installer" seems safer in that doesn't offer as many drivers but it's offerings are usually quite late.
    Provider updates, not sure what do you mean by "providers" ? Do you mean actual manufacturer of thae part in question, like for instance "Asus AMD Radeon Rx460 as opposed to same GPU made by Gigabyte ?
    OEM updates ? Like in previous example but driver straight from AMD which covers all Rx 460 GPUs from all individual manufacturers ?
    WU ? They only post drivers given to them by manufacturers and keep only certified drivers. Manufacturers often release interim drivers or their updates and they don't get certified by MS so it may seem like they are not up to date.
    Some manufacturers like Realtek for instance, seem to release drivers to MS rather than post for download on their site. They post only completely new driver versions leaving MS to distribute (but not always thru WU) most of interim versions.
    As for me (call me driver freak), I use combination of all those options depending on part I want drivers from.
    AMD parts, from AMD directly. Realtek sound from MS driver base etc. Occasionally, when working on some other computer and if I can't find a driver for particular part I consult "Snappy Driver Installer" to see if it can find newest driver. Saves some time but I'm wholly consensus that it may not be newest or best driver for it. Once it finds a particular driver it could be cross referenced thru Google.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 196
    Windows 10 Insider Build 17035 / Ubuntu 17.10
    Thread Starter
       03 Jan 2018 #3

    CountMike said: View Post
    Drivers Utilities - break stuff. Yes, seen few examples of that lately. "Snappy Driver Installer" seems safer in that doesn't offer as many drivers but it's offerings are usually quite late.
    Provider updates, not sure what do you mean by "providers" ? Do you mean actual manufacturer of thae part in question, like for instance "Asus AMD Radeon Rx460 as opposed to same GPU made by Gigabyte ?
    OEM updates ? Like in previous example but driver straight from AMD which covers all Rx 460 GPUs from all individual manufacturers ?
    WU ? They only post drivers given to them by manufacturers and keep only certified drivers. Manufacturers often release interim drivers or their updates and they don't get certified by MS so it may seem like they are not up to date.
    Some manufacturers like Realtek for instance, seem to release drivers to MS rather than post for download on their site. They post only completely new driver versions leaving MS to distribute (but not always thru WU) most of interim versions.
    As for me (call me driver freak), I use combination of all those options depending on part I want drivers from.
    AMD parts, from AMD directly. Realtek sound from MS driver base etc. Occasionally, when working on some other computer and if I can't find a driver for particular part I consult "Snappy Driver Installer" to see if it can find newest driver. Saves some time but I'm wholly consensus that it may not be newest or best driver for it. Once it finds a particular driver it could be cross referenced thru Google.
    Yes, I'm referring to the laptop manufacturers by providers and the device components (GPU, CPU, etc) manufacturers by OEM.

    I was stuck in a BSOD due to some issues related to the WU "certified" Intel driver. Had to reinstall everything, so I don't believe much about their drivers since then.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    03 Jan 2018 #4

    When it comes to drivers, unless one is an enthusiast who rides the waves of the latest and greatest pushing the envelope of the equipment's capabilities, one should stand pat. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The only caveat one should heed is security patches newer drivers are known to contain. Windows Update does a decent job serving that purpose. Staying informed covers what WU does not.

    For the most part, laptops have limitations despite their portability. Thus, drivers turnover is not high. Providers and OEM usually only fix problematic drivers, not push the envelope of the equipment they provided.

    Desktops generally have interchangeable parts. Drivers turnover is part of that mindset of seeking improvements.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 196
    Windows 10 Insider Build 17035 / Ubuntu 17.10
    Thread Starter
       04 Jan 2018 #5

    pyramid10 said: View Post
    When it comes to drivers, unless one is an enthusiast who rides the waves of the latest and greatest pushing the envelope of the equipment's capabilities, one should stand pat. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The only caveat one should heed is security patches newer drivers are known to contain. Windows Update does a decent job serving that purpose. Staying informed covers what WU does not.

    For the most part, laptops have limitations despite their portability. Thus, drivers turnover is not high. Providers and OEM usually only fix problematic drivers, not push the envelope of the equipment they provided.

    Desktops generally have interchangeable parts. Drivers turnover is part of that mindset of seeking improvements.
    Even so, let's say I'd stick to the WU drivers. I've ran across some threads yesterday from people that noticed that WU is "hiding" driver updates from them.

    A similar issue I noticed, as I said earlier, with Update MiniTool. Showing me a bunch of updates that were not shown by WU (even though they use the same server).

    The weird part is that it included drivers such as Intel WatchDog that aren't provided by the manufacturer.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 716
    Windows 10
       04 Jan 2018 #6

    You are basically fussing too much, and indeed thinking too much.

    You have to remember that some Gamers are totally obsessed with updating their Graphics drivers. They put no thoughts to the process and wrongly assume this applies to everyone, which it does not, be it a Laptop or a Desktop.

    There are countless examples on here.
    You are obsessed with updating, which is not necessary. The Graphic drivers(both of them) on my laptop are about a year old, no problems in reality.

    A lot of Gamers make comments about Optimus Laptops which are wide of the mark, they don't actually know why, they lack in experience.

    "Anyway, as you can see, I find every version to have some issues."
    That is basically because you are obsessionally fussing about it and doing things that you should not be doing.
    Give it a rest, chill out, and relax.

    I have had almost no problems with Nvidia graphics drivers for 16 years on Desktops and Laptops. Only once in those years was there a problem with one specific driver(which was later withdrawn by Nvidia).

    My Laptop is a very similar era to yours, i5-4200M, plus Nvidia GT 740M. About 3-4 years old, no problems whatsoever with Graphics drivers which are about a year old, and came from Windows updates.

    Terribly sorry, but your problems are due to you messing around.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 196
    Windows 10 Insider Build 17035 / Ubuntu 17.10
    Thread Starter
       04 Jan 2018 #7

    Helmut said: View Post
    You are basically fussing too much, and indeed thinking too much.

    You have to remember that some Gamers are totally obsessed with updating their Graphics drivers. They put no thoughts to the process and wrongly assume this applies to everyone, which it does not, be it a Laptop or a Desktop.

    There are countless examples on here.
    You are obsessed with updating, which is not necessary. The Graphic drivers(both of them) on my laptop are about a year old, no problems in reality.

    A lot of Gamers make comments about Optimus Laptops which are wide of the mark, they don't actually know why, they lack in experience.

    "Anyway, as you can see, I find every version to have some issues."
    That is basically because you are obsessionally fussing about it and doing things that you should not be doing.
    Give it a rest, chill out, and relax.

    I have had almost no problems with Nvidia graphics drivers for 16 years on Desktops and Laptops. Only once in those years was there a problem with one specific driver(which was later withdrawn by Nvidia).

    My Laptop is a very similar era to yours, i5-4200M, plus Nvidia GT 740M. About 3-4 years old, no problems whatsoever with Graphics drivers which are about a year old, and came from Windows updates.

    Terribly sorry, but your problems are due to you messing around.
    I'm not obsessed with updating drivers anymore. Was at some point, but I'm well past that.

    I left them as they were, until I found the WUMT which works in mysterious ways.

    The latest crash with the Intel GPU drivers that I didn't touch. I'm just pointing out that every method has it's flaws.

    Thanks for the answer.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 3,209
    10.5 Home 1803 x64
       04 Jan 2018 #8

    To put it simply: Whatever works for you is fine for you.

    WUMT offers you the latest updates from Windows driver database, but the normal Windows Update will not offer you drivers, which are known to cause problems with your hardware/software or a combination of both based on the telemetry.

    I use Driver Easy, I find it reliable and it has the widest range of supported hardware from free utilities. I did not start to use it for fun, but because I had problems and it helped me to solve them by offering drivers, which were not even listed (power management, CPU drivers). Manufacturers hardly, if ever update their support drivers, especially for hardware older than 2 years. Windows broke my hardware about 3 times seriously by updating GPU driver, which caused a black screen, I could not boot or by updating a sound card, it caused me to loose sound, it took me days to fix. So the personal experience matters.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 196
    Windows 10 Insider Build 17035 / Ubuntu 17.10
    Thread Starter
       05 Jan 2018 #9

    TairikuOkami said: View Post
    To put it simply: Whatever works for you is fine for you.

    WUMT offers you the latest updates from Windows driver database, but the normal Windows Update will not offer you drivers, which are known to cause problems with your hardware/software or a combination of both based on the telemetry.

    I use Driver Easy, I find it reliable and it has the widest range of supported hardware from free utilities. I did not start to use it for fun, but because I had problems and it helped me to solve them by offering drivers, which were not even listed (power management, CPU drivers). Manufacturers hardly, if ever update their support drivers, especially for hardware older than 2 years. Windows broke my hardware about 3 times seriously by updating GPU driver, which caused a black screen, I could not boot or by updating a sound card, it caused me to loose sound, it took me days to fix. So the personal experience matters.
    But what about WUMT getting updates for drivers that were not present on the manufacturer website? (watchdog timer, PCI Bus, etc)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    05 Jan 2018 #10

    While we’re on the subject, could someone please explain to me what are all these Nvidia updates. I have an early 2012 Ailerware laptop and Nvidia is constantly wanting me to install driver updates. There can not be that many updates for a six year old laptop. I finally had Nvidia stop looking for updates. I never noticed any difference after I Installed them.

    One more question, my laptop has Intel graphics and Nvidia graphics. Why does my laptop have two?

    I have used WUMT in the past and noticed the same thing about it finding drivers WU does not.

    The only time I use Snappy Driver Installer is when Windows doesn’t offer a driver or the OEM drivers don’t work. I was recently given a Dell desktop that originally came with XP. I first upgraded to Windows 7 and then to Windows 10. The only problem was getting sound to work. Snappy Driver Installer did the trick. I really like the program.

    For anyone who may read this there are two versions of Snappy Driver Installer. The original author of the program sold it to a third party. I have read it contains adware and other things. The one I use is open source and a spin-off of the original. No ads, no limitations, it just works. If you want to try Snappy Driver Installer make sure to download the open source program.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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