Dell Support Assist not wanted but needed?

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  1. wiganken's Avatar
    Posts : 391
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
       #1

    Dell Support Assist not wanted but needed?


    DELL Inspiron 15-3576 laptop, running Windows 10 Home (64-bit) v1909, build 18363.719 with “Core i5-8250U” CPU and “Intel UHD Graphics 620” display adapter. “Device Encryption” is “OFF”. Norton Security installed.

    My DELL laptop came with bloatware installed and I was prepared to allow it to stay installed while the laptop was still under guarantee. In particular I refer to ‘Dell SupportAssist’ (DSA). After the laptop guarantee and DSA ‘Service Plan’ expired I uninstalled DSA and other bloatware. Several months later I discovered that some drivers are customized by DELL and using the normal driver update methods can cause problems. In my case I used Device Manager to update the graphics driver but then found error messages every time I logged-on and every time I switched-off.

    I had to restore my system from a Macrium Reflect image and then I decided to use the official “Intel Driver & Support Assistant” to interrogate my system and find the correct graphics driver but, when I tried this, it showed “A customized computer manufacturer driver is installed and the Assistant is not able to update the driver. Installing a generic driver may cause technical issues. Contact Dell for the latest driver for your computer”.

    It seems that, for some drivers, DSA is needed. Has anyone else found that DSA needs to retained to avoid driver update problems?
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  2. idgat's Avatar
    Posts : 906
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    The question about driver updates, Windows provided or proprietary, is whether they need updating in the first place.

    I've always adopted a practice ... if it ain't broke, then why try and fix it.

    If that Dell program is like any other proprietary bloatware (like Asus, ACER, HP, Toshiba, etc) then more than likely it's avaiable from their website and can be downloaded and (re)installed if/when needed.
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  3. fireberd's Avatar
    Posts : 2,295
    Win 10 Pro, 20H2
       #3

    I do some user support on the Dell forums. Support Assist isn't needed. You can manually access the Dell downloads, specific to your PC, by using your Service Tag. This will list all downloads based on the configuration as shipped. BIOS updates are critical to only do them manually, IF NEEDED, as we have seen Support Assist BIOS corruptions (not all but some).

    Its up to you with McAfee, that was one of the first things I uninstalled on my Inspiron 15 5577 model. I don't use that bloatware and use the built in Windows Defender and Malwarebytes.

    Dell support (downloads)
      My Computers


  4. rqt
    Posts : 113
    Windows 10 mainly 64 bit
       #4

    With laptops it is generally best to get any required drivers directly from the laptop manufacturer, as they may not be the standard OE manufacturers drivers. Latest drivers for Dell machines are generally available from the Dell website & can be downloaded without any updating software. So if for some reason you feel the desperate need to update any drivers that is what I would do.
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  5. wiganken's Avatar
    Posts : 391
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Thanks for the replies. I followed Fireberd's link and I was able to get drivers via that route so it seems sorted now.

    I think what happened was that when I used that route recently I clicked on "Detect PC" and DELL threw up a message saying "you need to install DSA" in order to get the updates so that is what I did. It seems this was wrong and maybe DELL 'pushing' DSA.

    I have uninstalled DSA (again) and will update via the DELL website from now on, ignoring messages to install DSA.

    Edit: Where I said "I followed Fireberd's link and I was able to get drivers via that route" I should have said "I followed Fireberd's link and I was able to see available drivers but they all seemed older than what had been installed by DSA". It seemed they were available but it was up to you to select the ones needed.

    How I understand DSA is that it is able to sort out only the updates you need rather than display a list of all drivers available for your machine. It seems that DSA does the work of choosing updates for you so maybe it is worth having installed after all? Have I understood it correctly? If so then I might reinstall it again.
    Last edited by wiganken; 15 Mar 2020 at 10:18.
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  6. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,379
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.868
       #6

    wiganken said:
    ... but it was up to you to select the ones needed. How I understand DSA is that it is able to sort out only the updates you need rather than display a list of all drivers available for your machine. It seems that DSA does the work of choosing updates for you so maybe it is worth having installed after all? Have I understood it correctly? If so then I might reinstall it again.
    No, all you need to do to achieve as much as DSA does get drivers specific to your computer is go to the Drivers & downloads section using your Dell Service Tag, a unique identifying code for your computer [as it was shipped].

    See my post #11 for a better guide.

    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 15 Mar 2020 at 14:43.
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  7. Posts : 356
    Windows 10
       #7

    Try3 said:
    No, all you need to do to achieve as much as DSA does is go to the Drivers & downloads section using your Dell Service Tag, a unique identifying code for your computer [as it was shipped].
    Denis
    This will report a list of the available updates, but will not check which of them are already installed.
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  8. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,477
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #8

    If wanting to know more about a Dell computer and its as-shipped I've found more can be found using the Express Service Code, also somewhere on the computer near or on the Service Tag but maybe not in the BIOS like the ST usually is.
      My Computers

  9. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,379
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.868
       #9

    Anibor said:
    This will report a list of the available updates, but will not check which of them are already installed.
    Yes, you're correct. I've amended my post to suit.
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  10. wiganken's Avatar
    Posts : 391
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #10

    I just tried using the Dell website using the "Detect PC" option (which found the correct service tag) and it offered a list of drivers. The only one that I wanted seemed to be 21 months newer than the one installed so I downloaded it and the installer showed a 'Question'. See picture. It seems that when I did have DSA installed it must have installed a later driver but the Dell website did not pick this up and offered me an older driver.

    This seems to bear out what Anibor says and I reckon I had better stick to DSA. It is only one program after all ( I got rid of other bloatware) and seems to be safer in that it checks versions and dates better than the website method.

    I'll reinstall DSA again and leave it at that. Most of the time it will just sit there since it will only get used about 3 times per year.

    Thanks for all replies.
    Dell Support Assist not wanted but needed?-older-driver-offered.png
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