My confusion about Windows 10 and Drivers.

  1. LoverOfLove's Avatar
    Posts : 31
    Windows 10 Pro 1709

    My confusion about Windows 10 and Drivers.

    Whenever I install windows 10 on the system, I have difficulty to decide how should I install drivers, and there is a reason for that, in this context I'm talking about pc/laptop which don't have windows 10 drivers on their manufacturer site.

    I thought that if windows 10 driver is not present at the manufacturer site then ideal way is to use windows update drivers.

    But on some pc, i found that if use windows update drivers then I don't get the expected performance. for example - on an old intel pc which doesn't have graphics card, ( drivers were not available on site) i tried to update graphic/ chipset driver with windows update, and after successful installation, i found that i got the correct resolution and don't have any control panel in tray, but when i played a x264 1080p video, it was lagging. i know that this pc has the capability to play this video very fine, so i uninstalled that driver and installed another driver with snappy driver installer, and after that i found i got the control panel in tray and the video was playing fine.

    this leads me to believe that driver update with windows update is not the ideal way.

    so what is the ideal way?

    let me tell you another example, on a laptop which has an idt audio, and the manufacturer has only listed drivers till windows 8
    so I used windows update and didn't find any driver for it.
    I used snappy driver installer and I find a driver and installed it, but I didn't get expected improvement in audio quality.
    so i uninstalled this driver with the device manager and tried some other 3rd party driver installer like driver easy and driver booster, and noticed that they were unable to get drivers for it.
    then i installed windows 8 audio driver the from the manufacturer site and i got the improvement in quality.

    this leads me to believe that I cant rely on snappy or any other 3rd party installer.

    so how should i update drivers? what is the ideal way?

    thanx for reading.
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  2. LoverOfLove's Avatar
    Posts : 31
    Windows 10 Pro 1709
    Thread Starter

    Mods, Please change this post category to drivers and hardware.
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  3. Posts : 810

    Honestly there is no standardized way of getting drivers.

    The drivers on Windows Update are pushed by the manufacturers. If the manufacturer doesn't bother to keep them up to date, there's nothing Microsoft can do about it. This becomes increasingly problematic for older hardware.

    So the manufacturer's website is usually the best choice. Even if they don't list Windows 10 drivers, Windows 8 or even Windows 7 drivers may still work but they didn't bother to update their site. (My scanner drivers were released for Win7 in 2011)

    3rd party driver utilities usually just have people manually adding drivers to their packages so they're not going to be any better than you searching for them yourself. For instance, Snappy Driver Installer uses packages from a Russian site, not some official database.
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  4. LoverOfLove's Avatar
    Posts : 31
    Windows 10 Pro 1709
    Thread Starter

    thanks for the reply @PolarNettles

    i've to do lots of Windows 10 installs on different systems. and finding perfect drivers for the older system is a problem for me.

    I cant rely on windows update drivers as I've witnessed performance issue with those drivers, this performance problem does not happen with all the drivers but it happens with some drivers. and i can only notice it if i closely watch the impact of the installed driver and compare it with another driver. so i cant just use any windows update drivers and forget it. its not the best solution.

    although if manufacturer site only have drivers till windows 7 then it could be a problem for some drivers in windows 10. for example i used an audio driver for windows 7 in windows 10 and i noticed that it didn't improve audio quality, but then i used snappy and it gave me improved audio quality.

    but if the manufacturer has drivers listed till windows 8.1/8 then they work very well with windows 10. i've never seen any problem with that.

    btw i've come to the following conclusion
    in windows 10 i should only bother with audio, video and touchpad driver as i think its needed, windows 10 can take of other drivers.

    and I've to divide the systems in two category.

    one is manufacturer have drivers of windows 8.1/8

    and the second is manufacturer has drivers only for windows 7.

    in first case i can simply install windows 8.1/8 drivers and its the best solution.
    Edit - and after that let windows updates its driver.

    but in second case i need to do some work.

    i should first install all drivers from windows update and after then check if those drivers are listed in add/ remove programs. if some drivers are not listed there then it would mean that windows update only installed inf files and no .exe files. with inf files it is possible that i'll face performance issues.
    now i only need to take care of those drivers which are not listed in add/remove programs.
    i should uninstall those drivers in device manager, which are not listed in add/remove programs.
    i should use hwinfo app to determine which hardware i've then try to download those drivers directly from that hardware part manufacturer.
    if i failed to locate drivers or dont get driver listed in add/remove programs then i should use the drivereasy application as i think it is the best app for installing drivers and only provides whql drivers.
    if i still fail then i should use snappy driver installer because it can also install non whql drivers and large rare variety of drivers.
    if i still dont get driver listed in add/remove programs then i should be satisfied with the first driver which i got in above order.

    Let me know if i need some improvement/correction in my conclusion.

    Last edited by LoverOfLove; 13 Feb 2018 at 02:07.
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  5. CountMike's Avatar
    Posts : 18,872
    W10+Developer Insider + Linux

    Some of the reasons I don't like brand name computers, you depend on manufacturer for drivers as they mostly modify drivers and include own settings programs with them. Some drivers could be had from particular chip manufacturer, like Intel, AMD, Realtek etc.
    Although I'm somewhat of a freak when it comes to updating drivers, I always check for new ones but also look at what they may bring as "new and improved". Some drivers may look new but actually may not bring anything new for particular part as they include drivers for many new versions of parts but nothing new for older ones.
    Here's an example of such driver: Last AMD chipset driver, only "new" part is that it supports newest AMD APU processor graphics and in my case, as I'm not planing to get it, brings nothing "new and improved" for me, I will not bother to update. If there's no explanation at manufacturer's site, it's enough to look at .inf files to see what changes are made.
      My Computers


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