Feature updates with incompatible driver(s) - how does it work?

  1. Posts : 30
    Windows 10

    Feature updates with incompatible driver(s) - how does it work?

    Hello everybody,

    does anyone have practical experience of how Windows 10 behaved in past automatic version/feature updates if an incompatible driver was installed?
    Was the update simply not installed at all - without a message?
    Was the concerned hardware or driver listed?
    Was the update made and the incompatible driver was then replaced with the Microsoft "standard driver"?
    Or has it been updated and the device simply no longer worked correctly?

    I ask, because I sometimes install devices for friends and family to which I have no access until there is a problem.
    So I would like to disable driver updates via Windows Updates, however they should still be able to manually initiate an update in the event of problems using the device manager.

    Think that would be a good compromise.
    The update frequency via Windows Update is (depending on the hardware installed) just sick.
    I have devices here which according to the update history have received a good 40 drivers or extension infs over the past 6 months ... this can not go well in the long run.

    Thank you for any feedback!

      My Computer

  2. Posts : 35,607
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Hi, personally I'd leave well alone unless
    - you know there's a particular issue
    - the PC is 'old' i.e. not guaranteed to work with Win 10 (in which case, upgrading it to Win 10 is a risk the owner has elected to take).

    Enable or Disable Driver Updates in Windows Update in Windows 10
    Prevent Windows Update from Updating Specific Device Driver

    Also consider that there are many lower level drivers included in Windows and delivered in feature updates. In rather few cases, such differences may cause a problem.

    Many tenforums members recommend the routine and regular use of disk imaging so you can recover Windows and any imaged partition to a previously good state. If you do that and update your image set immediately before upgrading, you have that in addition to the 10 days by default to 'Go back to the previous build'.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 30
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Hello dalchina,

    yes, "just let it go" ... is a tempting option.
    But I don't really know, as I said, with the high frequency (depending on the system) of driver and driver extension updates, something has to go wrong in the long run.
    Basically, I see three possible variants:
    WU = Windows Update; DM = Device manager/automatic installation of new hardware

    1. WU 1, DM 1
    Just let it run and fix problems when when they occur.
    And yes, regular images are unfortunately mandatory for Windows 10 anyway.

    2. WU 0, DM 0
    Manual updates only in case of problems.
    Possible, but only for own or devices which are managed directly myself.
    Depending on the device variants and manufacturer support (missing/bad driver packs ...) time consuming and annoying.

    3. WU 0, DM 1
    The (hoped) compromise solution... no automatic updates except for feature updates, manually via the device manager or with new hardware.

    "In the past" (up to and including Win7) I always put the drivers together manually, tested them and then the systems ran for many years - flawlessly.
    And now I'm supposed to trust Windows Update ("of all things!") and get new drivers and extensions installed every few weeks... I just got a bad feeling in the stomach area.

    But maybe I'm getting too old for the whole story... when I started with computers the drivers were delivered on floppy disks and there was no internet at all.

      My Computer

  4. Posts : 35,607
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    When I started with computers, we didn't have updates to worry about- there was no internet - 8 " floppy disks, and before that a paper tape machine. And even a microprocessor emulator in DIL chips, wire-wrapped.

    I've rarely had driver issues over several successive laptops, and driver updates aren't that frequent in my experience. But I can only speak of using laptops.

    Perhaps the biggest issue is for pre-Win 10 machines with successive Win 10 builds. But then MS comes along with e.g. build 2004, and people with certain printers find they don't work.... oops.

    Disk imaging is a normal good precaution- hardware fails, PCs get stolen or infected ..then there's O/S corruption, failed upgrades or even - surely not- user error.

    You can of course simply take control of Windows Update entirely, e.g. with Sledgehammer (free) or the rather nicer tool in Option 7 of the tutorial on disabling automatic Windows Update, leaving you to scan manually and make a selection.

    Enable or Disable Windows Update Automatic Updates in Windows 10

    Enable or Disable Driver Updates in Windows Update in Windows 10
    Prevent Windows Update from Updating Specific Device Driver
    Turn On or Off Device Driver Automatic Installation in Windows 10
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 7,484
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
      My Computer


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