Driver Updates Through Windows 10

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  1. TONPumper's Avatar
    Posts : 166
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2
       #1

    Driver Updates Through Windows 10


    I'm trying to decide how I want to setup my Windows update settings in regards to the driver settings. I know that I can disable driver updates in GPO settings, but I'm wondering if I should just let Windows install my drivers. I don't know which drivers it will attempt to update. Usually, I like to download the drivers from my MB manufacturer's website, since I assume they will be more stable and compatible, but I don't like when Windows updates my driver because--for example--if Windows updates my network driver to a newer version than what I've downloaded from my MB manufacturer's website, the version in apps and features still shows the old version and device manager shows the new version. Plus when I update drivers from Windows, it doesn't allow me to choose features if the driver has an installer GUI, it just installs all of the features.

    I'm just curious how everyone else has this setup. I really don't want Windows to install my NVIDIA driver because then I'll get a bunch of bloat features that I don't need or want.
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  2. zebal's Avatar
    Posts : 908
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2 (Build: 19042.867)
       #2

    Hello, the very first thing you do after fresh install is to install drivers from MB site.

    If you don't do this Windows will install drivers from WU.
    Next step is to go to:
    Settings -> System -> About -> Advanced system settings -> hardware -> Device installation settings

    Here you can disable WU from auto installing drivers.

    However, you will still be offered to install drivers called "optional updates" or "optional driver updates" in Windows updates.
    You install these drivers only if there is no update on MB site or if you experience issues with current drivers.

    This is how I install drivers since ever. no problems so far with Windows messing up with drivers that I install from MB site.
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  3. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,079
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #3

    Notice this policy change in how drivers are delivered via Windows Update:
    Windows 10 is getting a new driver updates process next month

    You have options:
    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

    Personally I've left well alone where drivers are concerned - my policy is to only intervene if there's a problem
    .
    Restore points and disk images offer a way back, besides rolling back a driver should something happen.

    You also have Pro, so you can set Windows Update to Notify in group policy, giving you the choice of when to receive an update- and thus potentially to block it.
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  4. TONPumper's Avatar
    Posts : 166
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2
    Thread Starter
       #4

    zebal said:
    Hello, the very first thing you do after fresh install is to install drivers from MB site.

    If you don't do this Windows will install drivers from WU.
    Next step is to go to:
    Settings -> System -> About -> Advanced system settings -> hardware -> Device installation settings

    Here you can disable WU from auto installing drivers.

    However, you will still be offered to install drivers called "optional updates" or "optional driver updates" in Windows updates.
    You install these drivers only if there is no update on MB site or if you experience issues with current drivers.

    This is how I install drivers since ever. no problems so far with Windows messing up with drivers that I install from MB site.
    Actually, this is what I want. I wasn't sure based on the wording in this section if it would disable all driver updates or if it meant that it would just use Windows drivers from the microsoft update center--or whatever it's called. I can't remember.
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  5. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 5,405
    Win 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (19042.928)
       #5

    TONPumper said:
    Actually, this is what I want. I wasn't sure based on the wording in this section if it would disable all driver updates or if it meant that it would just use Windows drivers from the microsoft update center--or whatever it's called. I can't remember.

    Based on your posts this: Enable or Disable Driver Updates in Windows Update in Windows 10

    Starting with Windows 10 build 14328, there's a new policy included that you can use to enable or disable to include drivers with Windows updates. This can be handy if you prefer to download and install your drivers from the device manufacturer instead.
    What zebal posted deals with apps and icons....
    zebal said:
    Next step is to go to:
    Settings -> System -> About -> Advanced system settings -> hardware -> Device installation settings
    Driver Updates Through Windows 10-settings-apps-icons.jpg
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  6. zebal's Avatar
    Posts : 908
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2 (Build: 19042.867)
       #6

    @sygnus21

    I think your observation is incorrect, most likely because by Microsoft drivers are now called "Apps".
    When MS says "Apps" what they really mean is either drivers, desktop programs, store apps and who knows maybe even services.

    Following link posted by dalchina obove doesn't seem to say that behavior of this setting changed:
    Device Installation Settings allow you to change if Windows is to automatically download recommended drivers and detailed information for your hardware and devices via Windows Update.
    Turn On or Off Device Driver Automatic Installation in Windows 10

    I think we can only thank MS to bring confusion by introducing bogus naming conventions.

    Another confusion IMO here is that nobody mentioned "recommended" vs "optional" drivers, from my understanding, recommended drivers are those which are automatically installed (unless disabled), while optional are those we get in "optional driver updates"
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  7. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 5,405
    Win 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (19042.928)
       #7

    zebal said:
    @sygnus21

    I think your observation is incorrect, most likely because by Microsoft drivers are now called "Apps".
    When MS says "Apps" what they really mean is either drivers, desktop programs, store apps and who knows maybe even services.
    My observations were based on actual experience, and the fact that driver are not apps; nor did Microsoft designate them as such because they aren't - What is a driver?

    Anyway, it's all a moot point since drivers updates are now (August 2020) manual and under "Optional updates" So, it looks like you don't need that fix anymore - Windows 10 driver updates will now be manual Optional Updates, But....

    And you can always check your "Update history" for driver installs.

    Thanks.
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  8. TairikuOkami's Avatar
    Posts : 4,688
    Windows Home Dev 21xxx x64
       #8

    sygnus21 said:
    My observations were based on actual use of that tutorial, and the fact that driver are not apps; nor did Microsoft designate them as such.
    Drivers include apps and I can tell that that setting affects for example Logitech Setpoint + driver and Creative SoundBlaster app + driver. AMD Catalyst is also an app, the driver is just a part of it. Thus the reason that setting sometimes works and sometimes not, it depends whether the driver is bundled within the app.
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  9. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 5,405
    Win 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (19042.928)
       #9

    TairikuOkami said:
    Drivers include apps and I can tell that that setting affects for example Logitech Setpoint + driver and Creative SoundBlaster app + driver. AMD Catalyst is also an app, the driver is just a part of it. Thus the reason that setting sometimes works and sometimes not, it depends whether the driver is bundled within the app.
    Well I posted "Microsoft's" definition of a driver so....

    Also, as one who uses Logitech devices, I'm well familiar with Setpoint. And as you'd know, you DON'T need to install the setpoint drivers to get your keyboard (or mouse) to work. In short, you don't need Setpoint. Why.... because there is already a base keyboard driver installed with Windows. The "Setpoint" package includes a vendor specific driver "plus" a customization application package to customize/utilize features specific to a particular keyboard.

    Now, I know you're going to say "you're making my point" but, here's the difference... you can update a driver without updating the software app. Both AMD and NVidia do it all the time... if you pay close attention to both the application package version AND driver versions, you might notice the driver number version changed, whereas the application software package didn't.

    The same applies to SoundBlaster/Creative software where the "driver" is built into the "software application" (app). However, for soundcards, there is no "pre installed" Windows driver because a "soundcard" isn't critical to a PC as a keyboard would be. I can't do jack without a keyboard, but I can get by temporarily without a soundcard.

    That said, I can see the point you and zebal make, but I'm pretty sure of my stance as well (for reasons stated); however, I should have said... driver are not apps, per se.

    Peace
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  10. zebal's Avatar
    Posts : 908
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2 (Build: 19042.867)
       #10

    sygnus21 said:
    My observations were based on actual experience, and the fact that driver are not apps; nor did Microsoft designate them as such because they aren't - What is a driver?

    Anyway, it's all a moot point since drivers updates are now (August 2020) manual and under "Optional updates" So, it looks like you don't need that fix anymore - Windows 10 driver updates will now be manual Optional Updates
    I completely understand your point, but I'm still not convinced to believe your explanation, because as I already said there are 2 kind of drivers, (relevant portion in bold):

    1. recommended drivers
    2. optional drivers

    Recommended drivers as explained as follows:
    You can check Windows Update at any time to see if it found new drivers and icons for your hardware, especially if you recently installed a new device. If you want to have Windows Update automatically check for the latest drivers and icons, here's how:
    Open Devices and Printers by clicking the Start button , and then, on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.
    Right-click the name of your computer, and then click Device installation settings.
    Click Yes, do this automatically (recommended), and then click Save changes.
    Optional drivers are explained as follows:
    Even if you have Windows Update set to automatically download and install all important and recommended updates, you still might not be getting all of the updated drivers available for your devices. For instance, optional updates might include updated drivers that become available for hardware or devices you've already installed. Windows doesn't automatically download and install optional updates, but you will be notified when optional updates are available.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...a-a6faadb62507

    Yes, this is link for Windows 7, but explanation for Windows 10 isn't far from that:
    Driver updates for Windows 10, along with many devices, such as network adapters, monitors, printers, and video cards, are automatically downloaded and installed through Windows Update.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...d-d7126dc1f7b6

    This is explanation for end users, a more technical explanation and background is here:
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...r-distribution

    According to technical definition those drivers are called "Automatic" and "Manual" which we end users understand as "Recommended" and "Optional".

    Starting in Windows 10, version 2004, Windows does not search for a Manual driver when an Automatic driver is not available. For info on how to access Manual drivers, see the Windows Update section of this page.
    And here is the most relevant quote for this discussion:
    Starting in Windows 10, version 2004, Windows Update distributes only Automatic drivers for a system's devices. When Manual drivers are available for devices on the computer, the Windows Update page in the Settings app displays View optional updates .
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...windows-update

    So obviously "Drivers" are now officially called "Apps" by Microsoft for end users because of marketing purposes ofc, however they are still called "Drivers" trough technical reference.

    ---------

    Ofc. I could be wrong about all this, but if my English serves me well then what "Manufactuers apps" really mean in this setting dialog is "Drivers and device icons", and the behavior of that setting did not change except for confusing end users.
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