Now here is a question. In the past one could not rely on Windows Update to identify and therefore propose updates to system critical drivers. Therefore many a company brought out and sold Driver Update software.
With the advent of Windows 10, and from what I can see a much more 'aggresive' Windows Update...in recent days it has proposed a plethora of driver updates on my ex Windows 7 system (now running Windows 10) and I was therefore wondering what other users think of this and the usefulness of Driver Update software/apps?
Is there still a place for them or is their day done (if indeed there ever was a major market/place for them), etc.?
All thoughts welcome.
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I research driver updates even more carefully prior to install, and quite franky often I take the attitude of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" unless the drivers update is for security reasons.
I agree with ? if it ain't broke dont fix it. I've had bad experiences with Windows updated drivers and I wont go Microsoft. I'd rather go to the Website for the driver for Nvidia and what not. Because I usually have to go to Windows Restore to fix the Windows updated Drivers!
Thats my opinion!;)
I am using several methods to control Windows updates so I feel comfortable that I have that covered.
Perhaps I have too much time on my hands but I have found that one of the systems that I upgraded had lots of issues. I worked all of my magic and could not get it right. Information from the event logs, SFC, DISM, restore from backup and start all over again (several times), and finally the dreaded clean install (lots of work), did clean up a lot of old stuff but still did not fix the hangs or BSODs.
I had checked the drivers several times and though nothing pointed directly to any of them, I knew it had to be. So I used a 3rd party driver tool (free) and it fixed it right away. If you use one, just make sure it gives you a choice whether to install or not and that it does restore points for each driver it installs. That makes it much less painful to recover.
I NEVER use Microsoft for driver updates if at all possible.
As for when I DO a driver update, after I have ignored the message from Microsoft for a sufficient amount of time that we would be able to find references of system crashes, etc in the event Microsoft issued a batch update (they would never do that would they??) I try to get it from the Manufacturer.
I read what the driver is supposed to help fix.
If I am NOT having any problems with that issue, I might not update.
If I AM having problems listed as being addressed by the update, I make sure I have the CURRENT driver backed up, and then I try the new one.
Overall, to be honest, I rarely update drivers. I need to see key words like "faster, quicker, improved speed, lower CPU use) etc most of the time. If the issue addressed is for fixing BSOD's that I have never had, I will not bother to update. I do not think I need to update for improved language compatibility, or other such things. The update MUST be for actual technical functionality of the device.
There are times when even though it is not broken you do need to fix it... as a former ISP Support person, back in the dialup days, I can tell you that our modem stacks were always fully updated, but our customers with a Lucent chipset modem that did NOT have the absolute most recent driver had a miserable time connecting. Even a brand new modem, fresh from the factory, required a downloaded driver and not the CD driver. (Our customers never did understand that...... I hope most of those reading this do!)
But as D_J says this sort of thing is fine if one takes precautions and as I image my system hourly (much better than System Restore) I would usually have a fall back if the worst does come to the worst.
I will keep investigating and hopefully look to pos back as and when I have a more concrete view.
Example: It placed the latest Realtek audio driver in for me "which when the system was assembled "OEM" it came with the Maxxaudio wizzard, this was missing after the driver installed by microsoft. So basically, you may lose some fucntionality that came with the OEM by letting MS install drivers for you.
Some drivers were older generic versions, such as Nvidia's GTX driver..
I personally never recommend using 3rd part applications for updating drivers, as the same issues could occur as already mentioned by letting MS have full reign doing so. I always recommned either going to the manufactures website of the system if "OEM" or the product website such as intel ect to obtain the drivers manually. Most if not all have detection utilities that can be downloaded to check your systems hardware and place the proper drivers in for you, if you are not comfortable with doing it manually.
And, to be honest I am undecided...I agree with the "if it ain't broke then don't fix it" approach but when it came to Windows 10 and the upgrade I checked out the advice and that was to make sure that you were on the latest drivers before attempting it, especially if on older Windows 7 systems...and that advice seems to have been proved right...I did update a couple of drivers and I have suffered no upgrade issues when I have read of some who have suffered some major calamities due to older drivers.
Also, in the past, I have updated drivers periodically using a 3rd party update tool that was recommended to me by e computer technician that I know and I have never run foul of those updates...admittedly I only updated a couple of device...but still.
GIven that I image my disc quite often in a day I am letting Windows 10 Windows Update act as it was intended and am watching to see what it updates and when...if that proves to be non controversial, including the device driver updates, I will probably (i) not renew my subscription to the driver update software & (ii) allow Windows to keep updating as it sees fit.
But this is very much at the experimental stage.
I have had very good luck with the restore point when dealing with driver rollbacks, but I always have the image sitting there if I need it, for whatever reason.