Driver updating

  Housten 15:14 01 Jun 2011

Good afternoon,

I don’t know about anyone else but this is the second time I have tried to post on here this afternoon – I am getting used to the regular ‘outages’ and hope that PCA will soon sort these out and stop them occurring!

I read on one of these forums, a few days ago, that checking up on whether or not the latest drivers were installed on your computer was a good idea, and was something that should be done on a regular basis. Well I have a 4 and a half year old Mesh computer, so thought that asking them would be the best – and hopefully – simplest way of finding out how to do this. Logging on to PCA this afternoon, I see that it’s not, as they have gone down, so I think that this ‘good idea’ has been well and truly blown out of the water! I am sorry to ask a silly question but I have upgraded to Windows 7 64 bit and I am wondering if there is anything within it that can do this? Or would it be better to use something else entirely? So I have decided to ask for some help and I would be most grateful if there is anyone who can tell me how to go about checking or how to check that the latest drivers are installed. Having had time to think about this I think this is something that should be done – at least – on an annual basis, so I am wondering if there are any programmes that can do this sort of thing. If these are free that would be so much better! Does anyone have any ideas that I - and, hopefully, many others - can use without having to use a load of fancy tools??

  birdface 15:34 01 Jun 2011

A lot of folk use SIW to show what motherboad, graphics, sound etc is on there computer then go to the manufacturers Web Site and download the updates from there.

SIW Download

Worth a try just to see what you have on your computer.

  Ian in Northampton 15:45 01 Jun 2011

There is a school of thought - to which I strongly subscribe - that says "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". In other words: if your machine works and is stable, and performs as you would hope, then there is no point in updating your drivers for the simple reason that it's not unknown for updated drivers to cause problems.

That said, if you're determined to go ahead and try and wreck a perfectly serviceable machine... :-) I use DriverMax for capturing, saving and reinstalling drivers and, IIRC, it has the facility to check for updated drivers.

  onthelimit1 16:17 01 Jun 2011

I have a 5 yr old Evesham PC (remember them?) which has had no new drivers from new. Everything works well, and the machine is stable so, like Ian, I'd leave alone unless some particular area is causing problems.

  rawprawn 16:21 01 Jun 2011

You only need to update drivers if there is a prblem, and my advice then would be to go to the manufacturers site.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:23 01 Jun 2011

You probably read it in My posts about speeding up a slow machine.

If your machine is working OK then leave the drivers alone.

Most of the drivers in My 7 year old XP machine are as standard from 7 yrs ago, I have all drivers backed up in case of HDD failure in an Acronis image and with Driver Genius Pro.

  Ventad 16:32 01 Jun 2011

Years ago I would have agreed that updating Drivers was not a good thing to do but for the last 5 years I have updated a desktop using Vista and since the purchase of a laptop running W7 64 bit I have updated all the drivers that I get notification of. Including getting emails from Nvidia to update, and touch wood have never had a problem. After all you update programmes why not update drivers which sort out little problems and make your computers run more effiently, as long as they are digitally signed and genuine manufacterers updates what is the problem after all they would not update drivers if there is no reason to update. you can always roll back the driver if the updated one does not work to expectations.

  onthelimit1 18:06 01 Jun 2011

'which sort out little problems'

In that case, OK, but if there are no obvious problesm, why bother?

  chub_tor 19:05 01 Jun 2011

I'm one of those sad people who insists on keeping both my programmes and my drivers up to date. Consequently I use DriverMax to do so and it has rarely provided me with drivers that I do not like. The exception has been with their recommeded driver for HD Audio on my Toshiba laptop which flat refuses to work. I do subscribe to the "don't update the BIOS unless you positively have to" train of thought though.

  Ian in Northampton 19:52 01 Jun 2011

Ventad makes some reasonable points. However, "after all they would not update drivers if there is no reason to update" caught my attention. There are three main reasons for a manufacturer to update drivers:

  1. To accommodate a new operating system
  2. To fix bugs
  3. To add new functionality

It seems to me, if you haven't changed your operating system, you're not suffering from the bugs and you don't need the new functionality, there's no reason to change. Ventad draws a good comparison with application software like Office. The same kind of thinking applies, though. I have happily used Office 2003 since - well, 2003 - and never felt the need to upgrade to 2007 or 2010. 2003 does everything I want it to do, and does it 100% reliably. In fact, I've just been forcibly upgraded to 2010 at work and am finding I really don't need all the clever new functionality it undoubtedly includes (and I definitely don't need the way MS have cleverly hidden the functionality I do need in imaginatively obscure places).

I guess this is a quasi-religious debate... :-)

  Ventad 08:33 02 Jun 2011

If you consider that operating systems and programs are changing all the time with updates by microsoft with their operating systems to fix bugs and also the updating of all office programs, virus programmes being updated to new systems they are all being updated underneath your lid. so it comes apparent that the drivers have to keep up with all these changes to the programmes and systems that you believe you have not changed. how many of these requests made on PCA that their PC has got slower are just because of the drivers not being kept up with their update systems (not the upgraded new systems) one must look at all aspects updating drivers.

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