Driver Updater Programs - Danger

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Jaspion, Dec 9, 2012.

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  1. Jaspion

    Jaspion Registered Member

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    Hi everybody,

    I have been reading stuff from this forum for a little while now, and I've found many useful tips here. The last subject I did some research on here was driver updating programs. I found some recommendations and tried SlimDrivers and DriverMax. I have in the past tried other programs as well, and my experience with all of them was similar. So I though I'd start a new thread (all others on this subject are rather old) and share my experience to give something back to the community, and maybe help others.

    Long story short, stay away from such software! That's it.

    Now for a longer story: you may search this forum and you will find many recommendations for this type of software, and also many warnings of their quirkiness and possible danger. One of the most common problems is that if you test any two such programs you will get two different sets of results, both of which will tell you they have the most up-to-date and correct drivers. In fact, there is a good chance they're both wrong!

    As I said, I tried SlimDrivers and DriverMax. Naturally, they had different results for me: 11 updates available according to SlimDrivers and 7 or 13 according to DriverMax (7 with some affecting more than one device, totaling 13). I did a little more research and found some bad reviews of DriverMax so I tried updating a driver first with SlimDrivers. Of course, I did a backup of my drivers before anything, maybe the only truly useful function in these programs. My Realtek network adapter had an update for it so that was my first try. What happened?

    Well, it installed ok, but then (after reboot of course) SlimDrivers itself couldn't connect to the internet. So I decided to try to rollback the changes with SlimDrivers' own backup. What happened? The driver stayed the same new wrongly updated driver, it did not rollback the changes. Then I clicked another "Download update" for a different driver just to check what would happen, and I'm glad I did because the behavior that followed was quirky at best: the installer got downloaded, but I decided against installing anything else, so I clicked "Cancel". When I got back to SlimDrivers' main screen, out of the 10 remaining updates available, only 1 was showing. I re-scanned, still the same. Quit the program, re-scanned, same thing, only 1 update available, although I had installed nothing else.

    With all that, I used System Restore to go back to my PC without any of these programs or bad drivers. Now everything is back to normal.

    Driver updaters do not work as advertised, at least I haven't found any one that did. Very often they show you an available update that is a version number above that available on the manufacturer site, so you can wonder what the heck is in there. It may be a version made for a specific brand that does not fit your machine and therefore cause instability or worse problems.

    So, if you wish to update your drivers, just go to the website of your manufacturer and see if there's an update. Sometimes it's best to go to the manufacturer of the computer, not the hardware, as many drivers are specifically tailored for a certain brand. And always remember to use System Restore in case anything goes wrong.

    As a side note about System Restore: to be really useful, create manual restore points before installing anything (especially things that modify the system), and in the System Restore options, don't be shy to use a lot of disk space for it. I've had the only one good restore point I possessed deleted many times because the system will delete old ones if there's no more allocated space.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  2. berryracer

    berryracer Suspended Member

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    I've tried many, they were all crap, they also mostly tell you about updates that are ont really relevant to your computer.

    EXCEPT, My-Config

    Never had it told me about a wrong driver. It always shows the most recent driver updates, gives you download links from the original manufacturer, and the program is FREE

    been using it for 2 years and it never caused a single problem

    no ads or anything as well

    My-Config is a FREE driver updater that works like a charm and finds all updated drivers then gives you download links for the updated drivers. All the links come from the official manufacturers so they are safe to install.

    Visit http://www.ma-config.com/en
     
  3. AaLF

    AaLF Registered Member

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    Thanks for the link BR :thumb:
     
  4. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Different programs find different updates.

    Yes they do. I use several different driver update programs on all of my laptops, as well as the computers I fix for others, and I find them extremly useful. Sometimes they will recommend incompatible drivers. But you can easily revert to the original driver via Device Manager. It is wrong to write off driver update software because of a single bad experience.

    Sometimes there is a more recent compatible driver than what you will find on the manufacturers website. As for incompatible drivers, if the driver update software shows the driver manufcatuer then check that and make sure the driver manufactuer is the same for both the original driver and the update. For example some driver update software will recommend updating a generic Microsoft bluetooth driver with a Toshiba or Motorola one - which tend not to compatible.

    Well you can sure to get compatible drivers there, but they will amost always be outdated. Computer manufacturers in general update the drivers page for a computer only for a few months after it's released.

    Based on experience with Acer, ASUS, Compal, Dell, HP/Compaq, Lenovo, MSI, NEC, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and others. Only Lenovo continune to provide driver updates for old models. Also while Lenovo provides driver updates for newer operating systems than the included os with a laptop, other maufacturers don't.

    You should be able to rollback to the old driver with Device Manager. Of course System Restore comes in handy if the rollback doesn't work.

    As a side note about System Restore: to be really useful, create manual restore points before installing anything (especially things that modify the system), and in the System Restore options, don't be shy to use a lot of disk space for it. I've had the only one good restore point I possessed deleted many times because the system will delete old ones if there's no more allocated space.[/QUOTE]
     
  5. Jaspion

    Jaspion Registered Member

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    If the manufacturers' homepages don't list a version found in these driver programs/websites, where are the new drivers coming from? Maybe they are not listed on the manufacturers' websites because they are relevant only to a few setups?
     
  6. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    For the most part the drivers will be listed on the manufacturers website. However, one exception I can think of is one laptop a driver update program found an update for the Nvidia graphics, which was newer than the driver installed, but was for a different model graphics card. The driver did however work fine with no issues at all. Another example is that sometime driver update software will find a newer touchpad driver, made by a different maufacturer. Sometimes these different drivers will work, sometimes not.

    But based on my experience with driver update software, amost always the updated drivers found are the correct driver for the device.

    Edit:
    With regards to driver updates downloaded from the computer manufacturer. The manufacturer just stops updating the download page - I guess they're trying to sell more computers by making users think there computers are too outdated. However, almost always there will be driver updates published after the computer manufacturer has stopped providing updates on their support pages, sometimes for many years after this.

    A good example of this is I have a ThinkPad T61 which is around 6 years old and there an Intel Chipset driver update for it from October of this year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  7. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    To continue, I have installed Windows 8 on three old laptops - two of which are 6 years old, and the one is 3 years old.

    Despite the age of the laptops, Windows 8 runs really well on them. They are more than fast enought for anything I need them for. Of course computer manufacturers want you to buy a nice shiny new computer every few years, which is why, as far I can tell, why they stop updating the download pages for the computers they see within about 6 months of release. But, in my opinion unless you are using them for gaming or for some particuarly CPU intensive tasks there really is no need.
     
  8. Jaspion

    Jaspion Registered Member

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    roger_m, which programs then would you recommend?
     
  9. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Advanced Driver Updater is a very good program. However it is not free, and you pay for a one year subscription, after which it is charged again to your credit card, unless you cancel the subscrpition.

    My software of choice is Driver Genius which is probably the best driver updater software at the moment and is free - with one major catch it's in Chinese. It's not too hard to work out how to use though.

    My Config which BerryRacer mentioned looks promising so may be worth a look at. While I have a decent amount of experience with just about every driver update program, both free and paid I have very little experience with this so can't say too much about it.

    I am running Windows 7 right, but I am going to reboot into Windows 8 and give My Config another go and post back here what I think.
     
  10. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi

    This is topic I am very interested in since I have tried a number of "free" driver update programs and found them all wanting.

    The latest, that I have retained for about a year, is SlimDrivers. That said it has a habit of periodically showing a number of drivers that need updating. Then after downloading them it says that there is a newer version on my machine. Hardly convincing performance.

    I tried the My Config updater referred to in an earlier post and it found 5 drivers for my PC (Win 7 64bit) all of which installed without problem and were genuine updates above and beyond those on my machine.

    The only criticism I had some of the downloads were slow, but not all.

    My assessment so far. A very promising alternative but time will tell.

    I have removed SlimDrivers

    Terry
     
  11. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Yes, it does seem a lot better than SlimDrivers, and it found two updates that Driver Genius missed. Probably for now Driver Genius will still be my first choice because it downloads multiple drivers at once and starts installing the download drivers as soon as they are downloaded while the other downloads continue, and usually uses an automated install for the drivers.
     
  12. Narxis

    Narxis Registered Member

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    My fav is Driver Genius. I benn using it for a long time on lots of different PC's and notebooks. I only had 1 problem on an older PC. Driver Genius downloaded a new chipset driver and after installing it i had BSOD's. But that is why on default creats system restore points. 1-click and restored the old driver.
     
  13. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I'm sure you are using the paid version of Driver Genius which has no relationship to the free Chinese Driver Genius I've been talking about. I have used this and it does a good job, and from memory, once you buy it, you have to pay again to use new versions, but can keep using the version you purchased for as long as you like without having to pay again.
     
  14. Wild Hunter

    Wild Hunter Former Poster

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    About the chinese DriverGenius. How can you use it? I agree it isn't too hard..! It's impossible!! LOL
     
  15. Jaspion

    Jaspion Registered Member

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    I was about to ask the same. I haven't tried it yet, but I'd like to. Could roger_m tell us a little more, if it's not too much to ask? Also maybe explain the differences between the 3 available versions?
     
  16. TonyW

    TonyW Registered Member

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    When you mentioned 'Driver Genius', I thought it was this one. It has the same name as the Chinese program.
     
  17. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I will post some instructions on how to use it soon.
     
  18. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I will post instructions with screenshots when I get home from work.

    However for now:

    There are three different versions to download. Generally you should download the Standard Edition, which is the middle download. The top download includes a Chinese version of Kingsoft antivirus, and the bottom version - the Extended version includes network drivers, allowing you to run it on a computer which is missing network drivers, and it will install the required network drivers to give you internet access.

    There is some translated information about the latest update here:
    http://translate.googleusercontent....64.htm&usg=ALkJrhjwhEtIGPAN9WKF_ysJS6kta6LH_w
     
  19. Jaspion

    Jaspion Registered Member

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    We thank you.

    I figured that would be it, I already use Kingsoft (in English of course) and the big version with network drivers is an excellent pick for maintenance jobs. Do you know if there's a portable version? Again, thanks.
     
  20. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Not too sure on this. There is two offline versions for Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit versions) which come with all the drivers included, but I haven't tried them so don't know if they are portable - also I'm not sure how up to date they are.
     
  21. Jaspion

    Jaspion Registered Member

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    roger_m, thanks a bunch for your time.

    Also thank you berryracer for your ma-config suggestion. I have tried it today and it works very well indeed. It found two updates for my computer, both of which could be found in the manufacturers' websites. I installed the versions downloaded via the site ma-config redirects to, and they worked perfectly.

    Because of these useful suggestions, I don't think the title of this thread is totally relevant anymore. Perhaps we should await roger_m's extra information on Driver Genius and create a new thread with a summary of what was discussed here, listing the working Driver Updaters.
     
  22. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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  23. Jaspion

    Jaspion Registered Member

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    Thanks a lot roger_m!

    I also started another thread talking about ma-config (thanks berryracer).
     
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