Driver updates - how to find them and is it always worth it?


unifex

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As part of my exploration of Windows 11, I ran CCleaner today and the latest version has a "driver updater" tool. I know, many experts on these Forums advise against such tools and I'm not about to jump head first. however, I did wonder about driver updates for some time now and decided this is a good occasion to clear it up. So, on my Windows 11, this is what CCleaner tells me

Screenshot 2022-02-13 123146.png

However, when I run the Intel Driver and Support utility, this is what I get

Screenshot 2022-02-13 123329.png


Here's the first question though: those Intel controllers that CCleaner has new drivers for, are not even mentioned in the Intel tool. Does this mean that one is not supposed to update such drivers? is there any point in doing that?

The second question is - CCleaner reports that a new Realtek driver is available, but Intel does not. Realtek drivers are not so easy to find on the Realtek website and Asus is typically slow with updates, but again, is there a point in always having the latest driver?
 

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cereberus

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I never use 3rd driver update tools - they are only as good as the databases they hold.
I have seen more than one pc get drivers mangled using such tools.

Just let Windows update manage drivers.

If you need a specific driver, you can get then from vendor websites.

Personally, I will not even install CCleaner as you can cause more harm than good if not careful
 

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jimbo45

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Hi folks
some of those "Driver sites" are also "Sneakerware". They sucker you in by saying Drivers available or similar but when you try and access those it's in a "Paid part" of the site. Avoid those like the plague.

It's always easy to find out what the hardware is and who makes it. In the system hardware against the "Unknown device" or other hardware with a query against it go to properties. Then from the properties go to Event manager and you should see the vendor id and other details so it then becomes "Google-able (?) " . String is usually something like &Ven ..... etc.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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jvickers

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I'm of the same mindset as @cereberus.

I let Windows 11 update my drivers. I do use MSI's Dragon Center from time to time, but that's rare.

Mostly, I rely on Windows 11 for most drivers and NVidia's GeForce Experience for video driver updates.
 

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I use Windows Update, Intel driver support, Nvidia Gforce Experience and check the Alienware site for drivers just for my machine, that is all I need
 

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CornishRattler

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I always update the graphic and network drivers to the manufacturer latest, the rest WU take care of. I do find the Dell/Alienware machine specific graphic drivers are way behind
 

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Hazel123

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I never use 3rd driver update tools - they are only as good as the databases they hold.
I have seen more than one pc get drivers mangled using such tools.

Just let Windows update manage drivers.

If you need a specific driver, you can get then from vendor websites.

Personally, I will not even install CCleaner as you can cause more harm than good if not careful
Agree with all of that. I did destroy an installation once! Just using the clean free space option. Only install drivers from Windows update or from the manufacturer's software updates page. While this article is 3 years old, I think it still stands and mentions c cleaner was hacked as well.

 
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The-Hive

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Too much cleaning and deleting things eventually ends up in tears when things don't work or go missing
 

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Devlin1888

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I never use 3rd driver update tools - they are only as good as the databases they hold.
I have seen more than one pc get drivers mangled using such tools.

Just let Windows update manage drivers.

If you need a specific driver, you can get then from vendor websites.

Personally, I will not even install CCleaner as you can cause more harm than good if not careful
I have it for a few uses but drivers aint one of em! Do it yourself and don't rely on the third party app as Cereberus says they are only as good as the databases they hold. However it does have its uses. If you cause more harm than good then someones clicking on stuff they know nothing about and shouldn't be there in the first place . If you know and have a teeny weeny bit of common sense, its fine. Remember combofix etc? Those were doorstop programs if you didn't know what to do xD
 

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Hazel123

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The other thing is - you can be fine with existing drivers. If no issues then no real need to update to the latest one. But if you find there is a later one, that Windows update hasn't provided, then google it to see why it's been updated. It may only be necessary for certain machines - or it may be an important one due to security holes in the previous one. So find out if it's needed or not. But if it ain't broke ..... and all that.

The other reason to only update it via the computer manufacturer's driver page - is manufacturers modify the driver - to work with the specific machine - so downloading it elsewhere isn't a good idea.

For example on one older laptop with nvidia drivers, the latest one was available from nvidia - but it was not the same as the one provided by the computer manufacturer which was modified to work with that laptop - and some functions were unavailable with the nvidia version.
 

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Devlin1888

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The other thing is - you can be fine with existing drivers. If no issues then no real need to update to the latest one. But if you find there is a later one, that Windows update hasn't provided, then google it to see why it's been updated. It may only be necessary for certain machines - or it may be an important one due to security holes in the previous one. So find out if it's needed or not. But if it ain't broke ..... and all that.
Depends on what the drivers for but for the most part i'd agree, the only drivers im religious about doing asap are GPU drivers and thats due to games etc and you'll lose performance % potentially in said games.
 

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Hazel123

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Posted at the same time :) I edited to mention graphics drivers.
 

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