The best way to install drivers?


MartinX2

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I can't find a definitive answer to this topic. What should I do after the clean Windows installation on laptops or oem pc?

1. Let Windows and WU install all drivers.

2. Disconnect internet before Windows installation and after the first boot up install all OEM drivers from usb. Then connect to the internet.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS TUF A15
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GDDR6 4GB

RFS

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I did a clean install on both my W11 PCs last month, and in each case I just sat back and let Windows and WU sort out all the drivers. Everything has worked out just fine. The fact that a particular driver is not the very latest doesn't necessarily mean you have a problem. Eventually any such drivers will find their way to WU and I'm happy with that.
 

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    Windows 11 Home
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    Self-build
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    Intel I3-10100
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    MSI H410M-PRO
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    16 GB
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    Microsoft Office 2021 Plus
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    Windows 11 Home
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    Self-build
    CPU
    Intel i3-8100
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Z370 D3
    Memory
    16 Gb
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    Nvidia GT 720
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    Philips 27-inch
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    Samsung 960 NVMe SSD 256 Gb
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CornishRattler

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As @RFS for me except after I’ll disable driver updates after WU has done its initial stuff and go forward with the manufacturer updates. I like to keep the network and graphics bang up to date
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro Beta, 11 Dev, W10 VHDX Triple Boot
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Alienware M15 Ryzen Edition R6
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen™ 9 5900HX
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    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3070 8GB GDDR6
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    1 x Samsung 980 Pro 1TB
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The-Hive

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I just let mine update and WU do the lot, as @CornishRattler said keeping those drivers up to date is good, so you can do manual checks from device manager
 

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    Alienware Area 51m R2
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    10th Gen Core i9 10900K
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    32GB
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    Geforce RTX 2080 Super
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    Nvidia HD
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    Dual Boot Windows 11 Pro / Windows 11 Pro Dev build
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    Dell Inspiron 3501
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    11th Gen i-7 2.80 gb
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    16Gb
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    1920 x 1080
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    512Gb SSD
    WD 2GB EXT
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    Chrome
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    Norton

NavyLCDR

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I just let Windows Update handle drivers, unless there is a device in device manager with an exclamation point that needs one manually installed.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11
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    PC/Desktop
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    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
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    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
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    32GB
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    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
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    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
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    Nvidia Geforce MX150
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    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
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    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
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cereberus

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Whilst above advice is fine, it does not cater for situation where some pcs will not boot from a standard usb installation drive as that is missing some oem drivers - worst culprit is for some nvme drives.


My ASUS laptop with optane nvme drive would not boot from a standard MS iso, as it did not have the necessary drivers. I found that even if I installed the optane driver manually, I still had a lot of oem drivers missing.

So I reset pc back to its factory built state (I always make an initial Macrium Reflect image backup first).

I then exported all the 3rd party drivers using dism to a flash drive.

Then I injected the appropriate drivers into boot.wim and install.wim on usb installation drive (I have a batch file that does all the work).

Then I installed standard iso and now all drivers bar one or two were also installed. I then updated ones with triangle alerts manually.

Now I periodically export my 3rd party drivers after updates, so I am always reasonably up to date.
 

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    ASUS Vivobook 14
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    I7
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    Yep, Laptop has one.
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    16 GB
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    Integrated Intel Iris XE
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    Realtek built in
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    1920x1080
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    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
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    Yep, got one
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    Stella Artois
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zbook

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Computer manufacturer software that automatically finds and uploads drivers can be time saving.

After a clean install the HP software will find the optimal drivers and load them.

HP Support Assistant
HP Softpaq download manager
HP Client Assist
etc.

Dell and Lenovo may have software too that allows drivers to download and install while the end user is sleeping.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
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    HP
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    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4800MQ CPU @ 2.70GHz
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    Product : 190A Version : KBC Version 94.56
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    16 GB Total: Manufacturer : Samsung MemoryType : DDR3 FormFactor : SODIMM Capacity : 8GB Speed : 1600
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    NVIDIA Quadro K3100M; Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600
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    IDT High Definition Audio CODEC; PNP Device ID HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_111D&DEV_76E0
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SlicEnDicE

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I'm with @cereberus on this one.

Grab the latest OEM drivers while you have a working system and try to keep them up to date. If injecting the drivers into a windows image is a too big hazzle, at least extract them to an usb thumbdrive. Windows supports the most basic USB functionality on most hardware when you plug the drive into the correct port. Then you can at least get the missing drivers installed during Windows setup.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro build 10.0.25252.1000 (Dev Channel)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo A485
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 2700U Pro
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    iGPU Vega 10
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" FHD (built-in) + 14" Lenovo Thinkvision M14t (touch+pen) + 32" Asus PB328
    Screen Resolution
    FHD + FHD + 1440p
    Hard Drives
    Intel 660p m.2 nVME PCIe3.0 x2 512GB
    PSU
    65W
    Keyboard
    Thinkpad
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Chromium)
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    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WSA: Installed
    SecureBoot: Enabled
    TPM2.0: Enabled
    AMD-V: Enabled
    VBS: Enabled
    HVCI: Enabled
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
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    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    i7-7700k @4.8GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus PRIME Z270-A
    Memory
    32GB 2x16GB 2133MHz CL15
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA GTX1080Ti FTW 11GB
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    32" 10-bit Asus PB328Q
    Screen Resolution
    WQHD 2560x1440
    PSU
    850W
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black
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    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Keyboard
    Logitech G710+
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    600/300Mbit
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    AC WiFi Card

TheMystic

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I can't find a definitive answer to this topic. What should I do after the clean Windows installation on laptops or oem pc?

1. Let Windows and WU install all drivers.

2. Disconnect internet before Windows installation and after the first boot up install all OEM drivers from usb. Then connect to the internet.
I don't bother about it until something stops working (which rarely happens) or starts behaving weird. Updating drivers through Windows Update has so far been sufficient for me.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

MartinX2

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Computer manufacturer software that automatically finds and uploads drivers can be time saving.

After a clean install the HP software will find the optimal drivers and load them.

HP Support Assistant
HP Softpaq download manager
HP Client Assist
etc.

Dell and Lenovo may have software too that allows drivers to download and install while the end user is sleeping.
I'm with @cereberus on this one.

Grab the latest OEM drivers while you have a working system and try to keep them up to date. If injecting the drivers into a windows image is a too big hazzle, at least extract them to an usb thumbdrive. Windows supports the most basic USB functionality on most hardware when you plug the drive into the correct port. Then you can at least get the missing drivers installed during Windows setup.
If internet is connected Windows install drivers during the windows installation process. So if I download OEM drivers after that will this overwrite the existing drivers or just install them on top of existing drivers?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS TUF A15
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GDDR6 4GB

SlicEnDicE

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If internet is connected Windows install drivers during the windows installation process. So if I download OEM drivers after that will this overwrite the existing drivers or just install them on top of existing drivers?
I think you are getting this the wrong way around. The OEM drivers you will need are the ones that lets you install Windows in the first place. Yes Windows update will install newer drivers afterwards if it finds newer ones. This is most often a good thing, because they may have bug and security fixes. You can always revert back to older drivers if the newer ones don't work out well that MS provides. Usually the Windows provided ones are the most stable though, except for some exceptions...
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro build 10.0.25252.1000 (Dev Channel)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo A485
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 2700U Pro
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    iGPU Vega 10
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" FHD (built-in) + 14" Lenovo Thinkvision M14t (touch+pen) + 32" Asus PB328
    Screen Resolution
    FHD + FHD + 1440p
    Hard Drives
    Intel 660p m.2 nVME PCIe3.0 x2 512GB
    PSU
    65W
    Keyboard
    Thinkpad
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Chromium)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WSA: Installed
    SecureBoot: Enabled
    TPM2.0: Enabled
    AMD-V: Enabled
    VBS: Enabled
    HVCI: Enabled
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    i7-7700k @4.8GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus PRIME Z270-A
    Memory
    32GB 2x16GB 2133MHz CL15
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA GTX1080Ti FTW 11GB
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    32" 10-bit Asus PB328Q
    Screen Resolution
    WQHD 2560x1440
    PSU
    850W
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 2S
    Keyboard
    Logitech G710+
    Internet Speed
    600/300Mbit
    Browser
    Edge (Cromium)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    AC WiFi Card

TheMystic

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After a clean install the HP software will find the optimal drivers and load them.

HP Support Assistant
HP Softpaq download manager
HP Client Assist
etc.

Dell and Lenovo may have software too that allows drivers to download and install while the end user is sleeping.
A clean install for me means no OEM softwares.

My personal suggestion on a brand new laptop would be to backup the OEM recovery partition and all drivers. Then do a Fresh Installation using Microsoft's built-in utility.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

MartinX2

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I think you are getting this the wrong way around. The OEM drivers you will need are the ones that lets you install Windows in the first place. Yes Windows update will install newer drivers afterwards if it finds newer ones. This is most often a good thing, because they may have bug and security fixes. You can always revert back to older drivers if the newer ones don't work out well that MS provides. Usually the Windows provided ones are the most stable though, except for some exceptions...
I don't know if I understand this right. But I don't need manually downloaded OEM drivers to install windows. I'm just asking if it's fine to download and install OEM drivers on top of WU drivers that is already installed after first boot up of clean windows installation.
Then the other options: windows installation without internet to prevent download automatic drivers or let Windows with WU do the work.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS TUF A15
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GDDR6 4GB

CornishRattler

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I don't know if I understand this right. But I don't need manually downloaded OEM drivers to install windows. I'm just asking if it's fine to download and install OEM drivers on top of WU drivers that is already installed after first boot up of clean windows installation.
Then the other options: windows installation without internet to prevent download automatic drivers or let Windows with WU do the work.
No you don't need to manually download and apply drivers to install Windows as it comes with generic drivers to allow the booting of most systems
The deviation from this is the Intel Optane RST circus, these drivers need to be installed before set up will see the target drive. Most OEM drivers will be updated ones from those on offer from WU so yeah will be fine. On initial install I let WU download whatever the hell it wants driver wise, I will then disable driver updates and install the most recent network and graphics and anything else I want bang up to date. Hope this makes sense
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro Beta, 11 Dev, W10 VHDX Triple Boot
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Alienware M15 Ryzen Edition R6
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen™ 9 5900HX
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3070 8GB GDDR6
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 980 Pro 1TB
    1 x Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB

CountMike

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At first installation I let windows install drivers for whatever they find making sure I get internet connection as soon as possible and that's best achieved by wired connection. Can't expect Widows to have drivers for everything right from ISO. Those are mostly just very basic drivers but enable basic HW parts to work although mostly not at their best or with all controls. Then I check with Device manager for any missing drivers. All drivers are supplied to MS from respective manufacturers anyway. Even before finishing PC and starting windows installation assembly I make sure I download drivers for all the major components and place them unzipped on a USB stick so I can redirect their installation if needed.
After assuring that everything is working I apply newest drivers for all parts as needed but source varies depending of what they are for and their dates. In case of this PC for instance, I get Chipset and GPU drivers from AMD site. Realtek sound from MoKichu and other MB drivers from Asus. I consider chipset drivers most important because the consist of drivers for several MB parts and are essential for proper operation.
In case of laptops, I rely on laptop's manufacturer for most if not all drivers because they are usually custom made for that make and model and there's not much of them at other places.
Before installation of drivers other than from what came windows installed, I stop windows from automatically installing any drivers but I'm meticulous about mainlining and updating drivers as they usually contain fixes and new features for best operation.
In case of trouble with drivers I use DDU and/or Revo uninstaller to uninstall old drivers before installing new ones.
Some times parts may be "invisible" to system if at least some basic drivers are installed and part manufacturers count on those drivers to be present (they sent them to MS in first place) and know how to update them. When looking at device Manager, some drivers may seem to be very old (years back) but that's done for compatibility. Prime example is Disk drivers dated to 2008 but are actually brand new installed with chipset drivers.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10 and Insider Dev.+ Linux Mint
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home brewed
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5800x
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime x470 Pro
    Memory
    2x8GB Kingston 3600MHz, Cl 16
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte GV-R66EAGLE-8GD (AMD Rx 6600)
    Sound Card
    MB, Realtek Ac1220p
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x 28"
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 evo Plus 500GB, Samsung 960 evo250GB, 3x SSD SATA 2.5" 250GB, WD 2TB HDD.
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    Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360mm
    Internet Speed
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cereberus

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No you don't need to manually download and apply drivers to install Windows as it comes with generic drivers to allow the booting of most systems
The deviation from this is the Intel Optane RST circus, these drivers need to be installed before set up will see the target drive. Most OEM drivers will be updated ones from those on offer from WU so yeah will be fine. On initial install I let WU download whatever the hell it wants driver wise, I will then disable driver updates and install the most recent network and graphics and anything else I want bang up to date. Hope this makes sense
Yep - the key problem area on some modern pcs is the more modern nvme based drives.

For years, the generic windows drivers for hard drives was ok even for modern SATA SSDs. I also used to have issues with a hard drive in a dvd caddy as that needed a special driver not in standard MS iso.

On rare occasions, graphic drivers have been an issue but mostly the MS generic drivers are adequate to get past installation stage, and then are probably the main ones, along with network drivers to get updated after installation.

On some rare cases, keyboard drivers can also be an issue.

So most systems will not have an issue, but it is always a good plan to have a good set of OEM drivers available BEFORE re-installing Windows.

So as a minimum, export them from a working version of Windows on device if possible. If you are clean installing on a device that does not have windows on it (i.e. never had it or been wiped), then getting key drivers from web is a good plan.

The key drivers I always try to have upfront are

1) hard drive drivers (can be essential for modern IRST drives)
2) network drivers (ethernet / wifi). If only 1 pc, you can get caught in Catch 22 i.e. you need drivers to download drivers.
3) graphics drivers (not essential but does save time when setting up pc)

Everything else is usually less critical e.g. camera drivers.

Also touchscreen drivers may be an issue, as you may only be able to use mouse and keyboard until these are sorted.

In the end, the more you have easily available upfront, the easier it is to get up to date.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0

User1234

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I individually install them one by one direct from manufacturer. Don't like any of this third party driver update programs, never have never will. Takes minutes to do manually and once they're all done the first time.. its every now and then for things that actually matter and again.. minutes.
No tune up app crap gone tell me what to do xD
 

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System One

  • Computer type
    PC/Desktop

CornishRattler

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I individually install them one by one direct from manufacturer. Don't like any of this third party driver update programs, never have never will. Takes minutes to do manually and once they're all done the first time.. its every now and then for things that actually matter and again.. minutes.
No tune up app crap gone tell me what to do xD
+1 This way you know exactly what is going on the system, driver updaters give you no choice as the vast majority will blindly click 'update all'
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro Beta, 11 Dev, W10 VHDX Triple Boot
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Alienware M15 Ryzen Edition R6
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen™ 9 5900HX
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3070 8GB GDDR6
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 980 Pro 1TB
    1 x Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB

CountMike

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OS
W10 and Insider Dev.+ Linux Mint
+1 This way you know exactly what is going on the system, driver updaters give you no choice as the vast majority will blindly click 'update all'
Also often install wrong drivers or even dated ones.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10 and Insider Dev.+ Linux Mint
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home brewed
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5800x
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime x470 Pro
    Memory
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    Graphics Card(s)
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    Sound Card
    MB, Realtek Ac1220p
    Monitor(s) Displays
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    Screen Resolution
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    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 evo Plus 500GB, Samsung 960 evo250GB, 3x SSD SATA 2.5" 250GB, WD 2TB HDD.
    Cooling
    Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360mm
    Internet Speed
    20/19 mbps

User1234

On the naughty step
Local time
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Posts
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Also often install wrong drivers or even dated ones.
+1 again, depends on whether the person trusts themselves enough and if they don't most go for the what button do I press to do all of this for me thing without really knowing to begin with.

Edit. I said 'most' to accommodate all so don't all start going 'not me not me' xD
 

My Computer

System One

  • Computer type
    PC/Desktop

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