Windows Update - Why are some drivers forced but others are optional?


barreleye

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This happens in the latest Windows 11 and 10, and it's nothing new. For example, today, "Apricorn - USB - 21.46.5.13" appears alongside a Windows cumulative update as "Pending Download", and there is no way to opt out. OTOH, under Optional Updates -> Driver Updates, there are various items from Realtek, HP, etc. I do use Apricorn Aegis secure USB thumb drives, so it sort of makes sense, but they only use Windows built-in drivers, which I see when I bring up the file properties and look at the drivers they use. I can find no Apricorn drivers on my hard drive or when using Autoruns. It's not even a naming thing in Device Manager like with some chipset drivers. The only evidence after the fact is that the update appears in Driver Updates under Windows Update History, which unhelpfully gives on further information. Can anyone explain what's going on here?
 

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jvickers

The lunatics have taken over the asylum
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This happens in the latest Windows 11 and 10, and it's nothing new. For example, today, "Apricorn - USB - 21.46.5.13" appears alongside a Windows cumulative update as "Pending Download", and there is no way to opt out. OTOH, under Optional Updates -> Driver Updates, there are various items from Realtek, HP, etc. I do use Apricorn Aegis secure USB thumb drives, so it sort of makes sense, but they only use Windows built-in drivers, which I see when I bring up the file properties and look at the drivers they use. I can find no Apricorn drivers on my hard drive or when using Autoruns. It's not even a naming thing in Device Manager like with some chipset drivers. The only evidence after the fact is that the update appears in Driver Updates under Windows Update History, which unhelpfully gives on further information. Can anyone explain what's going on here?
It could be that these are necessary to run things, like your USB thumb drive that's tied to Windows. Without the new driver, the device might stop working.

For optional drivers, those are usually improvements and bug fixes, but the old drivers work.

That's just my guess, mind you. :)
 

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barreleye

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Local time
3:58 PM
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15
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Windows 11
It could be that these are necessary to run things, like your USB thumb drive that's tied to Windows. Without the new driver, the device might stop working.

For optional drivers, those are usually improvements and bug fixes, but the old drivers work.

That's just my guess, mind you. :)
I did a registry and Windows directory search for "Apricorn" and found a .inf entry. Looking at that file, it doesn't install a driver, but it does write some registry entries like:

Code:
HKLM, "System\CurrentControlSet\Control\usbstor\09840201", "DeviceHackFlags", 0x00010003, 0x400

Apparently, DeviceHackFlags addresses various idiosyncracies in USB drives.

So it seems Windows has required "driver" updates that do things like the above and optional driver updates that replace driver files. I wonder what Microsoft's process is for distinguishing between the two?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11

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