Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/171816/htg-explains-do-you-need-to-use-a-driver-cleaner-when-upgrading-hardware-drivers/
Some geeks use “driver cleaners” when updating their drivers — generally graphics drivers — to ensure the old driver was completely uninstalled and that no leftover files will conflict with the new driver. But is this necessary?
Why would you even need to update a driver? Unless it's a GPU driver, of course. I use 2011 drivers on my netbook, which works awesomely with Windows 8 (and StartIsBack).
I have just the oposite problem where i need to uninstall the newer driver, when i install a usb/serial cable. When plugged in, it auto installs the newer one then i have to uninstall it and revert to an older one.
...The same reason anyone ever updates anything -- for fixes, improvements, refinements, and well, ...updates.
Video card drivers are the most visibly apparent of the process, given that they're in a constant state of flux and evolution with games that come out, whereas most other drivers have a generally "static" interface of the operating system (for the most part). But that doesn't preclude them from a continual process of bug/security fixes.
This is all good in theory but in practice Nvidia driver updates are still a mess and for me (and many others on their "help" forums who get none whatsoever) their updates usually fail to install. I've cleaned house and had to make tweaks in safe mode to get an update to work only to find it fails again the next time. Nvidia is notoriously sloppy and just doesn't care about anything other than new OEM sales. If you are an existing user you just don't count.
Could be. Also could be Windows updates my drivers through Windows Update and I don't even notice. Meh, whatever.