chrishoffman — 2014-06-23T06:41:00-04:00 — #1
Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/191405/should-you-use-the-hardware-drivers-windows-provides-or-download-your-manufacturers-drivers/
Hardware drivers are the software that allow your operating system to communicate with your hardware. Windows includes built-in drivers and automatically downloads new ones to make setup easier, but device manufacturers also provide their own driver packages.
wilsontp — 2014-06-23T11:16:28-04:00 — #2
Connect a printer and the automatically provided drives won’t include the printer’s control panel.
The crazy software utilities that come with printers drive me crazy. I conneceted to a network-shared Kodak the other day, and now I get firmware update notices every time I turn my computer on. (I don't care about the firmware on the printer and wouldn't update it if I did care - it's not my printer!)
Installing your manufacturer’s drivers often won’t be necessary. Your computer won’t be faster just because you regularly update your hardware drivers, and it also won’t be slower just because you’re using drivers that are a few versions old. (Graphics drivers are the one big exception here.)
Aside from the video drivers (which should usually be installed directly from nVidia or AMD), the only other thing I usually suggest people install is the manufacturer's sound card drivers. Most sound cards today can auto-detect what is plugged into an audio jack and automatically adjust the output for 2.0, 2.1, 4.1, and 5.1 sound. Modern sound hardware can also split the front panel jacks out and play a separate audio stream to your headset; this allows you to use your headphones for voice chat while having your game sound come from your desktop speakers.
rautamiekka — 2014-06-23T12:03:29-04:00 — #3
Never trust Micro$oft's drivers unless you got no options. I always install drivers from manufacturer if I don't know better, and I always teach to do that.
wilsontp — 2014-06-23T14:14:12-04:00 — #4
Why is that? It's generally exactly the same code, except that the utility programs aren't included with the Windows Update versions of the drivers. This is often a good thing, such as with bloaty printer driver packages.
rautamiekka — 2014-06-23T15:19:31-04:00 — #5
A guy installed drivers from Update to some computer and had to reinstall the whole shit.
wilsontp — 2014-06-23T15:40:51-04:00 — #6
So a secondhand story with no specifics makes the whole process suspect?
I've been using Windows Update since the first day it was available, and I've never had a Windows update force me to reinstall everything. I can think of a few minor issues over the years, but overall, Windows Update has been an overwhelming success.
In the 18 or so years since Windows Update started offering device drivers, I've administered hundreds of computers, and I don't think I've ever seen a situation like you describe. If something like that does happen, it's typically the result of bad or counterfeit hardware.
There is a ton of counterfeit hardware coming out of China, and it's often used in otherwise legit products: for example, a common USB RS232 interface was cloned and sold for a fraction of what the real deal cost. The manufacturer responded by subtly altering the real chip, and the legit drivers specifically look for the cloned hardware and fail to run.
I'm not saying that a WU related failure has never happened... but updating drivers manually also has its share of problems. Trying to do it manually can often get people in to more trouble than they can get themselves out of, especially with generic devices that are implemented slightly differently on different motherboards. This is pretty common with Realtek stuff, for example, where one generic chip gets used in dozens of different configurations. Use the driver for the wrong configuration, and you've ruined the whole audio stack.
Do the same thing with a hard drive controller, and you are going to have real problems.
In my experience, you're far more likely to have problems when manually updating drivers than by letting Microsoft do it for you, and in the situations where MS does mess you up, you can recover in safe mode.
rautamiekka — 2014-06-23T16:23:49-04:00 — #7
Trusting M$ is same as asking for Devil to possess you and not do anything bad with you.
wilsontp — 2014-06-23T18:18:39-04:00 — #8
That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard...
I'll tell you what... since you don't trust Microsoft, don't use Windows.
But I would suggest you do your homework before spouting off on "Micro$oft" at every opportunity...
After reading this post:
Recommending Micro$oft's security software is same as wishing Devil possessed you, and that is actually is, through their secret corruption campaign.
-Never- have the computer auto-installing Window$ Updates, you condemn it to destruction that will to happen at later date !
I realize you just hate Microsoft in general, since you can't write the company's name without putting a $ in there. I've been on other forums where someone who can't write "Microsoft" without a dollar is pretty much auto-banned as a troll...
ringhalg — 2014-06-24T07:09:11-04:00 — #10
I've used Windows update for all my drivers, including the graphics and audio. I haven't run into any problems or performance issues. Also, just like the printer control panel, I don't want or need a control panel for the graphics or the audio.
dragonbite — 2014-06-24T13:03:58-04:00 — #11
So in summary:
You can get by with Windows drivers but if you want or need extra features or full features then use the manufacturer's drivers. Sounds good to me.
Trying to install drivers for an HP printer (forget the model) was a pain when it wanted to download 100MB file for all the extra "fluff" and all I wanted was the $%^* driver (I was a little mad by the end of that ordeal).
That's basically what I do and haven't had a problem with it yet. I run into more trouble with installing nVidia drivers on Linux but that's another story.
tomko4440 — 2014-06-24T13:10:08-04:00 — #12
I have the Manufacturers drivers installed on all my machines. Last month's Windows Update for 8.1 caused all the machines to boot with a black screen and a cursor only. The only thing I could do is a system restore and turn off automatic updates. I had read that this issue is caused by Microsoft installing older drivers on top of the newer manufacturers drivers, causing a mismatch as the MS driver package is incomplete. Here are my questions. First, is that true? And if so, how can I stop this from happening without never being able to trust the patches again? And if not, what is MS doing to trash my PC's?
howard_blair — 2014-06-24T13:54:27-04:00 — #13
Once in a while I've had problems with Microsoft's drivers. The nVidia graphics drivers included in Windows XP have to be completely uninstalled before installing nVidia's drivers, or Windows comes up in "16-color Safe Mode." (Microsoft's drivers for older nVidia GPUs are sloooow, anyway).
A Fresco Logic USB 3.0 update, provided by Microsoft, caused the USB3 port on my laptop to display a yellow exclamation mark - I had to find and download a driver pack from HP to get it working again (on an Asus laptop!)
Always use manufacturer-supplied (or hardware-maker-supplied) drivers if you can help it. The manufacturer's drives are usually the correct ones (unless there are several versions of, say, a motherboard, and you're hot sure which one(s) are for your device), and graphics card drivers from AMD or nVidia are the latest, fastest, most stable drivers available.
wilsontp — 2014-06-24T14:38:20-04:00 — #14
That's not supposed to happen... but if it does, you can go back and set your Windows Updates to "Download updates but let me choose whether to install them". Also, deselect the box that says "Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates."
Since device drivers are always "recommended" updates, you can choose to not install device drivers when you browse the list of updates available.
tomko4440 — 2014-06-24T15:45:51-04:00 — #15
The weird thing is that the particular update is not a drivers update. I believe the culprit is KB2955164 which is roll-up update.
tomko4440 — 2014-06-24T17:53:58-04:00 — #16
Actually, I read that this update does modify a number of drivers, so I am pretty certain this is the problem. It is happening on three PC's all have different video cards (Radeon and Nvidia).
wilsontp — 2014-06-24T20:12:11-04:00 — #17
Ouch! Then it's probably not a video card specific issue...
is there anything in common on the PC's it's affecting? Specific hardware or software installed? anything?
tomko4440 — 2014-06-24T22:03:58-04:00 — #18
Not that I can tell. They are all HP PC's with AMD CPU's. Different motherboards, different CPU's, different chipsets. All have the same problem after installing that update.
andy259 — 2014-06-26T07:01:33-04:00 — #19
That's the stupidest thing you've ever heard? You really should get out more.
wilsontp — 2014-06-26T11:05:33-04:00 — #20
It's been a slow week...
Think about this statement: "I don't use Windows Update because I don't trust Microsoft."
Reading between the lines in that statement, what operating system is that person using?
Now think about the contradictory nature of that statement and tell me it's not a completely ridiculous thing to say.
croatoan — 2014-06-29T09:12:13-04:00 — #21
What to do when Windows Update doesn't find drivers and manufacturer site doesn't host drivers anymore
I wanted to try Canyon notebook stand (model CNP-NS1A).
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