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Best way to update device drivers?


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#1 GoshenBleeping

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:49 PM

Windows 7 Home Edition, SP 1

What is the most efficient way to ensure that all device drivers are up to date? I am nervous about updating any drivers for fear of screwing up my laptop which seems to be running just fine. Thoughts?

Also, there is a product, Device Doctor, that claims to identify and download updated drivers. Is this product safe? Can I rely on this product 100%?

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:30 PM

my laptop which seems to be running just fine. Thoughts?

Yes, my thought is if it is running fine why would there be any need to "update" drivers? Drivers don't have a use-by date. Video drivers are the main ones that will be continually updated by manufacturers, to deal with reported issues, game compatibility and the bugs that occur because they are being updated so frequently. In contrast, drivers for many other devices have been stable for a long time and are not subject to continual development.

Like BIOS updates, if a system shows no sign of having problems, there is seldom a great requirement for driver updates. Unfortunately, some driver finder programs have entered into the snake oil realm inhabited by registry cleaners, and alarm users by insisting their drivers are "out of date". Often this is simply because the driver in question has been stable since the computer was made.

Especially with laptops (since they are more proprietary), drivers are best obtained from the manufacturer's support website. Even with video drivers, updates are often mainly for gaming performance, and for everyday and business use it's more important to have stability. With video drivers, this can mean it's actually better to have an older, proven version rather than a "cutting edge" release.
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