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What drivers are essential for Windows 7?


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#1 leaning

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 04:49 PM

Hello!

 

Is there a site or program that color-codes drivers? Something that will tell me what is essential for Windows, what is in place for my hardware, and then what is extra?

 

I downloaded the Autoruns utility and it is great at showing me what starts up, but it also lists many drivers that are also being loaded that I'm not sure are needed (stexstor.sys, pcouffin.sys, elxstor.sys, hardlock.sys, etc.)

 

I used USBDeview to delete the information from old flash drives that had been plugged and unplugged from my computer

 

(BTW, Driver Verifier Manager reports that no unsigned drivers were found.)

 

I have boot-up set to verbose so I can see the entire list of drivers loading up, but I don't want them to if they are not needed.

 

I appreciate your help!

 

Regards,

 

Leaning

 



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#2 Aura

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 05:05 PM

Hi leaning :)

If I were you, I would leave the drivers alone. Without drivers, there's no way that Windows can work. It would just throw BSOD continuely until you install the faulty drivers. If you boot in Safe Mode, only the drivers required for Windows to work will be used, not the others. So graphic drivers, sound drivers, etc. will not be loaded and left aside. Simple question, why do you want to know that? You shouldn't disable/delete any drivers from a Windows system, ever unless that specific driver have issues and you want to replace it.

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#3 leaning

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 05:15 PM

Aura,

 

IDK. I guess for the same reasons that I like to be able to add/remove programs, stop running services, edit the registry, etc. Goes back to my days of peeking and poking VIC 20's and Commodore 64's, and exploring Windows long before it even had registries.

 

AFA the sound, etc. drivers, I don't use all the extended features of those devices, so I'm good with just loading the generic Windows drivers for them.

 

That's a good idea with Safe Mode. Maybe I can start in Safe Mode, see the list of running drivers, and then compare that to a normally-started Windows list and see what the differences are. I was just hoping there was a program like Process Explorer (procexp.exe) that would display it easier.

 

<shrug>

 

Regards,

 

Leaning



#4 Aura

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 05:19 PM

I don't see any point or reason in what you want to achieve, but I can tell you that one false step and you'll make your Windows unbootable, that I know.

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#5 hamluis

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 05:27 PM

When you start fooling around with "drivers"...it helps to know that Windows...and applications...also employ drivers.

 

If you want to get a good idea of how varied "drivers" are, I suggest that go to the website of Autoruns for Windows...and run the online check of your sysem...then take a look at the tab marked "Drivers".

 

You will have an idea of what drivers are "essential" if you do that.

 

Louis



#6 leaning

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 08:10 PM

In case anyone is interested, I downloaded a Nirsoft utility called Driverview which shows you which drivers are loaded. I ran it in Normal, sent the results to an html file, ran it in Safe Mode with Networking, got another html file, converted the html to xls files, compared the two results, and generated a difference report.

 

So if what Windows requires is what Safe Mode has, that means on my system there are 35 "extra" drivers that are loaded. Now the task to see which ones are being used for my keypad, sound, etc. and which are truly unnecessary.

 

Fun with expensive machinery.  :)

 

Regards,

 

Leaning



#7 leaning

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 08:21 PM

Forgot to add:

 

Hamluis,

 

If you look at Post #1, you'll see I used Autoruns already. It just lists them. it doesn't mark them up any way as "essential", "unnecessary", etc. That's why I started this thread to see if anyone knew of a program that picks up where Autorun leaves off.

 

Thanks for that, though.

 

Regards,

 

Leaning



#8 hamluis

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 09:30 AM

My implication...was that, if they are installed and you are happy with the manner in which your system currently operates...then I would deem them to be "necessary".

 

I guess it's all in how you view your system's performance, apologies for the redundancy :).

 

Louis






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