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Deleting Old Drivers Before Installing New?


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#1 yardcat

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:35 AM

I was reading an interesting thread here where Enthusiast provided this piece of advice on device updating: "...save the drivers, and delete those devices, reboot, allow Windows to find and install the devices and navigate to where you saved them.

This is going to seem like a dumb question, but if I delete my old driver, and particularly a vital one like the HD disk drive or IDE drive, etc.If I do this before the final install of its replacement could this cause problems? How does the machine function during the interim when there is no device at all?

I guess its because (Windows XP) is designed not to ACTUALLY stop using the old device until a switch thats done during bootup?

Another Question:
I just recently had a BSOD, and thanks to reading this forum, was able to solve it by rolling back a recently installed updated NEC display driver. I had thought it was a corrupted update, but now I'm thinking that I should have deleted my old driver first, because I didn't update directly thru Device Manager. NEC had me run a small program that installed a bunch of .INF files somewhere).

Also, can windows find these drivers as long as they have .inf extension??

Thanks again, yardcat.

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#2 usasma

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 06:31 PM

If you delete a device driver, the next time that Windows loads it generally uses a generic driver while waiting for the newer one. These generic drivers provide the essential access needed to get the system running - but won't have the adjustments that we've grown used to.

So, for example, if you delete your video card drivers - your display will still work by using the generic drivers )which won't have the color and resolution of the proper drivers). This will allow you to install the newer drivers and get your color and resolution back.

Deleting the drivers before installing the newer one's is a safety step - in case one of the files in the old drivers is causing the problems. Not long ago this was a requirement for nVidia drivers - but it appears that they may have changed things enough for everyday updates.

But when troubleshooting a driver problem, you've gotta ensure that what you have is the latest certified drivers. The old drivers can't be counted on to not be corrupted - so you put new one's on that are less likely to be corrupted.
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