domingo, 29 de junio de 2014

Windows Drivers Update Tools

Warning: Be careful when installing drivers, this can render your OS unusable or unstable. In the driver world "new version" may not mean "better".

Windows 8.1 fails miserably to tell you when there is available a new driver for you computer.  Windows update sometimes shows you some driver, but it does not have a good database for it.

So I started to think about all that tools available that helps you update your driver, but there are so many and some looks more like a scams.

EasyDriver Pro

Personal Opinon: Didn't like it

 
Why?
1) It tried me to install some extra unrequested software, but the good thing is that it asked if you want ot install it or not.
2) You can only install newer driver if you pay for it.
3) It showed me drivers that I was not able to verify it exists. For example, it says me there is an Intel 9.1.9.1006 driver for my chipset, but I searched Google for it and all results was for sites that wanted you to install a driver tool like this one. (pcpitstop.com, driverscape.com, etc)
4) It installed also as a auto-start application without notice.
5) The good this about this software is that it can identify some of you out-dated driver so you can start looking for them manually on the internet. 

SlimDriver

Personal Opinon: Like it


I liked this one better. Why?
1.- It didn't seems to include any extra un-requested software
2.- It allowed me to download the drivers for free. It downloaded the installer and allowed me to run the installers.

3.-  It really worked updating the drivers of the PC with Windows8.1. From a MS generic driver it installed me the RealTek updated driver.


Driver Detective from drivershq.com

Personal Opinon: Didn't like it


Why?:
 1) It installed also as a auto-start application without notice.
 2) It is permanently running to tell you there are new drivers. (someone may like it , other not).

3) You can only install newer driver if you pay for it.
4) It will not tell you which is your current driver version and which is the new one that found.

DriverEasy

 Personal Opinon: Like it


 Why?:
1) It does not installed on "Startup" to start automatically
2) It lets you download the driver for free and install them manually (for an automated install you need to pay). But the free version downloads the driver slowly and you can not download all at once, you need to go one by one and wait for it, but I think that is good enought for a free version.
3) In my case it provided better results on outdated driver than SlimDriver
4) It has a flaw on the Intel driver. It download the chipset driver, but with I installed manually it told me that the driver is not supported. But the good thing is that it downloaded the installer files for me to check it out what is wrong.
 5) It downloads the files to "AppData\Roaming\Easeware\DriverEasy\drivers". So it pretty cool to keep the installer for yourself.

Conclusions.

SlimDriver and EasyDriver helped me to find some outdated drivers on Windows, EasyDriver seems to have a stronger database. But I still not made my mind if I like this kind of tools or not.

But it is good the keep checking manually the sites of the hardware stuff you have for you new driver. NVidia and Intel (for example) has good tools (web and installed-tools) that can allow you to find new drivers.

And I still dream of a tool that check all your devices firmware and find you an update... it can be risky that the tool installs it, but it will be cool to notify you about firmware updates.