Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
You should update drivers only when you are having a problem with your computer. Driver update utilities, that update regularly, are not necessary.
Hi, Leo. While following some links I found an advertisement for driver updates. Now Microsoft has successfully upgraded my Dell Dimension 2400, running XP Home, for the better part of the decade and I assume this includes drivers but maybe not. I do recall some years ago being advised to upgrade and trying to manually upgrade a screen driver but then being scuppered by the hardware update wizard which insisted that I insert the installation CD, and then coming to the inevitable conclusion that the wizard could not find a better match. So my query is: Is it worth trying to upgrade any drivers on a PC, which is working fine, albeit a tad slow on occasions?
In this excerpt from Answercast #90 I look at driver update utilities and why they aren't such a great idea.
The short answer is no.
I actually have an article on when and where to get hardware drivers, but the rule of thumb when it comes to drivers is:
Take whatever comes with Windows Update and
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Drivers can get interesting, and there are definitely times when you do want to go out and get the latest drivers, but that's normally when you are fixing a problem. It's when you are having a problem with a specific piece of hardware - or when there's a specific security update that's been diagnosed in that hardware driver - and you need to actually update outside of Microsoft's process.
Those are the times when I, absolutely, tell people to go to the manufacturer's website and get the latest drivers.
I do not tell people to go and get driver update utilities.
Most of them aren't worth it. Many of them do more harm than good - and ultimately, it's just not something you need to be doing on a regular basis. It's certainly not worth paying money for.
The drivers you need for things that are on your system will either come from Microsoft for free; they'll come from your computer manufacturer for free; or they'll come from the hardware vendor that provided the specific piece of hardware that you're looking at, again, for free.
It requires a little bit of legwork, but you're only doing it when you're actually trying to solve a problem. Since you don't have a problem, I don't think you should do anything.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 90- Will deleting history free up space?
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