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Thread: Windows 11 drivers or downloaded drivers?

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    Windows 11 drivers or downloaded drivers?

    I've just installed Windows 11 on my secondary PC, and the system is working well & is very stable. According to Device Manager all the system components are working fine with the drivers installed automatically by Windows. Given that I always prioritise stability over absolute performance, is there a good reason to bother with downloading & installing the drivers available on the motherboard manufacturer's website? (I have installed the latest Nvidia drivers for the GPU, however).

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    Re: Windows 11 drivers or downloaded drivers?

    Put it this way, if it's currently all working to your liking don't change anything.

    In general I prefer to get the Motherboard manufacturers drivers. Microsofts can be generic, as a loose example if your board had a unique bug it may not be fixed in the generic chipset driver provided by intel/AMD but the fix is within the Motherboards version. This is pretty rare now.
    I do, however, find the drivers that come automatically via Microsoft or the boards own automated update service to be out of date. This causes problems when you have a new BIOS but old drivers. I come across this quite frequently.
    I personally prefer the old school method of manually downloading them from the manufacturers website, they're up to date and you know they're more likely going to work.

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    Re: Windows 11 drivers or downloaded drivers?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJim View Post
    I've just installed Windows 11 on my secondary PC, and the system is working well & is very stable. According to Device Manager all the system components are working fine with the drivers installed automatically by Windows. Given that I always prioritise stability over absolute performance, is there a good reason to bother with downloading & installing the drivers available on the motherboard manufacturer's website? (I have installed the latest Nvidia drivers for the GPU, however).
    I would recommend updating all the drivers. The ones included with windows are normally out of date by quite a margin. I normally get the chipset driver direct rather than from the motherboard manufacturer.

    My logic is that manufacturers make money from the hardware so will only update the drivers if needed so it is worth installing the latest versions to resolve performance, bugs and security issues. I have an AMD based system so obtain the chipset driver direct from AMD website however I do have the intel driver & support assistant application installed due to the motherboard having intel wifi and bluetooth.

    It will depend on the motherboard manufacturer as to how often they update the drivers which I why I prefer to obtain from source if possible.

    I don't know if it is still the case however if you have a realtek network card i would strongly advise updating it as I have found the ones provided by windows update to be buggy on previous systems.

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    Re: Windows 11 drivers or downloaded drivers?

    I tend to go with the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' approach most of the time...I'm very aware that tinkering with drivers can sometimes cause more problems than it solves, especially if the uninstall process doesn't work properly. Thanks for the help though

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    Re: Windows 11 drivers or downloaded drivers?

    The only drivers I updated when I went to Windows 11 was the amd chipset driver and the nvidia driver. The rest were fine and haven't had stability issues for many a year
    Jon

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    Re: Windows 11 drivers or downloaded drivers?

    This dilemna is one reason I've long disliked the 'automatic' update process many, including MS, seem to have widely adopted.

    For any system that really matters to me, and even working from home that's sometimes ben up to a dozen or so, I MUCH to test on a sacrificial harddrive before entrusting a live system to it, and to be selective about exactly when I do it. So, I'd stick in a separate boot drive, disconnect all others, install vanilla and test for a while. Then, yeah, install Mfr hardware drivers and test for a while. Only when satisfied would I migrate a live system, and even then, after doing an image backup.

    So the short answer is I'd test the vanilla install for a bit, and then, yup, I'd go for updated drivers from Mfr's rather than default Windows. But I'd want a few safeguards in place, first.

    Generally, I agree with "don't fix it if it ain't broke" but this is kinda an exception - I'm trying to aid long-term stability by applying Mfr patchs before problems they fix bite me .... but that can backfire.

    It's a balance - this risk if I do, but that risk if I don't. Hence the belt 'n' braces process .... if the machine matters. Your secondary may not, but mine usually had specific hardware running on them.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Windows 11 drivers or downloaded drivers?

    After a bit of Googling I found out about the 'Intel Driver & Support Assistant', which downloads all necessary drivers automatically, which actually worked very well. The particular PC isn't a 'mission critical' one by any means, it's just a 'backup' PC that I use when friends want to come over and play a few co-op games. It all seems to be stable, but it's not a disaster if anything is a little flaky.

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    Re: Windows 11 drivers or downloaded drivers?

    I've come across a few recommendations for 3rd party software that's supposed to be safe, effective and pretty good. I just don't remember what they're called. But generally, I'm pretty sceptical about that type of tool. I've seen it before, and they might be good now, but what about the next version? Or the one after that? When does it acquire bloatware? If i was a nation state, getting something like this accepted with a good reputation would be a great way to wait, lurk and only after maybe years, introduce some kind of slow, very quiet and meek trojan. Though I guess any form of software is the same, which is one reason i won't update Audacity, and won't use a variety of other tools originating in Russia. Does that keep me safe? I doubt it, but maybe a littke safer.

    Anyway, I've gone way off the point but there are some supposedly very good 3rd party driver updaters. I just don't use (or entirely trust) them.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Windows 11 drivers or downloaded drivers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    I've come across a few recommendations for 3rd party software that's supposed to be safe, effective and pretty good. I just don't remember what they're called. But generally, I'm pretty sceptical about that type of tool. I've seen it before, and they might be good now, but what about the next version? Or the one after that? When does it acquire bloatware? If i was a nation state, getting something like this accepted with a good reputation would be a great way to wait, lurk and only after maybe years, introduce some kind of slow, very quiet and meek trojan. Though I guess any form of software is the same, which is one reason i won't update Audacity, and won't use a variety of other tools originating in Russia. Does that keep me safe? I doubt it, but maybe a littke safer.

    Anyway, I've gone way off the point but there are some supposedly very good 3rd party driver updaters. I just don't use (or entirely trust) them.
    Fair points...but one would hope that a company like Intel wouldn't introduce a trojan into their system drivers, although I suppose that anything is possible

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    Re: Windows 11 drivers or downloaded drivers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    Anyway, I've gone way off the point but there are some supposedly very good 3rd party driver updaters. I just don't use (or entirely trust) them.
    I think it counts as 1st-party as it's from Intel and they only update their own (Intel) drivers. Just saves (some of) the bother of finding out which INF/ethernet/bluetooth etc. driver version you actually need with the particular Intel kit your motherboard has included - they come with sexy models names like IP92-V so it can be hard to find the right ones

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    Re: Windows 11 drivers or downloaded drivers?

    Re: above two posts .... oh, sure. I'd class Intel as 1st party, too, and I didn't mean them introducing trojans. By 3rd party, I meant independent utility software houses, like .... well, not them, but like Kaspersky. Lots of allegations / suggestions / innuendo / doubts / aspersions etc being thrown about about them. I guess the same could be said about Huawei, etc, too. May just be tinfoil hat stuff, may even be misdirects by commercial competitors. Whatever.

    If an intelligence service was going to introduce stuff, it'd sure be a good way to do it, in a "trustworthy" (until that point) driver updater. And not just the Russians or Chinese, but Israeli's, CIA/NSA, North Koreans, hell, even MI5/GCHQ etc.

    My point was, I've seen suggestions about some such tools, and personally, prefer to just manage drivers myself, one at a time. It's more time/effort but also more granular control and is one less possible entry vector for bad stuff.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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