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Monday, September 2, 2013

How to for proper driver updates

References to Vista also apply to Windows 7.
This is my generic how to for proper driver updates :
This utility makes it easy to see which versions are loaded :
DriverView - Free - utility displays the list of all device drivers currently loaded on your system.
For each driver in the list, additional useful information is displayed: load address of the driver,
description, version, product name, company that created the driver, and more.
For Drivers check System Maker as fallbacks and Device Maker's which are the most current.
Control Panel - Device Manager - Display Adapter - write down the make and complete model
of your video adapter - double click - Driver's tab - write down the version info. Now click UPdate
Driver (this may not do anything as MS is far behind certifying drivers) - then Right Click -
Uninstall - REBOOT this will refresh the driver stack.
Repeat that for Network - Network Card (NIC), Wifi, Sound, Mouse and Keyboard if 3rd party
with their own software and drivers and any other major device drivers you have.
Now go to System Maker's site (Dell, HP, Toshiba as examples) (as rollback) and then Device
Maker's site (Realtek, Intel, Nvidia, ATI as examples) and get their latest versions. (Look for
BIOS, Chipset and software updates at System Maker's site while there.)
Download - SAVE - go to where you put them - Right Click - RUN AD ADMIN - REBOOT after
each installation.
Always check in Device Manager - Drivers tab to be sure the version you are installing actually
shows up. This is because some drivers rollback before the latest is installed (sound drivers
particularly do this) so install a driver - reboot - check to be sure it is installed and repeat as
Repeat at Device Makers - BTW at Device Makers DO NOT RUN THEIR SCANNER - check
manually by model.
Manually look at manufacturer's sites for drivers - and Device Maker's sites.
Installing and updating drivers in Windows 7 (updating drivers manually using the methods above
is preferred to ensure the latest drivers from System maker and Device makers are found)
If you update drivers manually then it is a good idea to disable Driver Installations in Windows
Updates, this leaves Windows Updates ON however it will not install drivers which will usually
be older and cause issues. If Updates suggests a new driver then HIDE it (Right Click on it)
and then go look for new ones manually if you wish.
How To Disable Automatic Driver Installation In Windows Vista - Drivers
Memory tests do not catch all errors such as mismatched memory (possible even for sticks
that appear to be identical) and when faster memory is placed in system behind slower memory.
So it is best to also swap sticks in and out to check for those even if all memory tests fail to show
a problem.
To test RAM check here - let it run 4+ hours or so.
For the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool.
Start - type in Search box ->  Memory - find Memory Diagnostics tool at top of list - Right Click -
RUN AS ADMIN follow the instructions
Windows Vista: How to Scan / Test your RAM or Memory with Windows Vista Memory Diagnostic
How to Run the Memory Diagnostics Tool in Windows 7
Test Your Computer’s Memory Using Windows Vista Memory Diagnostic Tool
Hope this helps.

Rob Brown - MS MVP

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