A Word About Drivers
“…I told that girl I can start right away
And she said, “Listen baby I got something to say
I got no car and it’s breaking my heart
But I’ve found a driver and that’s a start…”
(“Drive My Car” by Lennon & McCartney)
Lucky for you, we’re not talking about those kinds of drivers. They have nothing to do with computers, unless of course you are driving your computer to a repair shop which is silly since we can fix most computer problems while you stay cozy in your own home.
After a half-dozen warnings about NOT downloading any software that claims to keep your drivers updated, we continue so see a lot of people with driver updater software installed. And hence, we are seeing a lot of problems caused by these worthless, and sometimes system-damaging programs. The biggest offender of all is Slimware Utilities – which we nickname SLIMEware utilities – “Driver Update”. It comes bundled with freeware and it’s at best a PUP.
Drivers allow your computer to communicate with an attached hardware device. According to Microsoft… “In the most fundamental sense, a driver is a software component that lets the operating system and a device communicate with each other… The application calls a function implemented by the operating system, and the operating system calls a function implemented by the driver…”
In common folk’s language, a driver makes hardware attached to your computer work. You have sound drivers and graphics drivers and printer drivers… and so on. A bunch of people have made a bunch of money or acquired a lot of fame by making driver updater programs. But, we’re telling you, one of the best ways to mess up your computer is by installing a 3rd-party driver updater program. Whether it be a stand-alone program, or part of suite of tools, any 3rd-party driver updater program is bad medicine. They constantly check for new drivers and install new drivers unnecessarily. They may not even be the correct drivers for your device. One exception may be a device driver updater that is made by the company that manufactured the device – for instance a Canon updater that automatically checks for driver updates for a Canon printer. However, we strongly recommend updating drivers ONLY when your device is not functioning or is not function correctly.
There are only two reasons you should update drivers:
- A device attached to your computer is not working.
- A device attached to your computer is not working the way it should.
There are only two ways we recommend to update drivers. The first is better than the second, although the second is infinitely better than any driver updater program. However, it does violate our rule of only updating drivers when absolutely necessary, but it’s way better than any 3rd-party driver updating program.
- Go directly to the device’s manufacturer’s web site and download the drivers for your device. And be careful, there are many look-alike sites out there… so make sure the URL (web address) of your PC manufacturer is correct.
- Windows Update. Windows Update will not update drivers very often, but normally when it does it will not cause any problems. That being said, we highly recommend going directly to the device manufacturer’s website.
We have have seen many computers really messed up by driver updater programs. We understand why they are so popular. It seems logical. Install a program that constantly checks for new device drivers and let it install them when new drivers are found. It sounds reallygood in theory, it doesn’t work in reality. In fact, driver updater programs will quite often cause problems with your PC.
If you have driver updater program installed, our advise it to uninstall it right away. And from now on only install new drivers if a device on your PC is not functioning properly. And when you do install drivers get them from the device manufacturer’s Web site.
We are just trying to drive home a point!
No EB! I do not want to be your driver.