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Driver Manager, Driver Genius or similar utility

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Tolqua
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Driver Manager, Driver Genius or similar utility

PortableApps really needs Driver Manager, Driver Genius or similar driver utility. Although I've never found it necessary to have drivers monitored and regularly scanned/updated which would need a resident installation, it's a great time-saver on new builds and OS upgrades so perfectly suited to the PortableApps armoury. There are dozens on the market, but only the paid ones are really worthwhile.

I used Driver Genius up until Windows 8, but Driver Manager looks a better bet now and has some sort of endorsement/connection with Symantec. I read a group test recently that put Driver Reviver top of the pile (despite the tacky name) although neither of the above were included in the test.

John T. Haller
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Purpose?

I never understood the purpose of these utilities myself as most proper hardware has drivers that are auto-detected by Windows and installed via Windows update. The only real exception is the GPU if you want to install the full-blown drivers with all the utilities for games and multi-monitor management. I've managed my own PCs for a couple decades, built my own from scratch, managed my own hardware and done fresh Windows installs on a few occasions and never had need of one. Am I missing something?

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Tolqua
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Iused to share your view

Well, you're clearly not 'missing' anything if you've never had a problem solved by a driver utility. I used to take the same view until I was faced with a PC with one of those little yellow warning triangles in Device Manager and no idea which device was causing the problem. I spent a whole afternoon trying to fix the problem before giving up and buying a licence for Driver Genius which fixed the problem in minutes (it turned out to be an Intel ME driver).

I've subsequently learned how to use the information in the properties of the device that's not working to identify it, but it's still much easier to use the utility.

I generally take the 'If it ain't broke...' approach and, as I said, don't use any scheduled scan or see any point in taking an automated approach to updating drivers, but used intelligently and with due caution a good driver scanner is a valuable addition to any tool kit. I just don't want to install it to be able to run it once.

I'm going to see if it's possible to make Driver Genius portable using Cameyo.

Tolqua.

ottosykora
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but today

but today, when the XP is ending in few months, we will be left with w7 and w8, both get drivers from MS as all signed drivers are also in the MS repository, the hunt for exotic drivers somewhere in the net is past story.

I connected recently also an old usb floppy drive produced some 12 years ago to a w7 machine, it did show yellow warnig sign.
Reason: Microsoft has not any signed driver for it, therefore nobody has a signed driver for it. Period. Disposed the device off.
A driver utility will only tell me the same.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

Rapscallion
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Reason: Microsoft has not any

Reason: Microsoft has not any signed driver for it, therefore nobody has a signed driver for it. Period. Disposed the device off.

My experience would tell me this is not the case.

I recently re-installed a 1 year old Dell from scratch, without using the recovery partition (didn't want all the bloatware). And there were numerous drivers that Windows/MS could not identify. The only way to get these drivers was to identify the ID of the Hardware, google what the HW was, then go to Dell's website and download the correct driver manually. Not to mention the PITA is was to get the NIC driver downloaded and installed.

And yes I know that I can use the Dell express service code to filter the driver list, however even with that, there are usually 2 or 3 different possible drivers depending on the specific device you ordered in your PC.

It is pretty narrow minded to tell someone that something is not needed simply because you personally don't have a use for it. And in the context of a "Requests Apps" forum, I don't even think expressing your opinion that you personally don't need it, is all that constructive.

As for me, if there was a Driver Utility released here, I would definitely try it out to see if I could benefit from it.

It amazes me that on the internet you can be anything you want, and yet so many people still choose to be idiots.

Tolqua
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Worked well for recent installs of Windows 8.1

If you're happy to discard a machine if Windows Update fails to update drivers that's up to you. I'll leave it for others to draw their own conclusions (thanks for your post, Rapscallion). I think you've been lucky with your experience of Windows Update.

Having just spent a couple of days installing Windows 8.1 Pro x64 on a range of machines (5 laptops and several workstations) that required different procedures (laptops that came with W7 installed, I did fresh install of this OS, then used upgrade licences to W8), but all started with a format of the local drive (don't do this on a W8 Samsung, though - they provide no way to restore to 'factory' if you delete the recovery partition!).

All the desktops were fine but several HP Probooks failed to install essential drivers via WU and even running HP's own driver utility only fixed one issue (yellow triangle in Device Manager).

I haven't had much success with using Cameyo to make DG portable (I suspect this is due to my not understanding how to it properly), but updated to Driver Genius Pro V12, installed it and it fixed all the problems within twenty minutes (including restarts when required) on all affected laptops under Windows 7 and 8.

Now I'm not saying it's any substitute for a good understanding of drivers and updating them manually one at a time, but identifying the devices can be troublesome certainly takes longer so if a utility can do all, or even some, of this tedious work and doesn't do any damage that can't be undone, it's earned a place in my toolbox.

This utility also offer a convenient way to back up all drivers which is useful not only in case something goes wrong (back up before updating), but by backing up after an update, provides a useful way to reinstall drivers if required on the same or similar machine via the Device Manager without the need to install the utility.

However, if Otto has any more useless machine's he'd like to dispose of I'd be happy to recycle them for him!

I'd really like to see this utility added to the PrtableApps list, though and trust this makes a strong case for its inclusion. Is there anything else I can do?

Tolqua.

ottosykora
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sorry allready disposed all

as I can not see how an usb floppy drive where the only drivers ever existed were for w95o and the only way to get a signed driver is to write it yourself and supply it to MS for check, signing and placing it to their repository.
So why to bother with such things.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

Tolqua
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OK - As you wish.

If you can't (or won't) see why I'm asking for this after reading the detailed posts I've already made there's not much I can say to you.

Carry on as you are, but just because you can't see something doesn't mean it's not there.

Tolqua.

ottosykora
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will any tool help?

I see it just from the practical way, when there is no driver existing for a device and operating system, just curious how some driver tool can help? Write new driver and let it be signed by MS?
Or write a letter to MS and ask them for permission to install not checked driver in the system?

While searching for drivers *in the past*, I was using also number of tools for getting and updating drivers etc.
The tools I met so far simply suggested a driver and advised to get it from the manufacturer, in some cases pointed me to that manufacturer directly as well or grabbed the driver from there etc.

I recently got some USB programming cable for Motorola radios. However the usb converter in it was an older prolifec variety, having drivers on some website for download, but they are not signed by MS.
What can I do in such case? Will the driver tool get the signature for me?
No, even the smartest tool is not able to sign the driver so that it is recognized properly in windows as valid, the cable is therefore useless, I will dispose off next week. (or you can have them, they work well on my w2k machine)

I got same cable with FTDI chipset, all drives signed by MS and therefore inside MS repository and can be get from there any time. This works out of box.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

Tolqua
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No, it downloads, too

Driver Genius, like all of the driver utilities I've seen, downloads the drivers ready for installation (occasionally needing to be unzipped first).

I've never had any issues with drivers downloaded via DG and don't think I've even been warned about a signature, although I have used unsigned drivers explicitly is some situations and don't think it's ever caused a problem. With some devices there's no choice - you can either use the unsigned driver from the manufacturer or not use the device.

What is it about your situation that makes using only 'signed' drivers so important? So important that you'd rather discard the device?

Tolqua.

Deltatash
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Unsigned drivers?

Just like Tolqua I'm a little curious why you are so against unsigned drivers and would rather throw away hardware just because a driver is not signed and in the Microsoft Update.

Just because microsoft does not have a driver doesn't mean that no driver exists for that device, microsoft update is good..but it doesnt have every single driver in the world Blum Also just because a driver is unsigned does not mean its bad. There are many cases where Devices drivers are unsigned or not in Microsoft Update, alls you have to do usually is go to the manufacturers website and download the driver yourself, unsigned or not doesnt matter as long as the driver came from a reputable source a.k.a the manufacturers website. It seems like such a waste to throw away hardware just becuase it wasn't included in Microsoft Update.

I used to work in IT in a Shipyard where we build Super Yachts for millionaires around the world and quite often we would have to use hardware which was not signed or included in Microsoft update on some of our systems and that hardware was usually not cheap... now imagine if we would throw all of that stuff away just becuase it wasnt in microsoft update or signed. It's not so bad using the installation CD that comes with the product or to visit the manufacturers website for an updated driver for your OS Blum

I'm just curious why though, I'm not having a go or anything just curious why you refuse to use drivers not included in Microsoft Update or signed. Blum

John T. Haller
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Refuse vs Can't

You're framing it as if ottosykora is choosing not to install the drivers that are unsigned. That's not the issue. The issue is that Windows no longer permits unsigned drivers to be installed. Microsoft began the program with Vista x64 and it applies to Windows 7/8/8.1 as well. Modern Windows is designed to only permit signed drivers. Any hardware manufacturer not signing their drivers is simply irresponsible at this point (since a one year signature costs under $100).

True, you can hack Windows to disable the signature check, but it is not a process for the non-technical user.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Deltatash
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sorry

Sorry, I didn't mean to make it look like that, it's just the idea I got from reading the post. Even today I sometimes come across hardware that isn't in Windows Update on Windows 7 and it only takes going to the manufacturers website to download the driver in most cases, thats all I was curious of, why the manufacturers website was not visited before disposal of the hardware if windows update had failed. Maybe I was asuming too much and he had already visited the manufacturers website before disposing of the device. In which case, my bad sorry for the last comment.

I think I should have worded my last post better maybe?

Damian_Adelle
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Ways...

I know PortableApps doesn't have an utility dedicated to check hardware and download drivers (yet, hopefully!), but there's a workaround, install apps like SIW or HWiNFO, and then search in your browser the brands and models of your particular hardware, and if you're looking for a "freemium" version of a program like Driver Genius, there's SlimDrivers, I just used it in a previously owned notebook I got from Ebay, and it got everything I needed from Driver Genius, except maybe the backup functionality (but there are dozens of apps dedicated to that anyway). SlimDrivers is freemium because it lets you scan your hardware, download and install a driver at a time, the pro version lets you do that automatically and all at the same time, but hey, I take my time when it comes to drivers anyway.

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