Best way to update drivers?

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Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:00 pm

I have an older Dell 530 desktop running Windows XP SP3.

I just spent over an hour looking for drivers for my ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT Graphics card before i found a legitimate Web site that actually had the correct drivers! Doing a Google search put the Web site that I needed way down at the bottom of the list and gave me a bunch of other Web sites above that one that were trying to get me to download garbage software that had nothing to do with my graphics card. One web site almost convinced me to download 7-zip thinking it was the drivers I needed......what a pain in the butt!

Maybe it's me and my searching abilities but it seems that more and more sites get you to think you're at the correct web site to get what you're looking for only to disguise the download making it look like you've found what you were looking for when it's actually not !! Bastids.....

So.....is there an easy way to figure out what hardware I have that needs updated drivers on my harddrive? I'm even talking about things like my chipset or bios or ethernet connection, etc...

Or..... is there free software that's honest in looking for updated drivers for the hardware/software that I have on my PC?
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:10 pm

Blackink wrote: Windows XP
There's your problem, right there. Your operating system is 13 years old. It has been obsolete for more than 7 years.
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:13 pm

And I've been obsolete for longer than that!!!!

Now, do you have any other answers that could help?!?

Thank you for your support........
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:24 pm

Go to AMD's driver page, select Desktop Graphics -> Radeon HD Series -> HD 2xxx Series. Probably not worth your time though. They've long since stopped doing driver updates for graphics cards that old. Like JAE said, time to get a new machine.

Dell's driver page for everything else Windows update doesn't cover.
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:57 pm

DPete27 wrote:Go to AMD's driver page, select Desktop Graphics -> Radeon HD Series -> HD 2xxx Series. Probably not worth your time though. They've long since stopped doing driver updates for graphics cards that old. Like JAE said, time to get a new machine.

Dell's driver page for everything else Windows update doesn't cover.


They brush the dust off every now and then - the last release for the 2600 was in 2013. Frankly they're doing much better than Intel does with supporting their older graphics hardware.

To answer your question, though - the best way to update your drivers, is manually. Just about the only driver I've run into that you won't find generally available on the net (for post XP hardware) is Sigmatel audio drivers. The easiest way? With a clean install of Windows, Windows Update will pick up at least a few drivers... sometimes, but I guess you can't count on Windows Update anymore for XP either. At this point I'd say you won't be able to count on *any* automated tool for XP.

For GPU drivers these days, there's really only three places you need to go though. AMD, Nvidia, or Intel.
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:38 pm

For ATI GPUs go to AMD's site, select "Drivers + Support" at the top of the page, and follow the menus.

For everything else, Dell's support page for your model should get you a reasonable set of drivers. It's not like NIC and other peripheral drivers change all that much, especially for an OS whose last service pack was 6 years ago.

If you really want to have the most current drivers for everything you'll probably need to look up the specs for the motherboard and hit each chip manufacturer's site to get the reference drivers (NIC, audio, disk controller, etc.), but there's probably no real need to do this.
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:06 pm

Thanks for all the help folks....working on it now.

And you're all correct about getting a new pc. I'm working on a build now but I wanted to "toy" with this one before I set it aside.

I never really did much for driver updates on my own and from what I'm reading, the new operating systems do it all for you, including making the bios easier to view/change settings/update....

I realize that the newer way is the better way, but I like to know how the old way was also.

Thanks for your help....appreciate it :)

Steve
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:49 pm

You can always write your own drivers!!!


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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:36 am

Blackink wrote:And you're all correct about getting a new pc. I'm working on a build now but I wanted to "toy" with this one before I set it aside.

Is this your current, working computer? Are you running into any issues that make you think a driver update is going solve your problems? IMO if you are working on a new build, then I would make sure the new build is stable and you have moved to it for real work before toying with the old box. The argument there is that what if your driver update made things worse for that computer? If you do not have a 2nd computer on hand, you will have no recourse. And if that is your only device to get on the internet, you won't even be able to ask for help if your own computer is down.
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:27 pm

Slimdrivers works well.
Much faster than manually upgrading drivers.
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:32 am

is it a PCI-e slot? for like $20-$30 you could probably get a card the 2x better... and will still have drivers. just sayin.. its time :)
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:07 am

Blackink wrote:And I've been obsolete for longer than that!!!!

Now, do you have any other answers that could help?!?

Thank you for your support........


It's still a valid point. If you're running an OS that's outdated on hardware that's outdated - it stands to reason you might have trouble finding drivers and other forms of support. And, specifically for XP, there are other reasons to upgrade at some point since security updates will no longer be happening.
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:41 pm

I always download drivers direct from the manufacturer whenever possible. I would only use a 3rd party site as an absolute last resort. As for your 2600XT, you can still get the drivers direct from AMD....they just redesigned their website in an effort to make it less functional and more confusing (seems to be the trend these days). You can go to http://support.amd.com/en-us/download and enter Desktop Graphics -> Radeon HD Series -> HD 2xxx Series -> WinXP 32bit. Looks like that's going to be the last release for that card, so you should save the driver.

Speaking of which, I'm not sure about everyone else, but I include the latest version of drivers in my backups. Every 3-6 months I go through and update anything that might need updating. I figure it's better to do this at my leisure, rather then in a rush after something has happened (and I'm already pissed off). It also covers my a** if a company goes bankrupt, stops supporting a device, or releases a new version that breaks functionality.
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:09 pm

I save old driver downloads too. You never know when you might need a particular driver, and some of the downloads (especially GPU) are rather large, so even if the old download is still available online it is preferable to not need to download it again.

This was historically quite important with the ATI Catalyst drivers for Linux, where each new version tended to fix some issues but also introduced a whole new set of bugs. I'm quite glad that the Open Source Radeon driver has finally caught up with all of the GPUs I run Linux on, so I can get off that treadmill!
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Re: Best way to update drivers?

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:44 am

Under normal circumstances, a good legitimate programs are not free, buy a program to do a backup, you can often use later, after Microsoft no longer supports xp system, I just want to buy genuine window system, and buy a external drive, put my window system made ​​a backup stored on the disc. After this time, no matter what the system is a problem, you can re-install.
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