Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

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Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:29 pm

After 5+ years of using nothing but Macbooks as my main computers, I'm about to build my own PC again.

So I just remembered I'll have to be keeping up with drivers again. And by chance, I saw a blog post about this software today: http://www.avanquest.com/USA/software/d ... t=PC-Tools

Has anyone ever used it? Is it any good? Googling the product name along with the word "review" doesn't really yield anything useful.

I'm also wondering if this could be an easier way to update video drivers. Last time I had a self-built PC, I remember the graphics card driver update process being rather clunky. Uninstalling old one, using cleaning tools, installing new one... every time. Has that changed?

This app promises to be able to download correct drivers for you and even install them. I just have no idea how good a job it does. Does it properly clean old drivers files? Or does it just install over the old one? Etc.

Thanks!
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:33 pm

Most drivers are handled through windows update now unless you have some really oddball hardware.

Video drivers you just install the latest app from the vendor (ie Catalyst for AMD) and it will even download the latest version for you if you want. They do tend to keep a history in the install folder though.

Mostly the process is seemless that you never really need to worry as long as you let them manage themselves.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:40 pm

As a general rule, there aren't too many drivers to update anymore. If you're using fairly recent hardware with a fairly recent OS, you'll need sound drivers, graphics drivers, and maybe some chipset drivers. If you choose parts carefully, you can probably dump the chipset and sound drivers, and just use the OS native stuff.

And I've never trusted such an easily-screwed-up part of system maintenance to some automated POS, most I've seen are more vehicles for ad delivery or malicious software payloads than actual utilities.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:54 pm

Arvald wrote:Most drivers are handled through windows update now unless you have some really oddball hardware.

Video drivers you just install the latest app from the vendor (ie Catalyst for AMD) and it will even download the latest version for you if you want. They do tend to keep a history in the install folder though.

Mostly the process is seemless that you never really need to worry as long as you let them manage themselves.

Whoa. In that case, lots has changed since 2007! That's excellent news. So the short answer is: there is really no need for this app.
Here's my build. Don't think there's anything in there one could call "oddball hardware", would you agree?

Are you serious?? The AMD Catalyst software can update itself? This may seem funny to some of you, but this is groundbreaking news to me. Back when I had my last self-built PC, (in the decade before this one :)), I remember using stuff like this every time I updated my graphics drivers just to ensure things would be clean.

I'm positively surprised to learn this is not necessary anymore.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:00 pm

Besides the video drivers, why would you constantly update your drivers anyway? Don't mess with what ain't broken.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:05 pm

Arvald wrote:Most drivers are handled through windows update now unless you have some really oddball hardware.


A lot if said oddball hardware doesn't get picked up by these utilities anyways, if it can't get picked up by Windows 7/8 itself. For such hardware, you typically have to look up the device name (I just snap a picture of the whole device to make it easier) and scourge Google for drivers. I got stuff like the ancient Nintendo USB connector to work as a WiFi adapter on Windows 7 x64 this way. (Mostly because I'm too cheap to buy more hardware especially if it's for older computers that I rarely use anyway.)
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:06 pm

Mostly that stuff was working late windows XP though there was a lack of WHQD Windows Hardware Qualified Drivers. Things got better through Vista and perfected in Win7.
Though in Windows update a lot of drivers do show up in the optional updates.

Catalyst usually shoes a little popup from the alert area showing there is a new driver available.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:29 pm

ChronoReverse wrote:Besides the video drivers, why would you constantly update your drivers anyway? Don't mess with what ain't broken.

To be honest, I basically meant just the video drivers. Those will be, by a wide margin, the most frequent driver updates. I completely agree with you there. No reason to mess with working drivers. Unless... performance improves! But again, that's only really relevant for graphics cards.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:31 pm

Arvald wrote:Mostly that stuff was working late windows XP though there was a lack of WHQD Windows Hardware Qualified Drivers. Things got better through Vista and perfected in Win7.
Though in Windows update a lot of drivers do show up in the optional updates.

Catalyst usually shoes a little popup from the alert area showing there is a new driver available.

Thanks a lot for the explanation!

C-A_99 wrote:
Arvald wrote:Most drivers are handled through windows update now unless you have some really oddball hardware.


A lot if said oddball hardware doesn't get picked up by these utilities anyways, if it can't get picked up by Windows 7/8 itself. For such hardware, you typically have to look up the device name (I just snap a picture of the whole device to make it easier) and scourge Google for drivers. I got stuff like the ancient Nintendo USB connector to work as a WiFi adapter on Windows 7 x64 this way. (Mostly because I'm too cheap to buy more hardware especially if it's for older computers that I rarely use anyway.)

I don't think I have any oddball hardware in this build, so I hope none of this is going to be an issue :)
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:31 pm

Both AMD and Nvidia have auto-updating utilities built into their drivers now, so I'd say that pretty much satisfies the original question.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:00 pm

axeman wrote:Since I'm not too concerned with gaming performance anymore - and the games I do run are doubtful to be the focus of the driver developers anyhow - I don't bother updating graphics drivers anymore. Doing the "update to the latest graphics driver" thing has burned me more than once, with both the red and green team.

Example: my in-law's computer had a Geforce 6200 card. Updated to the latest drivers, since it was using old as hell drivers. Some pretty basic game with 2d graphics started blue screening the PC every time. Granted this is on XP, but as of this post, Nvidia supposedly released a driver on 2013.01.24 that supports Gefore 6200 cards on XP. My cynical nature tells me, they've done next to no testing on this driver on that particular "supported" hardware. Now I take the stance, it ain't broke, don't fix it, even with graphics drivers.

Thank goodness I don't bother with current "AAA" games anymore.


This is very true. Unless you're playing a recent AAA game or are running recent hardware (current gen, max of current -1), having a driver that works well with your games and your hardware is vastly more important than having the latest driver.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:20 pm

If I can't find a driver on my own, it ain't worth findin'.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:46 pm

Near the end of TR's own system build guide, after OS installation, the recommendation is to hunt down all drivers manually, starting with chipset drivers. Then all the other dedicated parts. Would you also recommend that? Or is it enough to Trust Windows 8 to take care of this for me?
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:57 pm

I would only worry about drivers that aren't auto detected. Windows 8 does a pretty bang up job of detecting and installing anything older than it is, which is pretty much everything so far.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:29 am

Yea... Win7/8 does a great job of finding chipset/NIC/audio/wifi and other drivers, using Windows Update. The only stand-alone driver I always manually download is video card driver (since I play games and want to know what changes new driver contains and whether it's worth getting it at all).
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:40 am

JohnC wrote:Yea... Win7/8 does a great job of finding chipset/NIC/audio/wifi and other drivers, using Windows Update. The only stand-alone driver I always manually download is video card driver (since I play games and want to know what changes new driver contains and whether it's worth getting it at all).

Alright! Thanks to both of you.

And JohnC, that was my thinking too. I'll grab the Catalyst drivers and let Windows worry about the rest.

Only thing I'm not sure about is whether Windows also downloads the latest chipset drivers from Intel. Guess I'll find out.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:18 am

Generally speaking, there are no "chipset drivers" from Intel. Intel is the gold standard in chipsets, for good or ill, so the default Windows chipset drivers are actually Intel ones. Intel does publish an "INF update", however, which gives the devices in control panel pretty names and lines up any chipsets newer than the OS with the right drivers that are already in the OS.

On rare occasions there are drivers for things newer than the OS (USB 3.0 under Windows 7), but you said Windows 8, so it has drivers for everything in the Z77 chipset you mentioned.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:16 pm

Forge wrote:I would only worry about drivers that aren't auto detected. Windows 8 does a pretty bang up job of detecting and installing anything older than it is, which is pretty much everything so far.


With Windows8, Asus AI Charger+ it does not detect and the attempt to install the driver manually (yes the supposed Window 8 version of the driver ) leaves you with a system you can only boot to Safe Mode.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:41 pm

AI Charger+ and Gigabyte's ON/OFF Charge are pretty hackish. I have AI Charger+ working just fine on my Lenovo laptop with Windows 8. Be sure to grab a recent version. Older versions make Windows 8 unbootable, like you said.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboard/SABERTO ... ownload_36

It's under Utils:

Version 2.00.01 Copy Link
Description Ai Charger+
Ai Charger+ V2.00.01 for Windows XP/7/8 32bit & 64bit.
File Size 24,16 MBytes
update 2012.10.03
Download from Global

Works for me.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:43 pm

Negative!
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:37 pm

Forge wrote:AI Charger+ and Gigabyte's ON/OFF Charge are pretty hackish. I have AI Charger+ working just fine on my Lenovo laptop with Windows 8. Be sure to grab a recent version. Older versions make Windows 8 unbootable, like you said.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboard/SABERTO ... ownload_36

It's under Utils:

Version 2.00.01 Copy Link
Description Ai Charger+
Ai Charger+ V2.00.01 for Windows XP/7/8 32bit & 64bit.
File Size 24,16 MBytes
update 2012.10.03
Download from Global

Works for me.

Lucky you, I used it as an example for case in point that Win8 does not detect everything no are there always drivers after.
Could be some models of boards work some don't. I had to restore my win 7 system and start over.
If you search the web there are plenty of posts saying it does not work.
I have P8Z68-V Pro that does not work. and yes I downloaded the Windows 8 version of the driver.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:42 pm

Arvald wrote:
Forge wrote:AI Charger+ and Gigabyte's ON/OFF Charge are pretty hackish. I have AI Charger+ working just fine on my Lenovo laptop with Windows 8. Be sure to grab a recent version. Older versions make Windows 8 unbootable, like you said.

Lucky you, I used it as an example for case in point that Win8 does not detect everything no are there always drivers after.
Could be some models of boards work some don't. I had to restore my win 7 system and start over.
If you search the web there are plenty of posts saying it does not work.
I have P8Z68-V Pro that does not work. and yes I downloaded the Windows 8 version of the driver.


I think you misunderstood as well. AI Charger and ON/OFF Charge are not drivers. They do not enable a piece of hardware. What they do is hack an existing driver and make it do things it wasn't designed to do. Specifically, it makes the USB controller supply an abnormally high current, and makes the Apple device think it's connected to a Mac.

Windows 8 supplies drivers for all sorts of things. It doesn't supply driver hacks.
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Re: Anyone use Driver Genius Professional?

Postposted on Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:49 pm

Saw some semi-flaky advise on this thread, so I thought I would chime in.
If you are building a new rig, then first off is go to the motherboard manufacturers website and download the latest drivers for your OS. Do not use the disk that came with your board. Those drivers are 'beta' at best, & almost always have newer versions from the website.
As other have stated, go to NVidia or AMD's website to get your video drivers. The only exception to this is if you bought a high-end custom PCB based card then go to manufacturer's site also.
The only drivers you let Windows update install are Microsoft hardware products like mice, keyboards, x-box controllers, etc.
I have built many systems and Manufacturer's drivers are better than MS generic drivers.
Most motherboard companies now include an app that scans and installs the drivers for you, although sometimes they are a resource hog if you let it run in the background, but are good for noobs who don't like chasing down drivers.
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