Never Download a Driver-Updating Utility; They’re Worse Than Useless

Discussion in 'System Utilities' started by Petrovic, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Petrovic

    Petrovic Level 61
    Trusted

    Apr 25, 2013
    5,268
    19,733
    Somewhere In nowhere
    Never download a driver-updating utility. Like PC-cleaning programs, they try to charge you money for a service you don’t need. They do this by scaring you with threats of blue screens and system problems.
    Even if a driver-updating tool worked perfectly and the company behind it didn’t seem unbelievably sleazy, they wouldn’t be worth your time — much less your money. Stay away.

    DriverUpdate.net Examined
    We’ve seen advertisements for a “Driver Update Utility” from driverupdate.net all over the place recently. This is usually a bad sign — we also see ads for PC cleaners, registry cleaners, game boosters, and all sorts of other utilities that don’t actually do anything besides try to make money from you and install garbage onto your PC.

    We installed this software so you don’t have to — really, don’t try this at home. We started with DriverUpdate. it will scan your computer for drivers for free, and then you can pay $30 to receive free automatic driver updates for a year. That’s what it promises, anyway.

    The program starts out claiming to be by a “Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.” This doesn’t actually mean Microsoft has placed their stamp of approval on this utility. It then attempts to install other junk software you won’t want.
    [​IMG]

    After installation, DriverUpdate ran a scan and informed us that our computer had 14 out-of-date drivers, many of which are considered “ancient.” This is on a fresh Windows 8.1 system — installed just a few months ago — with the latest drivers available from the manufacturer’s website at the time. There’s no possible we have “ancient” drivers from 2006 installed.

    [​IMG]

    If you try to update your drivers, you’re told that the installed drivers “can cause problems, system slowdowns and bluescreen errors.” This is technically true, but very unlikely. It’s also technically true that updated drivers could cause problems, system slowdowns, and blue-screen errors by introducing new bugs. It’s a wash.

    The tool wants you to pay $30 a year to “Fix current device driver problems,” “Benefit from new driver features,” and “Prevent future system problems.” It’s very unlikely any driver will offer new features, and it’s very unlikely your current drivers could cause “future system problems.”

    This is all designed to convince you to pay that $30 — and that “Microsoft Gold Certified Partner” logo there is designed to make the program seem more legitimate than it actually is.

    [​IMG]

    Tech Support Scams and Crashes
    Some reviews on Download.com allege that if you actually pay $30, you’ll receive a phone call from customer service informing you that they found problems on your computer during the driver update scan. For just a few hundred more dollars, you can have them fixed! It’s basically just the Windows tech support phone call scam, but they’re only going after people who have already proven they’ll spend money for questionable software. Other users report the company charged them more than $30 after they attempted to buy a subscription, tacking on “add-ons” that raised the price.

    Other people report crashes and blue-screens after installing updated drivers from this application — not a huge surprise. The reviewer below recommends “trying another one,” but you don’t need any driver-updating utility. Stay away from them all.

    Driver Support and Other Tools
    We’ve seen other driver updaters behave poorly, too. We saw one driver utility detect a virtual machine as a Dell PC. We’ve seen driver-updating tools pop up with suggestions to install drivers for printers that were never connected to the PC.

    Here’s another driver-updating utility in action. It’s named “Driver Support” and uses the same business model, charging $30 a year for driver updates. It’s even more ridiculous — it says our computer’s “Driver Health Is Low!”. To fix this, we need to update our “HID-compliant mouse” driver. This is a standard type of hardware — you should never need to update this basic mouse driver; it’s included in Windows.

    [​IMG]

    You Don’t Need to Update Your Drivers, Anyway
    Here’s the thing — you don’t actually need to regularly update your drivers. If you play PC games, you do need to update your NVIDIA or AMD graphics drivers regularly — but that’s it. And both NVIDIA and AMD include automatic driver-updating tools along with the graphics drivers to make this easy.

    Driver updates occasionally arrive via Windows Update, so a serious problem will be fixed just by installing your normal updates. Windows also automatically downloads the necessary drivers when you connect new hardware. Hardware driver-updating utilities would be a waste of time even if they worked properly.
    Source
     
  2. yigido

    yigido Guest

    One of these tools (Iobit one) installed wrong driver on my friend PC. After restart, we can hear windows start volume but we cannot see anything on desktop..he had to go a repairman for this issue.. He turned a crazy after this :mad:

    Good article thanks for sharing @Petrovic :)
     
    Yash Khan, Adz., davisd and 6 others like this.
  3. echo1

    echo1 Level 20

    Sep 18, 2014
    959
    8,045
    Cyber Security Analyst (Retired)
    Windows 7
    Avast
    Outstanding article. It should be mandatory reading by all Internet users.:)
     
  4. Adhit Prakosho

    Adhit Prakosho New Member

    Sep 14, 2014
    933
    6,544
    Indonesia
    Driver updates are always available on the official website of the motherboard and VGA. I just install the driver from there and most importantly to always update the VGA driver if you want smoothly in playing the latest games :) Good Article :)
     
    Yash Khan, WinXPert, Raheel99 and 4 others like this.
  5. Spawn

    Spawn Administrator
    Staff Member Content Creator

    Jan 8, 2011
    16,267
    24,209
    Yash Khan, JakeXPMan, scot and 2 others like this.
  6. Lailson

    Lailson Level 13

    Jan 3, 2014
    607
    3,155
    Brazil
    Very good article, sometimes I have had problems with this type of program is run out of the network driver or even the BSOD video card 2 years ago. Some drivers who do not meet the manufacturer's website, sometimes have to resort to this type of program, most always with caution, analyzing and researching before, and of course a backup and restore points.
     
    Yash Khan and (deleted member) like this.
  7. frogboy

    frogboy Level 61
    Trusted

    Jun 9, 2013
    6,228
    64,826
    Heavy Duty Mechanic.
    Western Australia
    Windows 10
    Emsisoft
    I learnt the hard way like your friend. Never again. :rolleyes:
     
    Yash Khan, scot and (deleted member) like this.
  8. jackuars

    jackuars Level 21

    Jul 2, 2014
    1,091
    2,147
    Driver updater's are fine to check for updates, but download drivers only from official websites.
     
    Yash Khan, DardiM, Purshu_Pro and 3 others like this.
  9. MisterToto

    MisterToto New Member

    Aug 31, 2014
    437
    1,352
    For example I installed Driver Booster Pro on my pc, it updated a lot of things but when I was playing games (like Watch Dogs) the game was slow and buggy just like if I had an old pc! I uninstalled the updates and...tadaaa! My pc was as strong as the beginning and I was able to play like a real player =)
    I'm not going to try a driver updater again=)
     
    Yash Khan likes this.
  10. dragonmew

    dragonmew New Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    359
    138
    Never download a driver-updating utility. Like PC-cleaning programs, they try to charge you money for a service you don’t need. They do this by scaring you with threats of blue screens and system problems.

    Even if a driver-updating tool worked perfectly and the company behind it didn’t seem unbelievably sleazy, they wouldn’t be worth your time — much less your money. Stay away.


    DriverUpdate.net Examined

    We’ve seen advertisements for a “Driver Update Utility” from driverupdate.net all over the place recently. This is usually a bad sign — we also see ads for PC cleaners, registry cleaners, game boosters, and all sorts of other utilities that don’t actually do anything besides try to make money from you and install garbage onto your PC.

    We installed this software so you don’t have to — really, don’t try this at home. We started with DriverUpdate. it will scan your computer for drivers for free, and then you can pay $30 to receive free automatic driver updates for a year. That’s what it promises, anyway.

    The program starts out claiming to be by a “Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.” This doesn’t actually mean Microsoft has placed their stamp of approval on this utility. It then attempts to install other junk software you won’t want.

    After installation, DriverUpdate ran a scan and informed us that our computer had 14 out-of-date drivers, many of which are considered “ancient.” This is on a fresh Windows 8.1 system — installed just a few months ago — with the latest drivers available from the manufacturer’s website at the time. There’s no possible we have “ancient” drivers from 2006 installed.

    If you try to update your drivers, you’re told that the installed drivers “can cause problems, system slowdowns and bluescreen errors.” This is technically true, but very unlikely. It’s also technically true that updated drivers could cause problems, system slowdowns, and blue-screen errors by introducing new bugs. It’s a wash.

    The tool wants you to pay $30 a year to “Fix current device driver problems,” “Benefit from new driver features,” and “Prevent future system problems.” It’s very unlikely any driver will offer new features, and it’s very unlikely your current drivers could cause “future system problems.”

    This is all designed to convince you to pay that $30 — and that “Microsoft Gold Certified Partner” logo there is designed to make the program seem more legitimate than it actually is.

    Some reviews on Download.com allege that if you actually pay $30, you’ll receive a phone call from customer service informing you that they found problems on your computer during the driver update scan. For just a few hundred more dollars, you can have them fixed! It’s basically just the Windows tech support phone call scam, but they’re only going after people who have already proven they’ll spend money for questionable software. Other users report the company charged them more than $30 after they attempted to buy a subscription, tacking on “add-ons” that raised the price.

    Other people report crashes and blue-screens after installing updated drivers from this application — not a huge surprise. The reviewer below recommends “trying another one,” but you don’t need any driver-updating utility. Stay away from them all.

    Driver Support and Other Tools
    We’ve seen other driver updaters behave poorly, too. We saw one driver utility detect a virtual machine as a Dell PC. We’ve seen driver-updating tools pop up with suggestions to install drivers for printers that were never connected to the PC.

    Here’s another driver-updating utility in action. It’s named “Driver Support” and uses the same business model, charging $30 a year for driver updates. It’s even more ridiculous — it says our computer’s “Driver Health Is Low!”. To fix this, we need to update our “HID-compliant mouse” driver. This is a standard type of hardware — you should never need to update this basic mouse driver; it’s included in Windows.

    You Don’t Need to Update Your Drivers, Anyway
    Here’s the thing — you don’t actually need to regularly update your drivers. If you play PC games, you do need to update your NVIDIA or AMD graphics drivers regularly — but that’s it. And both NVIDIA and AMD include automatic driver-updating tools along with the graphics drivers to make this easy.

    Driver updates occasionally arrive via Windows Update, so a serious problem will be fixed just by installing your normal updates. Windows also automatically downloads the necessary drivers when you connect new hardware. Hardware driver-updating utilities would be a waste of time even if they worked properly.
     
    Yash Khan, soccer97, scot and 7 others like this.
  11. frogboy

    frogboy Level 61
    Trusted

    Jun 9, 2013
    6,228
    64,826
    Heavy Duty Mechanic.
    Western Australia
    Windows 10
    Emsisoft
    I would have to agree. 100%. ;)
     
    Yash Khan and Kent like this.
  12. jackuars

    jackuars Level 21

    Jul 2, 2014
    1,091
    2,147
    I think I read a similar news just some time back in another thread here...

    I use a Driver updater to only check for updates, but I manually install these drivers from manufacturer's site.
     
    Yash Khan and frogboy like this.
  13. Exterminator

    Exterminator Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 23, 2012
    12,283
    46,674
    USA
    Windows 10
    Kaspersky
    Once again software that is targeting the novice home user.I agree these are not needed and especially paying for them.
     
    Yash Khan, DardiM, scot and 3 others like this.
  14. Nitlott

    Nitlott Level 9

    Oct 9, 2014
    419
    2,274
    Graphic Designer
    Mexico
    Yash Khan likes this.
  15. dragonmew

    dragonmew New Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    359
    138
    the only drivers what need updating manually are graphics card ones
     
    Yash Khan likes this.
  16. Kyle_Katarn

    Kyle_Katarn From KC Softwares
    Developer

    Sep 28, 2013
    274
    279
    Then you should try DUMo (Driver Update Monitors) : it checks for updates, gives you notification, but lets you grab updates from manufacturer manually : http://www.kcsoftwares.com/?dumo

    I'm the developper. Should you have feedback just let me know.
     
    Yash Khan, DardiM, JakeXPMan and 2 others like this.
  17. jackuars

    jackuars Level 21

    Jul 2, 2014
    1,091
    2,147
    #17 jackuars, Oct 25, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2014
    I already use DuMo. :D

    Note: Please use only the portable version, other versions contain a lot of adware.

    It's fine to include adware along with the product. But dont bundle malicious software's in the installer, it'll affect your reputation. :(
     
    Yash Khan, DardiM, Ana_Filiz and 2 others like this.
  18. jamescv7

    jamescv7 Level 61
    Trusted

    Mar 15, 2011
    12,664
    17,723
    Web and FileMaker Developer
    Philippines
    Windows 10
    Microsoft
    The best practice is go to your manufacture site for drivers cause that's the only correct way. No one can bother to tell you to use such any driver updater unless its a part of manufacturer app to provide easy access.
     
    Yash Khan and DardiM like this.
  19. JakeXPMan

    JakeXPMan Level 15

    Oct 20, 2014
    722
    2,879
    Windows 7
    Hey got a question about the dreaded UPDATING DRIVERS :rolleyes: I am interested in "SlimDrivers", I installed this program a while back but never used it just ran a scan, found 9 drivers with newer upgrades.

    Then today Driver Booster installed because I used my ASC Pro (AutoUpdate) function (I turned it on to see it work) so it installed Driver Booster and updated my IObit-Uninstaller. Well anyway the Driver Booster "2" found 10 upgrades, pretty similar to SD.

    Here's Driver Boosters upgrade finds,

    2-Keyboards

    2-System Devices

    3-IDE ATA/ATAPI

    1-Sound, video game controller

    1-Network adapter

    1-Modem


    IS ANY OF THIS MEANINGFUL TO UPGRADE? drivers is something i never touch, maybe thats why i never seen a BSOD yet lol.
     
    Yash Khan likes this.
  20. NullPointerException

    Aug 25, 2014
    528
    624
    Computer scientist. Professional pessimist.
    Nirvana/serenity/paradise/tranquility/heap.
    If you are having with sound or modem, you should. Don't be bothered otherwise.
     
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