Keeping Your Drivers Up-to-date Improves Performance

Installing current updated drivers for hardware can dramatically improve the performance of your computer and reduce the number of error messages you receive. Not only does keeping your drivers updated and current improve the performance of your Windows-based computer, it can sometimes solve those "mysterious" error messages

Driver updates may include entirely new drivers for your hardware or they may include bug fixes or driver enhancements. We recommend that you use only released versions (not beta versions) of drivers. Installing any beta software on your computer, including beta drivers may cause issues - some worse than you might encounter if you didn't update your drivers at all. So be very careful you use only released or "official" versions when you update your driver files. The only exception to this would be if the released version of a driver contains a bug or other issue that is fixed by a beta version and the manufacturer recommends that you install the beta version during the interim period between the original flawed device driver and the the "official" final released version.

Windows Update will install some driver updates. And while it is usually safe to install Windows Updates and Windows Driver Updates, you should be aware that these may not always include the very latest versions of drivers for your hardware and may not include the most recent driver optimizations or bug fixes. Therefore, it is best to check with the individual manufacturer of each of your hardware components to assure you have the most recent versions of all drivers. In other words, do not rely on Windows Updates alone to install the most recent drivers for all of your hardware - or to install bug fixes or improvements to drivers for the hardware specific to your system.

Sometimes it may be difficult for to determine the manufacturer of your hardware. Luckily there are several freeware tools you can use to ferret out the names of the manufacturers of the hardware devices installed on your computer.  Here's one of them:

WinAudit - Download - Home Page (Freeware)
(Here is a description from the developer's site) "...WinAudit is easy to use, no special knowledge is required to use the program. It is a self-contained single file that needs no installation or configuration. It can be run from a floppy disk or USB stick. Simply download the program and double click on it. User interface translations have been kindly contributed by several people, if possible WinAudit will automatically start in your language...."

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