Device Doctor Updates Your Drivers For Free

The following post is an updated version of a previous article published September 3, 2010.

image Still running your computer with outdated system and peripheral drivers? If you are, then you’re not going to get the maximum performance out of your system, or peripherals, that’s just waiting to be unleashed.

Unfortunately, computer products/peripherals are often distributed with under tested device and system drivers which can cause real mayhem – including intermittent system crashes (one of the hardest problems to diagnose), poor system performance, or buggy peripheral performance.

Manufacturers of course, are not slackers when it comes to improving previously released drivers in order to fix bugs, errors and conflicts with other programs, (more common than you may think), or to increase peripheral functionality. For example, nVidia   has just released the second driver update this year, for my video card.

If you want to take a trip on the “Frustration Express” then you can try to update your drivers manually. But, believe me; you’ll be in for a long and frustrating ride.

You’ll start by Googling the driver name, then investigation available drivers, many of which will have a disclaimer stating that it was not written specifically for your system/device; you’ll try it – then delete it, and then your back to Googling again. Repeat the previous frustrating experience as many times as necessary, and you might get lucky.

Fortunately, there are utilities which can make this process more or less, automatic. Unfortunately, there’s more BS associated with free driver download software than virtually any other class of software, except perhaps – antimalware software.

In the last few years I’ve reviewed and rated four such applications (free, at the time of review), all of which morphed into “pay” applications, or instituted highly restrictive policies such as allowing only two driver downloads. Or worse, advising the user of available driver updates, but requiring “cash up front” to enable the download.

Since I needed to do some driver work on a personal system this week, I asked around, and got more than a few recommendations to try Device Doctor. This application proved to be a hit with me – not only because it’s free, but I liked its minimalist approach, and fast download speeds.

The developers are on the record as stating that they will continue to offer Device Doctor as a freeware application. Hopefully, we can count on this.

Running the application is a snap. The following screen capture illustrates the bare bones GUI – just click on “Begin Scan”.

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The complete scan took less than 5 seconds. Now that’s impressive!

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Now that you have the new device driver downloaded, you can install at your convenience.

Let me re-emphasize: Be sure to create a system restore point before installing a new driver.

Fast facts:

Provides drivers for every major computer hardware and device manufacturer.

More than 3 terabytes (3,000 GB) of drivers currently in the database.

Constantly updated to include new driver versions as soon as released.

Every driver is human reviewed using specialized compatibility tools.

Designed for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Thousands of drivers coming in weekly for Windows 7.

Full support for 64-bit systems, as well as 32-bit systems

Provides device names for unknown devices before updating drivers.

Can be used offline – scan results are saved so you can move them to a connected computer and download there.

Updates WHQL (Microsoft certified) and non-WHQL drivers.

Completely free with no adware or malware!

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 (32 bit and 64-bit compatible).

Download at: the developer’s site (Device Doctor).

Portable version: A portable version is also available here.

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16 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Drivers, Freeware, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

16 responses to “Device Doctor Updates Your Drivers For Free

  1. Murphy

    Hi,
    Thanks Bill .
    Best regards !
    PS. Have you ever tested programs which convert DOC files into PDF ? Thanks in advance for your answer .

  2. Murphy

    Hi again Bill,
    Oops, I missed that article .
    If I have time I’ll check it and I will put it here : http://www.raymond.cc/forum/general-forum/28877-test-creating-pdf-file-from-doc-file.html .
    Best regards and have a nice day !

  3. bokawel

    thanks bill, looking for something like this for a while to add to my tools.

  4. Omri Guttman

    I think I do a decent job of backing up my data, but when it comes to backing up my system, I still feel unprotected. Specifically, I’m interested in setting up a backup plan which (in an emergency) would enable me to take a completely new machine (or hard drive) and “resurrect” my old machine, with minimal pain. Could you recommend the best tool(s) for this?

    Thanks for your helpful blog!

  5. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    I’ll certainly give this a try. In the past, when I have tried this kind of software, I have been referred to the computer manufacturer’s website for updated drivers, otherwise they may not be compatible. If I do this I am invariably told that no update is available. Is it ok to update direct from Device Doctor? I would, of course, create a restore point first.

    Kind regards
    John

    • Hi John,

      Yes, I think you’re safe with this. According to the developers they have 30,000+ drivers on file and more are added daily.

      I’ve tested this app twice now – both times with excellent results.

      Best,

      Bill

      • John Bent

        Thanks for that Bill, will give it a try.

        Kind regards
        John

      • John Bent

        H Bill,

        Have just run Device Doctor. Installation was quick and easy using Revo Uninstaller Pro. DD scanned my laptop and suggested 12 drivers needed updating. Having created a system restore point I clicked the install button.

        The first diver in the list turned out to be an older version than the installed one, so I cancelled the installation. Of the remaining 11, all installed successfully except for the Nvidia GeForce driver. This was terminated as the driver was specifically for 32bit Vista, whereas my OS is 64bit Win7.

        I inadvertently allowed the system to restart after the second successful install and was afraid I would have to download the remainder again. When I ran DD again after the restart, I found the drivers in the Download History.

        I was impressed with the ease of use of the software and with the fact that it is possible to submit feedback on the success, or otherwise, of the installations.

        It was slightly disappointing that 2 of the drivers were unsuitable and lucky that the system spotted the discrepancies.

        I will certainly use this program again, Bill and thank you for suggesting it.

        Kind regards
        John

        • Hi John,

          Great report, as usual! Thank you.

          BTW, I stay away from updating Nvidia drivers – always a hassle for me.

          Best,

          Bill

          • John Bent

            Hi Bill,

            It would be really helpful to me and, I am sure, to others if you could expand on your comment on NVIDIA drivers. As you said in your preamble they have issued 2 updates recently, presumably to fix bugs. Can you say whether Device Doctor will update NVIDIA correctly, or is my own experience, where the wrong version was apparently downloaded, typical?

            Surely there must come a time when NVIDIA drivers need updating to continue operating at their best. Failing that is the easier solution a new video card?

            Thanks in advance.

            Kind regards
            John

            • Hi John,

              I don’t want to be drawn into the often contentious debate as to whether updating video drivers is appropriate or not, except to say (from a personal perspective only):

              Video drivers are not always updated to address bugs – more often, they are released to add minor functionality. A minor increase in functionality is insufficient reason for me to update. I’ll stick with the driver that came with the card, or with the driver that has passed Microsoft’s stringent testing (if I’m doing an OS reinstall).

              Nvidia, in the recent past, has released a number of updated drivers which caused system instability not only on my gaming system, but more widely.

              Nvidia has a habit of bundling their Control Centre with the driver which, most annoyingly is set to autostart. Since I play resource intensive games that demand a high level video card (Directx 10, or higher), I always make adjustments from within the game. The Control Centre forces me to recognize that it’s autostart, and to then take steps to reverse this. I don’t mind doing this once, but….

              As you know, drivers can’t add functionality to a video card past the point of its design capabilities so, depending on personal requirements, a new card might be in order. As you also know – video cards can often be very expensive.

              The not quite “most recent” driver issue, while not typical, happens often enough with these updaters, that some degree of caution is required.

              Best,

              Bill