Category Archives: Drivers

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image Still running your computer with outdated system and peripheral drivers?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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Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Drivers, Freeware, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Update, Backup, and Restore Your Drivers With Free SlimDrivers

image Free driver update applications are very hard to come by. And, even if you can find one, generally the restrictions make them virtually useless. But, with a little bit of digging you can find, what should be, a suitable application.

Recently, we reviewed and recommended the driver update utility – Device Doctor, a very simple application which uses a minimalist GUI approach, (as the following screen capture shows), but which excels in fast download speeds.

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There’s no doubt that Device Doctor is a terrific application, with its fast download speeds emphasize, but, if you’re looking for something more in this type of application, then take a look at free SlimDrivers Beta. SlimDrivers offers a whole lot more than just fast download speeds, including:

Driver updating

Driver backup

Restoration

Scheduling

The following screen shots (taken during an earlier test), shows the application located new drivers for my video device, as well as a new driver for my audio device.

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All of that was very cool – it’s great to have all drivers updated at one go (notice the “Download all” button). But, the real strength of this application lies in its Options menu.

From here, you can not only update your drivers, but you have the option of backing up and restoring, either on an immediate basis, or you can choose to schedule an automatic check for updates.

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Fast facts:

Automatically scans hardware to determine the right driver and actively downloads and installs the most current driver directly from the manufacturer.

Updates driver software to provide the best communication and function for sound cards, printers, video, motherboards, Webcams, Bluetooth devices, flip video devices, Smart- phones, USB drives, routers, Windows and other peripherals and operating systems.

Optimizes the interaction between software and hardware, making applications and devices run faster and minimizing system errors, freezes and crashes.

In the past, running Beta software could be challenging, but I have noticed in the last year or two, Beta software can often be as stable as the final release.

Still, since this application is in Beta, take sensible precautions prior to executing. This should include setting a new restore point.

Updating outdated system and peripheral drivers can often boost system performance. I recommend that you give this application a close look.

System requirements: Windows – tested on Win 7 Enterprise 32 bit.

Download at: the developers site.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Backup Tools, downloads, Drivers, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Update Your Drivers With Free Device Doctor

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, my HP home printer has had three improved drivers released in the past two years that have increased stability, and functionality somewhat.

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.

If you decide to give Device Doctor a workout, then during the install watch out for the following two screens.

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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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Clicking on a driver download will open an information screen, as the graphic below illustrates. Kudos to the developers for including this information which should prove to be valuable for new users.

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This 68 MB download @ 1. 6 MB/ sec was completed in seconds. Nice to see a developer who offers high speed downloads. One criticism though – functionality would be increased significantly with the addition of a “down them all” button.

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.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

3 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Drivers, Freeware, Portable Applications, Software, USB, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP