Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Drivers in Windows Update

  1. #1

    Posts : 3
    Win8 RTM

    Drivers in Windows Update

    Since a few day I have Windows 8 Pro RTM (Dreamspark, fully activated) on an Asus N56VZ. Works pretty well, but driver availability through Windows Update is, well, almost non-existant. Most drivers I need exist for Windows 7 in Windows Update without problems. Of course, the drivers are available (also signed) from the website of the companies...

    I also had Windows 7 from MSDNAA back then, and IIRC all drivers where available in Windows Update from the beginning...

    What's missing?
    • Realtek HD Audio (signed Win8 drivers exist on Realtek site), I was pretty surprised that these aren't on Windows Update because they were always there from the beginning back to WinXP times.
    • NVIDIA drivers for the 650M notebook GPU. I read news from March that Nvidia provides them in Windows update, but this was for the Consumer Preview, did they stop for RTM? Why? What I also find strange ist that the nvidia website only offers beta drivers for this GPU, but if you use Google you will also find non-beta, working stable drivers.
    • On my Win7 laptop I got the new MS Device Center, but on Win8 with the exact same mouse (Comfort Mouse 4500) I first got IntelliPoint 8.2 (what's supposed to be outdated with the new Center which was desogned for Win8). Just uninstalled IntelliPoint and tried again: I don't get anything mouse-related now in Windows Update. Was this a mistake by MS? On the MS site I only find the Center for the Release Preview versions of Windows 8... Is this thing not finished? What mouse driver should I take?

    Are there any websites that have information about the driver availibility? End of october everything needs to be finished when Win8 comes to the stores... Or do I have to change a setting in Windows in order to get driver updates (this was never the case in XP and 7)?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit

    I personally don't depend on Windows update for my drivers. I go directly to the manufacturer for the latest and greatest. I've found in the past that the Windows update supplied drivers are rather generic and are often missing some of the features and functionality provided in the manufacturers drivers. There will be a lot of hardware that will never get a Windows 8 driver. Its up to the manufacturer to supply the drivers to Microsoft, if they want to. They may decide that that particular model is old enough that they won't bother updating the driver at all. I've also found that the Microsoft supplied drivers become outdated rather quickly.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 3
    Win8 RTM

    This doesn't answer my question. I'm just curious why it does take so long. Back in XP, Vista and 7 times the drivers where also available in Windows Update when it was released to MSDN and MSDNAA (now Dreamspark), so what prevents the manufacturers from delivernig their drivers now to MS in time?

    I don't need or want all this "fancy" extra stuff that comes with the drivers directly from the manufacturer. I don't want all these memory and CPU time consuming autoupdaters, shiny icons in my taskbar, toolboxes, control applets, popups, overlays ... They don't influence how the actual driver works (the DLL that mostly run in Kernel mode).

    I don't care if my drivers are from today or from one month ago. Most of the driver updates actually only change all the annoying toolboxes instead of the real underlaying Kernel mode code. For example the Realtek driver: You can expect that the driver from today is just as "stable" and "fast" than the one from one month ago. Just because the driver exists for several years now on a lot of computers and platforms. Most of the changes are done to the ugly Control panel tool (what I don't need, like I said).

    And the drivers in Windows update are not "generic" like you said. They are the exact same DLLs that you get in the "shiny" intsallers from the manufacturer (exact the same: same code, same programmer, same compiler was used to build them). With the only difference that the manufacturer installers will install all these crap tools. Even some Windows Update drivers come nowadays with all these crap. The Intel HD graphics driver for example: It'S just the most up to date Intel installer MSI package, just run silently when called by WIndows update instead of showing a GUI. It installs the same control panels, services, icons, autostarts than the manufacturer one. And know what? If you disable everything of these "very important" stuff, it will still run extremly smooth, because the driver ist not the thing that shows up in your task manager, but the small DLL running in Kernel mode - and it even runs smotther because you don't spam your CPU and RAM with all these useless programs, but only with the real driver that is unaffected by the extra tools provided by the manufacturer.

    That's why I ask if there are any news about when Windows Update on Windows 8 will ship more drivers that are aleady signed and available by the manufacturers with all this crap extra software.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Sometimes the manufacturer drivers *ARE* different DLLs, etc. I have seen cases where there is functionality in the manufacturer's driver that does not exist in the MS-supplied version. Windows will look for a "best fit" driver for hardware, while a manufacturer's driver may be more specific and better suited to some individual model. I'd much prefer a driver for "Company A Model XYZ graphics card" than "Company A Graphics Card" or "Generic Graphics Card" drivers.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Posts : 3
    Win8 RTM

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryE View Post
    I have seen cases where there is functionality in the manufacturer's driver that does not exist in the MS-supplied version.
    Examples please. This may be the case for simple and heavily standardized hardware like keyboards, webcams, etc... But all complex and integrated circuits like graphics cards, sound chips, TV cards will - nowadays - always have their original manufacturers drivers - and in the past these often came without bloatware(!) through Windows Update from the beginning of MSDN/technet release.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryE View Post
    I'd much prefer a driver for "Company A Model XYZ graphics card" than "Company A Graphics Card" or "Generic Graphics Card" drivers.
    These are just names. Microsoft often changes the strings so that the user can "feel good" ("Oh cool, no mystique tech words, yay!"). But it's stil the same driver.

    Oh and by the way: I asked the question "Are there any informations on when the drivers will be available in Windows 8 Update?"
    And not: "Can someone convert my mind to like the bloatware manufacturer's driver packages?"
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    I have found that many drivers don't show up in Windows 7 Update either. I get just as frustrated as you do and I have to manually search for the updated drivers and install them myself (and fight the dreaded crapware bloatware packaging by the manufacturer, like Brother printer drivers). Very frustrating...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Posts : 651
    Windows 8.1 x64

    To the OP, please remember that Windows 8 is NOT generally available yet (GA), and OEMs are still working on getting drivers built and certified. Only logo'd/certified/tested drivers are available on Windows Update, so if a vendor hasn't provided Microsoft with a driver that's passed logo testing, Microsoft will have nothing to put up on WU for you to download - they don't make the drivers.

    Directly to your driver questions though:
    1- I've never gotten Realtek drivers from WU that worked, although the drivers on Realtek's site work fine for the most part. I had an Asus motherboard during the Win7 RTM timeframe that used an audio chipset from Realtek, but they didn't work. In fact, the only drivers that DID work were the ones from Asus, directly. This happens on Lenovo machines a lot too, for what it's worth, and used to be very common on Dell hardware.

    2- NVidia's Win8 drivers are all in beta at the moment, and thus aren't logo'd. They won't be up on WU for Win8.

    3- Apparently Microsoft is starting to roll out RTM versions of their software for Windows 8 - I'm starting to see more things that used to be RP migrate to RTM. Until October 26th, hardware designed to run the OS isn't technically available, so you have to give it some time.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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