Do you constantly worry that your device drivers are out of date? Oh wait”¦.that’s just me as a system admin, I worry and check my devices constantly. Network cards, SCSI cards and much much more. Now using a little freeware application called Device Doctor, I can update drivers a little more efficiently and for free.
We should probably start off with what a device driver is and when you need to load drivers. Drivers are needed for every piece of hardware on your computer from your monitor to your mouse back to your printer. The device needs the driver to tell it how to interact with the operating system – no drivers means that your hardware is not going to work as expected, if at all.
When you reformat your computer system, you need to reinstall your drivers but sometimes you cannot find the proper driver and then sadly you will not be able to get your hardware to function. What do you do? Well Device Doctor can also identify and download the proper driver for unidentified items.
Let’s take a look at the application, how it works and how it can help you update drivers for free.
First run the installer and it will do its thing:
Click through and let it install. When it completes, the application will launch automatically. The user interface looks like this:
Go ahead and click Begin Scan to let it scan your device’s drivers.
Once the scan is completed you will be presented with a full list of devices that need updating. But wait! There is more - the application actually provides download links to grab the drivers that need updating. They really take all the leg work out of this for you.
If a device is unidentified the application can still grab data from the card and check for drivers online. This is super helpful when you do not know where to look for the correct drivers. This can help you to not have to open the case and pop the card out looking for the fcc id or another identifying piece of information.
When you click download update it will take you to a webpage. That page will contain information as well as the link to grab the driver.
If the driver does not work out for you, please click the link to report the incorrect driver and then the next person will not have the same issue as you. This feature alone makes this much better than just Googling for the driver.
I have used other applications like Double Driver in the past but it did not do much for downloading drivers for unknown devices and then I found Zhangduo that does find drivers for unidentified devices but not for known ones.
You will see a statement warning you to backup, create a restore point and instructions for doing so. Good looking out Device Driver Guys! Click the download driver installer link in the center of the page to initiate the download.
That will start the download like so:
Run the installer and update your drivers. It is that simple!
When my driver was updated, my mouse moves smoother! Sweet. It is easy to run this on a system to see where you stand. Now I will preach a little bit about how important keeping your drivers up to date are. Today in my network we upgraded a switch to giga bit speeds from 10/100. One of our servers refused to connect at giga bit speeds. What did we have to do?
We had to update the NIC drivers and then all of our problems were gone. If I had done this before it would not have been an issue and the upgrade would have been complete. Instead it took another 20 minutes of my life and down time!
So kids keep your drivers updated! When you don’t know what drivers you need, this can wind up being a MUST HAVE application!
Do you have another method of keeping your drivers updated or downloading unknown drivers? Please share your free methods in the comments!