One would think that there should be at least some free working tools for the Windows operating system that allow users to scan if drivers installed on the computer system are up to date or need updating. A user searching for terms like Windows driver updates or driver updates will most likely be disappointed as the top spots are held by commercial products that sometimes promise a free scan but require registration and purchase before the drivers can be downloaded. There is not really a lot of choice in the free sector which could be explained by the sheer volume of hardware devices and drivers which require a huge database in the backend that gets updated hundreds of times a day. Probably to much work for a group of individuals but excellent for a community project.
Anyway, some free programs to update Windows drivers exist. We have reviewed Driver Max in the past. The application has made some leaps version wise. It can not only be used to scan for Windows driver updates but also to identify unknown hardware or to perform device driver backup. A click on the check for driver updates button in the updates and identification category will start the scan of the computer system’s hardware.
The results will be displayed on the website of the software developer in table form listing the name of the device as well as the installed version and the latest version in the database. A disk symbol at the end of each line leads directly to the download of the device driver.
The download pages list all downloads for the selected device. There is no mentioning if the drivers are alpha, beta or final drivers and it is recommended to perform a search on a search engine to verify the result. The suggested update for the outdated Intel Chipset Software Installation on the test system turned out to be an alpha driver. A quick search revealed a final driver that was available for download.
The list of downloads could use some filtering options to filter languages and alpha or beta drivers. Still, it is a better alternative than searching for all device driver updates manually. It will at least list the drivers that are not up to date anymore which will narrow down the manual process to a minimum. A free registration is required to use the program.
A similar program is 3DP Chip (read: Computer Driver Updates) which will only scan the most important components of a computer system.
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