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Keeping Up with Intel: The Intel Driver Update Utility

How To: Deal With Windows Drivers
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Over the years, I’ve encountered most of my driver update issues when trying to update various Intel device drivers on my Windows systems: ICH6 through ICH10 chipsets, USB Host Controllers, various RAID and SATA controllers (especially AHCI controllers) and so forth. In the past, I’ve had to run the Intel installer even though I knew it wouldn’t work, then mine the actual driver files from the install directories where the installer unpacks them, to get devices to find and load the proper drivers. (Tip: if you run an installer and it fails to update a driver, try using the Update driver right-click option in Device Manager, and point it at the directory where the installer leaves the .cat, .inf, and .sys files usually associated with driver code. This often works, even when the direct approach does not.).

Figure 4: This Intel driver scanner runs inside a web browser on your behalfFigure 4: This Intel driver scanner runs inside a web browser on your behalf

But there’s no more need for such driver shenanigans with Intel stuff, thanks to that company’s Intel Driver Update Utility. Visit this site and click the button there that reads “Check your system for the latest updates.” This downloads a pair of Husdawg ActiveX or Java plug-ins and scans your system for Intel drivers. If it finds any that are outdated, it provides a link for you to download the current version, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: When the Intel Utility finds something newer, it presents a download linkFigure 5: When the Intel Utility finds something newer, it presents a download link

Unlike the driver scanner services, the Intel downloads are free — and often, more current than the scanner services anyway. I always use this utility before running a general scanner; perhaps you should, too.

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