Check for Driver Updates with DriverPack Solution Lite - gHacks Tech News

Check for Driver Updates with DriverPack Solution Lite

While it is not really necessary to update computer drivers regularly, I'd recommend to check for updates on a regular basis to make sure you do not miss stability, security or performance updates. The video card is probably the device that is kept up to date on many systems more than other hardware as gamers know that the latest version of Nvidia's latest GeForce drivers and AMD's Catalyst drivers often improve performance and compatibility on their systems.

Programs like SlimDrivers or Device Doctor automate the process by scanning the system for outdated drivers and providing the means to update those drivers afterwards. Many of the programs that we have reviewed in the past have turned commercial after having been available for free or as lite versions for some time.

DriverPack Solution is a special case as both the lite and full version of the program are freely available. The difference is mainly one of size, with the full version packing a whooping 3 Gigabytes of drivers and data that the lite version does not ship with. Another difference is that you can download the lite version of the driver updater from the official website, while the full version is only available via a torrent download or as a purchased DVD.

Since drivers are integrated in the full version, it supports offline updates of outdated drivers, something that the lite version does not support as well.

When you first start the program after installation you will notice that it is running a scan right away. It does not take long to complete and core hardware of your computer is displayed in the program interface afterwards.

driverpack solution

Here you see your computer's BIOS, the processor and the core temperatire, the RAM, all hard drives and other system related information. Options to run cleanups, defrags and to test the memory are provided right here.

The first thing that I suggest you do is to click on the Settings button to activate Expert Mode which adds information to the program that you can work with.

Not all tabs are functional in the lite version. Only the Misc tab, highlighting all drivers that the program has identified, the search tab, which offers to search for drivers that need updating on the web, and the backup tab, which offers to backup system drivers, are functional.

A click on a driver in the search tab - those that need updating are listed here - offers to either install the update automatically which triggers a driver download, or redirect the user to a search page on a driver download website.

Ads are displayed in several areas of the program. You find a driver update link in the main interface leading to a commercial offering to update system drivers, and two links to commercial backup solutions in the backup tab. On top of that, the installer is also listing adware offers.

Verdict

The program for the most part seems to work quite well. It had a issue identifying the NVIDIA GeForce driver on the system, displaying the driver as unknown in the interface, but other than that, it seems to have identified drivers properly. Another issue that I ran into was that it did not display driver versions of installed drivers. While it listed one device driver as outdated on the Search page, it failed to mention the version of that driver, which in turn made it impossible to find out if the drivers listed on the search results page were indeed newer than the installed one. You can resolve that with a little bit of digging on your own though.





  • We need your help

    Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

    We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.

    If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

    Comments

    1. Midnight said on July 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm
      Reply

      The problems that I’ve experienced with such programs is that they tend to be inaccurate and often enough indicate Bogus Drivers updates, when none exist!

      One one occasion, the program told me that my Logitech keyboard and mouse Drivers needed to be updated and the version number was non-existent, according to Logitech!
      The same with my Nvidia drivers!

      I prefer to manually check or let the manufacturer advise me when updates are ready for download!

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm
        Reply

        I do use them to check for driver updates, to verify what they have found manually. Saves some work. Do agree though that they often find false positives.

    2. Morely the IT Guy said on July 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm
      Reply

      In my experience, allowing 3rd-party updates (including Microsoft Windows Update) to “update” your graphics drivers can lead to a completely buggered-up display driver. Get your Nvidia, AMD, and Intel graphics drivers directly from the publisher and you avoid all that. Of course, since Intel graphics are pretty much crap no matter what version you use, not updating them is perfectly OK too. And AMD and Nvidia both have built-in update detection. Logitech has their own driver updater, as well. So, unless someone is putting together a system from old, outdated parts, I find this sort of package to be worse than useless – it can actually be harmful.

    3. ilev said on July 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm
      Reply

      Where can I find the torrent link for the full version ?

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm
        Reply
        1. ilev said on July 3, 2012 at 7:54 pm
          Reply

          Thx.

    4. rubberducky said on July 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm
      Reply

      driverpacks.net is another interesting one

    5. Rahul said on July 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm
      Reply

      Hi Martin

      I want to share this experience with driver pack solution. I formatted my laptop (i have 2 laptops), one with windows 7 and another linux mint. I formatted and then installed windows XP. The chief concern was drivers. I downloaded the driverpack, i have selected only for XP and downloaded. It automatically checked the laptop model no and configuration and installed chipset,video,audio,lan and wireless. However just bluetooth was missing.

      I find this solution a lot better than those available on net, because most of them report false positive and trick you to pay for software which give bad results and unstable system.

      To some extent, you are write martin..if driver is supposed to get updated, it should provide version no and changelog, which is very hard to find by. Overall i like driverpack for hassle free installation

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 3, 2012 at 10:27 pm
        Reply

        Thanks for sharing your experience with the program.

    6. David said on July 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm
      Reply

      I agree with others comments that you need to be very careful with these kind of apps. I decided to try the lite version, just to see what it would find. It would not let me install it. Redownloaded and same problem. It said I did not have the right permissions. I was using an administrator account and tried running the installer in administrator mode.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm
        Reply

        That seems like an odd bug. I did not have any issues running the program on a 64-bit version of Windows 7.

    7. Thomas said on July 3, 2012 at 11:44 pm
      Reply

      I’d like to share that Driver Pack Lite flagged a third of my drivers as ‘unknown’. So it didn’t know if they were up-to-date. Next to that Avira recognized the download as adware.

      1. David said on July 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm
        Reply

        I use the Avira free version. It did not flag the download, but that may explain why I could not install.

    8. Jupiter said on July 4, 2012 at 2:40 am
      Reply

      I have been using DriverMax for quite some time now, and it is the best driver updater program I have seen. Free users can only download 2 drivers per day which is not bad. It gives you the option to create a restore point before each update, so that in case something does not work as expected, you can roll it back which can be down within the program, with windows restore, or by accessing the device properties in device manager.

      Having said that, in my experience updating the video/graphics drivers from 3rd party programs can cause problems, specially in computers that have integrated graphics drivers which shift between a NVIDIA/AMD and an intel graphics depending on computer load. For example, some vaio computer have a switch [Stamina/Speed] which changes the Graphics processor in use from NVIDIA to intel.

      Whatever 3rd party driver updater software you use, some of the drivers you should pay special attention other than the video drivers are: Bluetooth (make sure you can send or receive files), fingerprint readers (make sure the reader is being detected), and the sound drivers (make sure speakers/microphones are working and that you are not loosing features you use when updating like for example equalizers, sound effects… some computers come with special software that include these features and others).

    9. pd said on July 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm
      Reply

      This is the one, the only, single most retarded genre of software in the world. If it can’t recognise your video card and doesn’t even display versions, then how can you genuinely recommend it? You’re fooling yourself and deluding your readers.

    10. pd said on July 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm
      Reply

      To add further context, it should be noted that in my experience with Windows 9X, XP and Vista over many years, Microsoft can’t even get driver updates right. It is a very challenging genre. Suggest the wrong driver to someone and you can brick their setup. Who the hell wants to write software that takes that risk, let alone take that risk and give it away free. Let’s face it, nobody could be bothered buying any program of this genre as it’s only a small task to DIY if you’re a half-decent tech head. Of course any repetitive task should be automated but it’s hardly surprising that there’s no decent free program in this genre. What **is** surprising is that there are no decent and courageous software reviewers in the world who are willing to admit how craptacular the programs in this genre are.

    Leave a Reply