Microsoft has improved driver support in newer versions of Windows significantly and up to a point where most users do not need to install a single driver after the installation of the operating system or first use. While that is comfortable, it does not mean that it is optimal.
Your system may use old drivers to power its hardware and while that may work for you without issues, you may benefit from the installation of driver updates in several ways. Drivers for video cards may for instance increase gaming performance, improve the energy efficiency of cards or even add features to it that old drivers did not make available.
Drivers are usually made available on the manufacturer's website. While it is certainly possible to check for driver updates manually to download them to your system when they are released, it is a time consuming process that you have to repeat regularly.
Software that automates the search for updated drivers can help you out in this regard. While it may still be necessary to verify the drivers before you install them, it is still almost certain that it will speed up the whole process for most computer users.
Driver Booster is a new - beta - software that can update outdated drivers for you on your system. The program can be downloaded for free on the developer's website.
Note: The program is set to autostart with the system. You can modify that in the preferences.
The program scans your system automatically once you run it after installation. All old drivers are displayed in the interface and classified as old, very old or ancient by the application.
All drivers are listed with their name and type or purpose in the interface after the scan. You can hit the update button next to each driver to download the update automatically and run the installer afterwards to install it on the system. The program creates a system restore point automatically before that so that you can go back to the previous driver if the new driver does not work well or at all on your system.
Driver Booster will prompt for a reboot of the PC afterwards to complete the installation.
So, how accurate is the program in comparison to other driver update scanners? Driver Booster displayed only three driver updates on a test system while Driver Max displayed 34 of them. The majority of those 32 were however chipset drivers that are notoriously difficult to identify properly. Some drivers, for the Logitech G930 headset for instance were not listed by Driver Booster at all, likely because generic drivers were being used and not the manufacturer's drivers.
Driver Booster's scan may produce less results than scans of other software of its kind, but you can be fairly certain that the findings are indeed accurate. The developers do need to work on the program though to support additional hardware but since it is labeled as a beta, this may happen before the final version of the application gets released.
Update: Driver Booster Beta 2.0 has been released. It introduces several new features and improvements over the previous version, including support for more devices and a total of 28 different languages.
New features are silent mode which updates drivers silently in the background, and a new cloud connection to keep the device database up to date at all times.
Update 2: IOBit has released Driver Booster Beta 3 today. It is still listed as beta with no release being available as a final RTM version yet. The new version comes with an updated drivers database, an improved download, installation and feedback process, and general bug fixes.
Update 3: The company has released the first version of Driver Booster 2 on July 24, 2014. You can check out the new review here.Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.