Intel started to remove old downloads from its Download Center
If you are using devices with Intel hardware, you may want to head over to the company's download center website right now to download drivers and other files for that hardware before Intel removes it.
The company added notices to lots of files offered on the site, e.g. BIOS updates like this one, that reveals that it plans to remove these downloads from the site on November 22, 2019.
End Of Life - This download, BIOS Update [RL86510A.86A] P21, will no longer be available after November 22, 2019 and will not be supported with any additional functional, security, or other updates.
The product has reached end of life according to Intel and the company recommends that users remove the product or discontinue using it.
All versions are provided as is. Intel recommends that users of BIOS Update [RL86510A.86A] P21 uninstall and/or discontinue use as soon as possible.
The message is displayed even if no newer version of a download is offered by Intel. In other words: Intel wants customers to upgrade motherboards and devices to newer hardware components.
The removal does not affect aging old (in computing terms) hardware only either. This particular BIOS update was released in October 2018 and it is going to be removed as well from the company website.
Not all BIOS files are removed from the Download Center site but the removal criteria have not been revealed by Intel.
The removal affects numerous hardware components including motherboards, network drivers, and graphics adapters. Twitter user foone noticed in mid-September 2019 that Intel removed drivers selectively from its site.
The issue was first reported on the vogons forum and the thread includes some suggestions on obtaining drivers and BIOS files for Intel hardware. One of the options include using a 2014 Archive.org mirror of Intel's FTP site. Additional links are provided in the thread.
The motivation behind the removal is unclear.Â Intel announced plans some time ago to revamp its website and it is possible that the removal of what might look to Intel as dead weight received the okay during meetings.
The removal is problematic for a number of reasons. Old hardware may still be in use and it requires old drivers. There are still C-64 and Amiga computers used for instance, and the same is likely true for devices running older Intel hardware.
It may also be difficult to understand why a company like Intel (or any other large organization, e.g. Mozilla, Microsoft or HP) would remove files (or information) from company websites that require little maintenance or storage.
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