Intel started to remove old downloads from its Download Center - gHacks Tech News

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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.

intel remove download center files

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.

Closing Words

The motivation behind the removal is unclear.  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.

Now You: are you affected by the removal?

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Intel started to remove old downloads from its Download Center
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Intel started to remove old downloads from its Download Center
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If you are still 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.
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Comments

  1. Jeff said on November 18, 2019 at 1:43 pm
    Reply

    The motive is planned and forced obsolescence.

  2. rudolf Helmut said on November 18, 2019 at 2:18 pm
    Reply

    I already prepared my self five years ago when drivers started to be purged from several OEM websites.
    Earlier last year Lenovo removed a bunch of old support pages now redirecting to their front page at support if you click a google link.
    HP personal computers is well known to do this, first time I noticed it was to obtain a OEM disc if you lost it and instructions telling you to call this number, and a redirect for all regions..this page is removed and redirects you to the main support page for your product, sending you in an endless loop of links that lead nowhere.
    HPE is also well known to do this, their support page with KN articles are all over the place sending you to 404 pages from their own official topics on their website and google searches.
    HP has had a rough ending the last years when they split into HP personal computers and HPE so it is understandable to a certain degree but at least they should have cleaned their mess up by now..

    I have as standard to keep an archive with backups of drivers, config files and documentation with each device I own because of this

    1. ULBoom said on November 19, 2019 at 1:20 am
      Reply

      HP’s trying to be bought out, just waiting for the right offer and timing. Latest attempt was by Xerox. I wouldn’t expect much in the way of support in HP’s current incarnation. Maybe the new owners will fix it. Lenovo did well with Motorola but that seems to be an outlier.

      https://www.engadget.com/2019/11/17/hp-rejects-xerox-buyout-offer/

  3. John Fenderson said on November 18, 2019 at 3:05 pm
    Reply

    “are you affected by the removal?”

    No. Not because I don’t use any of that software, but because whenever I download software that is critical for a piece of hardware, I archive it and keep it forever. Storage is cheap.

  4. Dave said on November 18, 2019 at 3:30 pm
    Reply

    @Martin What do you mean “If you are still using devices with Intel hardware”?

    Did Intel go out of business?

  5. cdr said on November 18, 2019 at 3:32 pm
    Reply

    The 10/2018 BIOS mentioned above is for an LGA 1155 socket. A listed motherboard uses slowish DDR 3 memory. LGA 1155 processors include 3rd and 4th gen Intel.

    Half of my computers are that era and they still work well. Many have 1080P screens.To the good, all have an updated Bios and updated drivers. I did that a few months ago to each for a specific reason.

    I’m a big believer in A-Stock off-lease refurbs, especially when they go on sale. Laptops that once cost $1500 can go for $350 or close. Gen 6 processors are commonly available now. Gen 7 are starting to appear. Now I have a reason to upgrade next year. Not the worst news.

    1. Ken said on November 21, 2019 at 2:08 pm
      Reply

      Do you have a trusted supplier/s of such off-lease refurbs? Especially Dell.

  6. Martin Brinkmann said on November 18, 2019 at 3:34 pm
    Reply

    Removed the “still”. Thanks!

  7. ping pong playa said on November 18, 2019 at 3:44 pm
    Reply

    Now that AMDs newest cpu’s are competitive intels 1500$ processors are worth half what they were. They have to make up the cost somewhere I guess.

    1. Jason said on November 18, 2019 at 6:16 pm
      Reply

      They already made themselves competitive with broken hyperthreading. Deleting a few little software binaries from their servers is just poor form, IMO.

    2. Anonymous said on November 19, 2019 at 4:33 am
      Reply

      I just bought new AMD laptop, the performance is really great. The same model has 2 selections, Intel i5 or AMD R5 with Intel $150 pricier with same performance(checked at online cpu benchmark).

  8. Harro Glööckler said on November 18, 2019 at 4:41 pm
    Reply

    On the dl site of my most beloved cheap ($2) 5GHz wifi card:
    “End Of Life – This download, Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software and Drivers for Intel® WiFi Link 5100 Latest, will no longer be available after December 2, 2019 and will not be supported with any additional functional, security, or other updates.”

    And so they lost the little respect i still had for them…

  9. Ed Tittel said on November 18, 2019 at 5:01 pm
    Reply

    The staff over at Station Drivers (https://www.station-drivers.com/index.php?lang=en) does a great job of finding and posting newer drivers than Intel releases officially. And they’ve maintained an archive of drivers going back to the early 2000s. I’d recommend them as an alternative to those looking for older intel drivers. I’ve been using that site since 2008 or thereabouts, and have never had any problems in working with it, or with the downloads it provides.
    HTH,
    –Ed–

    1. Anonymous said on November 19, 2019 at 1:54 am
      Reply

      Thank you for that tip, good one!

      1. Niko said on November 19, 2019 at 10:41 am
        Reply

        Various drivers, very useful site: https://www.win-raid.com/forum.php

  10. VioletMoon said on November 19, 2019 at 12:44 am
    Reply

    Hmmm . . . could be problematic unless some of the software programs for updating drivers maintain archives. Could be a real problem. Major crisis. Yes, why would Intel do this? As one commentator mentioned, “Storage is cheap.”

  11. ULBoom said on November 19, 2019 at 12:57 am
    Reply

    They seem to have been doing that for a long time, it’s very hard to find Intel drivers for anything that isn’t new or in collusion with another clueless tech giant (UWP junk.)

    Their graphics drivers going back a long way can be found in TechPowerUp:
    https://www.techpowerup.com/download/drivers/

    SnappyDriverInstaller finds lots of good drivers and the current versions actually work:
    https://sdi-tool.org/

    Both have been reviewed here.

    Per Ed Tittel’s comments, I agree that Station Drivers is a great resource.

    Driver Booster is OK, just drops files and registry entries everywhere. Bulk Crap Uninstaller finds everything for easy sweep up of DB’s droppings.

    Not sure what Intel’s up to, they seem to have quit wireless adapter development a year or so ago. Seem the actual tech in “Tech” has peaked. When the HD Graphics Control Panel splash screen became this, I started to wonder:

    http://www.geeks3d.com/public/jegx/2018q1/intel-hd-graphics-driver-v4944-control_panel_home.png

    1. Emil said on November 19, 2019 at 9:03 am
      Reply

      Carefull with Snappy ;-) They collect all kinds of drivers from OEMs and the program sometimes recommends to use something that has a higher version number or date, but is really only meant for customized hardware.
      Similar or more severe warnings are valid for all other driver installers. Never use them without a full system backup!

  12. Bobo said on November 19, 2019 at 8:18 am
    Reply

    Intel who? Ooooooh you mean that company which keeps releasing stuff that requires numerous manual updates to plug security holes and as a bonus decreases the performance of your system? Intel CPU and Windows 10, now there’s a perfect match made in the deepest depths of Hell. Come Black Friday, do yourself a favour and stay away from cheap/cheapish laptops with Intel CPU’s because your hair will turn grey and fall out before 2020. Plus you will soon have to buy another new one since you threw the first one out the window.. R5-3500U for the win.

  13. Jozsef said on November 19, 2019 at 12:24 pm
    Reply

    These sorts of actions are deeply disappointing and also far too common. There is no possible significant benefit for a major company to remove downloads but it’s a huge kick in the teeth for people without the means to replace a good computer having a failing hard drive or just anyone wishing to reinstall on an old or infected system. I do this all the time for people and also have a few even older computers around for sentimental reasons. I really think these executives simply can’t imagine anyone being unable to afford a replacement device and they figure that only a small push is needed to get owners of old machines into the store. Of course it goes without saying that they are in no sense enthusiasts.

    I think a listing of manufacturers with their driver download policies would be very good. HP has made some superb devices that they now presumably wish to see scrapped and apparently Intel thinks that approach is a good one. These companies really need to be shamed. A few swipes have been earned by Lenovo for burying the downloads for older machines like the X-201 and earlier on a separate site and only revealing the hidden url if you complain to them. (Of course their forums are also a source for that info.)The utilities are however gone so restoring an old ThinkPad means losing the original experience which can matter a great deal to hobbyists. All that IBM stuff looked pretty cool.

    By contrast, Epson respect their customers and still have drivers and utilities for my 19 year old Perfection 636U scanner. It’s an excellent unit that is working beautifully today, hooked up to the amazing Panasonic Toughbook CF-28 running Windows 2000. Now that thing’s got some build quality. (Panasonic driver availability? I have not looked for some years so I don’t know.)

    1. Bruce Zimmerman said on November 21, 2019 at 12:54 am
      Reply

      “All that IBM stuff looked pretty cool.”

      Couldn’t agree more. Desperately looking for a TP 701C for a price that would not involve a sizeable bank loan, or the sale of my eternal soul. Still hanging on to my OS/2 diskettes, just in case.

  14. ipnonymous said on November 19, 2019 at 7:57 pm
    Reply

    Wish intel and others would just move this kind of thing to archive.org.

  15. JJ said on November 20, 2019 at 1:05 am
    Reply

    I’m sorry but if a motherboard has the latest but old bios installed to it, no reinstallation of OS or anything will change that so what’s the point of complaining? It’s not like you have to install it everytime or I am missing something about very old mobos? Worst case, just download it now before its get removed and keep somewhere. Best case, you’ll find the firmware on non-official websites that decided to keep a copy of it maybe.

  16. vgh said on November 20, 2019 at 9:01 pm
    Reply

    how much of the drivers can be found in windows update? i imagine if it’s pure drivers, ms would have some of them, probably even some of the bios (that is, the ones that can be updated by winupdate)… but not the utilities or stuff like ime..

  17. Bruce Zimmerman said on November 21, 2019 at 12:39 am
    Reply

    Damn. I just knew it. As the years passed, I figured that if I can just persevere long enough, eventually, some small nugget of useful information might yet cross my eyes on these pages. Well, here I am cross-eyed, but richly rewarded by this article. My WiFi drivers were scheduled for execution on 12/2. So, a big thank you Martin, and I shall continue to scour these pages for yet another useful tip, no matter how many years it takes. ;)

    P.S. In your next private meeting with Bob Swan, please indicate that I have 4 TB of storage, which I am willing to donate freely to Intel, if only he will please stop this madness. There is no shame in accepting charity, since, based on their policies, it is reasonable to assume that Intel is so desperately cash poor, that they are unable to archive this data (with disclaimers, of course) as a service to their loyal customers.

  18. George said on November 24, 2019 at 7:18 pm
    Reply

    “There are still C-64 and Amiga computers used for instance”

    Well, the latest update for the classic version 3.x of AmigaOS was released in July.

    July 2019, that is. I’d say that’s better than what Intel is doing. Not enough server space for poor Intel, or yet another security mess they need to patch up by removing these files?

    https://www.osnews.com/story/130316/amigaos-3-1-4-1-released/

  19. ForShame said on December 5, 2019 at 1:26 am
    Reply

    That is super not cool. I work for a lot of education providers who eek out their old gear for years. Pop in an SSD, update everything you can and kit can still teach kids well past Intel wanting to dump support.

    I got a load of BIOS updates by searching for the model here:
    https://drivers.softpedia.com/

    I use to get annoyed with SoftPedia always hijacking my obscure searches but there where the latest BIOS for an old DQ87PG and DQ67SW intel boards (and all the prior versions) so hell I might click some of their adds just to say thanks (it does take a look to find the proper download button but it is there and it works).

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