Drivers may be locked on some OEM devices that use Intel hardware; the effect is that administrators may not install vanilla Intel GPU drivers on these devices but need to rely on OEM supplied drivers instead for installation.
One of the core issues that arises from this is that updated drivers may not be available all the time. When an OEM ends support for a particular device, updated drivers may not be made available anymore. Switching to Intel vanilla drivers should work but if a lock is in place, does not because of it.
Intel released a new driver recently that addresses the issue and improves the situation for customers.
The following information is listed under "highlights":
We heard how much our users want the freedom to upgrade their systems to our regularly released generic graphics drivers and enable our latest game optimizations, feature updates and fixes. Well, as of this release, Intel Graphics DCH drivers are now unlocked to upgrade freely between Computer Manufacturer (OEM) drivers and the Intel Generic graphics drivers on Download Center. Simply use the exe and enjoy the update on your 6th Generation Intel Processor platform or higher, and don’t worry about your OEM customizations, they remain intact with each upgrade and the OEMs can maintain customizations separately via Microsoft* Windows Update. Intel Drivers and Support Assistant will also be unlocked starting April 28th, 2020.
According to the announcement, Intel Graphics DCH drivers are unlocked now which means that administrators may switch between installing vanilla Intel drivers or OEM drivers without any limitation. The change applies to devices with the 6th generation Intel Processor Platform or higher.
Intel even notes that OEM customizations remain intact with upgrades and that OEMs may push customizations via Windows Update to maintain them as well.
The company notes that OEM non-DCH to Intel Generic non-DCG upgrades and OEM non-DCH to Intel Generic DCH driver updates remain locked.
Intel recommends that OEM drivers are installed whenever possible on devices as these are "handpicked, customized, and validated to resolve platform-specific issues".
DCH drivers are drivers that install and run on Universal Windows Platform based editions of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system.
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