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View Full Version : The Principle of Updating Drivers



Smurf
16-12-2003, 08:28 PM
Earlier, I posted a query relating to upgrading the bios on my laptop. It appears that the consensus was don't do it unless it is absolutely necessary.
Does this also apply to updating other things such as modem drivers of which I see there is a more recent driver for my particular(laptop) modem ?

Mike
16-12-2003, 08:37 PM
> Earlier, I posted a query relating to upgrading the
> bios on my laptop. It appears that the consensus was
> don't do it unless it is absolutely necessary.
> Does this also apply to updating other things such as
> modem drivers of which I see there is a more recent
> driver for my particular(laptop) modem ?

No, this doesn't also apply to updating drivers.

Your BIOS isn't a "driver". It's not just a file that the OS looks at to learn how to talk to a device. Your BIOS is what the actual computer looks at to learn how to run. There is considerable risk involved in "flashing" your BIOS (which is the act of actually writing new code into your hardware, overwriting anything previously there). If something goes wrong while you are flashing your BIOS, it could spell the end to your motherboard.

Updating your drivers, on the other hand, is just the act of downloading and installing a new file. If that doesn't work, you can just replace the new file with your old one. Occasionally it can lead to bigger problems, but they are usually fixable.

Fixing a BIOS flash that has gone wrong is usually out of the question however.

That's put quite simply - I have flashed the BIOS of several of my systems over the years and have never had a problem. I know of several people who have had major problems doing the same thing. My current system has a motherboard with some kind of a backup built in so that if there is a BIOS flash issue then it can be repaired. This usually isn't the case though.

I recommend updating your drivers if you need to (if you don't, then why bother?) I don't recommend flashing your BIOS unless you know what you're doing, know the risks, and possibly have a way out if something goes wrong.

Mike.

Jen C
16-12-2003, 08:38 PM
As long as your modem is working fine, and you installed the correct drivers for that modem and OS combination, there is no need to update them.

Smurf
16-12-2003, 08:47 PM
Thank you Mike and Jen C for your advice and explanation. This is the great thing about this forum: there are so many experienced users who are prepared to share their knowledge with those of us less experienced. I certainly appreciate that. Thank you.

Mike
16-12-2003, 09:12 PM
> there are so many experienced users who are
> prepared to share their knowledge with those of us
> less experienced.

Hey, these guys taught me everything I know ;)

Mike.

ugh1
16-12-2003, 09:47 PM
> Earlier, I posted a query relating to upgrading the
> bios on my laptop. It appears that the consensus was
> don't do it unless it is absolutely necessary.

Nothing wrong with doing it at all. Just follow the instructions. Updates are usualy needed for a reason and if it will fix your problem then just do it!

Not much can go wrong with an update providing it is the correct update for your system and if something does go wrong you can normaly still recover by following the instructions provided with the update.

In all the years I have done BIOS updates only one went wrong from a power cut and I was able to fix that by re-programming the FLASH chip in my external programmer, which I have noticed a few "local" PC outlets offering as a service.

> Does this also apply to updating other things such as
> modem drivers of which I see there is a more recent
> driver for my particular(laptop) modem ?

Particualy for modems as they are always "playing around" with line driver characteristics. Dont forget to tell it you are in NZ after updating the driver.

Mike
16-12-2003, 09:55 PM
> In all the years I have done BIOS updates only one
> went wrong from a power cut and I was able to fix
> that by re-programming the FLASH chip in my external
> programmer, which I have noticed a few "local" PC
> outlets offering as a service.

Exactly my point - how many people have an external BIOS programmer??????? And not that many PC stores offer BIOS reprogramming around my area. In fact I've never seen a PC store that offers that service.

Mike.

ugh1
16-12-2003, 10:06 PM
> > In all the years I have done BIOS updates only one
> > went wrong from a power cut and I was able to fix
> > that by re-programming the FLASH chip in my
> external
> > programmer, which I have noticed a few "local" PC
> > outlets offering as a service.
>
> Exactly my point - how many people have an external
> BIOS programmer??????? And not that many PC stores
> offer BIOS reprogramming around my area. In fact
> I've never seen a PC store that offers that service.
>
> Mike.

Build one. A google search for flash programmer will get you started.
Not worth buying a pre built like mine as they are $1000+ so unless you also do EEPROMS, EPROMS, PROMS, PAL / GAL & micros etc.. roll your own.

One out of over 100 re-programms is pritty good, and that was not able to recover as the power cut killed it at 16K, not enough for the boot strap code to work.

P.S Have you asked your local stores?

beama
17-12-2003, 07:20 AM
Im not sure if anyone else has had this experance try not to use Microsoft update drivers, I thought I was doing a good thing once when getting updates, it listed a new driver for my modem, I downloaded it and updated the driver only to have my modem not work. Took me abot 30 minutes to unistall this NEW driver and reinstall the old one. My advice if you are considering updating drivers GO to the manufacturers site to get your updated driver package.
Also to agree with a ealier post "If it's not broke, dont fix it"

SKT174
17-12-2003, 03:53 PM
>"If it's not broke, dont fix it"

Totally agreed on that. I have seen many customer or friends that updates the drivers for all his devices, BIOS, when ever a newer one is available.

Then they ring up, "something is not working after I updated the driver" ... why do people do that? If a device is working fine, then why bother to update the driver? At least have a read about the latest driver spec to see whether it is necessary to update.