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Is there any free tool that can detect obsolete drivers, with a suggestion where to download fresher ones?

My laptop is a Dell E6400, but the Dell website is not very accurate when talking about drivers.

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If Dell doesn't provide them, I would not recommend updating. Dell and other manufacturers use customized drivers in most cases, where the updated driver may only be a generic driver. Updating can cause issues. – Sean Sep 5 '11 at 13:54
For some components, Dell even does not provide X-64 drivers... and I have already downloaded ones found with my service tag... but still having some unknown hardware parts, performance problems with usb ports, etc... I don't trust Dell to provide and maintain their drivers – Steve B Sep 5 '11 at 14:08
I'm curious which drivers don't have a x64 component. Dell is rather known for providing too many driver options for their machines. Especially ones as recent as a E6400. When I look up the E6400, all components are there. – surfasb Sep 5 '11 at 16:40
I have a device detected as "Broadcom USH"... not mentionned on the Dell site – Steve B Sep 5 '11 at 19:25
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Try Driver Updater Pro.

Here is a review:

Quickly scan your system for out-of-date drivers with this easy-to-use program. Driver Updater Pro's wizard-based interface needs very little instruction. Novices will find the app almost effortless to use. Expert users will like the program's scan speed, but may wish for a bit more information and flexibility.

On start, the app displays select processor, memory, and operating system information. All that is required of the user is to press the Scan Now button. The utility quickly scans the system to list all drivers. Each driver is listed under categories with icons for additional information, update status, and a link to download an update if needed. The information available for each driver varies, but most offer little more than the manufacturer name, driver name, and version. With a click, users can choose to see only drivers in need of update. Links to update drivers are disabled in the program's demoware. Oddly, Driver Update Pro doesn't use the system date and time, but is fixed on a European time zone. It's too bad the program didn't allow a single download to let users test that function, but otherwise this app greatly simplifies finding drivers in need of updating.

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not free :( ... – Steve B Sep 5 '11 at 14:06
Free to try. You only need to pay if drivers need updating, but once you know which drivers need updating, you could just go to Dell – wizlog Sep 5 '11 at 14:12
I'll give a chance to this then... – Steve B Sep 5 '11 at 14:15
this tools actually helped me to find obsolete drivers... google is used for the rest. However, the version suggested by the tools are a bit outdated... – Steve B Sep 5 '11 at 14:23
What do you mean "the tools?" – wizlog Sep 5 '11 at 14:32

It's difficult to provide a centralized driver updater for Windows because competing device manufacturers are really the ones responsible for developing and releasing them. While the number of manufacturers of PC components is not as diverse as it has been in years past if you are buying OEM stuff (most of the onboard components are Intel-made these days), typically you are talking about a separate manufacturer for the chipset, graphics card (if discrete), possibly Ethernet controller, WLAN controller, audio controller (sometimes).

If you are using the Dell website (, try entering the service tag of your system rather than looking it up by model. Usually that narrows the list of drivers down further although I've had issues with some laptops wherein doing that still gives me 8 or 9 WLAN drivers instead of the one that is actually in the system. If you are having a problem with a specific device I'd say just go to the Del site, download the latest driver and install it. That way you know for sure you do in fact have the latest.

Windows Update (XP, Vista, 7) does provide driver updates, which you can use if your version of Windows is properly activated.

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