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Today I was looking my Windows add/remove programs and found two versions of installed Wi-fi device drivers( REALTEK Wireless LAN Driver 1.0.148 and REALTEK Wireless LAN Driver 1.0.174).

On device manager, I'm seeing only one device(RTL8191SE with 1.0.174 driver).

May the manufacturer commited an error on installing my wifi device driver? Should I uninstall/reinstall one of them? Is this a possible source of conflicts/problems on my system?

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

My guess:

The driver was installed (and then updated to the newer version) through a custom installer, rather than directly with an .inf file. (Manufacturers love plastering their logos everywhere.) Whoever developed the installer, assigned different product codes for different versions, resulting in two "Uninstall" entries even though the old files have been replaced with new ones. Normally, installers use the same product code for the entire life of a program, so that its "Uninstall" entry will be re-used on upgrades. Unfortunately, not all programs have such good manners.

If this is the case, your system only has one version – the latest – and attempting to uninstall old versions would actually remove the driver or program completely. You can find out whether this applies to your driver or not by diving into Registry and checking if the two entries point to separate uninstall programs or the same one; the same way you can remove extra entries (by carefully deleting the relevant key (folder)).

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From your vendors website it looks like the most recent version of driver for your network card on Windows 7 is 2020.4.0620.2011

I would therefore suggest downloading the most recent version of the driver, installing and when working remove the older versions as they are redundant.

They shouldn't be causing "problems" on your system, however if they are not in use then there isn't really a point in keeping them around.

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