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Has anyone used Driver Robot and if so is it any good. Just trying to find a quick and easy way to find all the out of date, critical drivers I need for all the PC's I have lying around here.

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closed as not constructive by techie007, Mokubai, Indrek, 8088, soandos Sep 2 '12 at 15:14

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4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I think that this is a little misleading question wise. Just to be clear Driver Robot is not free.

I just tried it out. Firstly the install process trys to foist Ask's toolbar on you, and tries to change your homepage. Then it installed on C even though I'd normally choose D if given a choice. Now the UI seems simple, but it's also uninformative. To export a list of devices and drivers you must scan, to download drivers you must scan again, even if you just scanned. Luckily it's a fast scan (about 15 seconds). But if you do find out of date device drivers, it won't tell you the version number, dates of driver release, WHQL status, or in some cases even the device name (IE, "RAID Controller", "Ethernet Controller", "HID Compatible Mouse" (x6!), "Plug and Play Monitor", "PCI to PCI bridge").

Then to actually download you must register on their site with a name and email address, they promise that they won't share your private information ever, which means they could still aggregate statistics and make money that way, but they take you to a payment page of $10 off $39.99, so it's $29.99 for downloading third party drivers. Considering that I bought Sierra's Evil Genius on Steam for $2.99 and Firaxis' Civilizations Revolution (Sid Meyer) on iPhone for $6.99 this comes off as seeming wholly not worth it. It does say that it will download all drivers and install them all before rebooting, which is a nice change from the usual requirements under manually updating windows drivers (though windows automatic updates does the same basic thing).

I also tried the afore-mentioned drivermax. Please note that both of these programs are written to be installed and started with your computer at startup, running as background tasks. If you find this annoying don't install either. Drivermax actually scans for about 30 seconds at the end of the install process (for which I must have missed the legal agreement, but didn't see any toolbar shenanigans. After that it can generate a list of devices and drivers with versions and dates in about 12 seconds, though I'm not certain how complete it is. The only driver I was interested in at the time was the one I didn't have installed, my Realtek AC'97 audio driver. Robot Driver spotted this, but drivermax did not. It did see my nForce Audio driver, but I don't think that device is actually used on the Asus A8N-SLI Premium.

Drivermax features a backup and restore feature (drivers only) that seems handy in the face of a reinstall of your OS, and is a nifty feature you can use without giving any personal info away. But generally it seems to want you to register online for "full features" which include some kind of online storage of personal system information, and searching online for newer versions. Registration was painless, however I was only presented with the agreement after confirming the registration; it includes the never share personal data with third parties clause/pseudo promise (all agreements are subject to change without notice, so if they get bought out, or go evil...).

While date deltas are not given, version numbers are shown, but this isn't as useful in the case of:

Texas Instr. OHCI IEEE 1394 Host Controller 5.1.2535.0   ->9001.9007.9000.9502
Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller    5.1.2600.2180->10.3.0.21
NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller         10.3.0.42    ->10.3.0.46

I mean, how do I know if x.y.z.42 vs x.y.z.46 is significant, or if 9k.9k.9k.9k vs 5.1.2k.0 means it's really different or rather management made a meaningless naming change?

At this point you do see some up selling, as the "pro" version checks digital signatures before downloading instead of after downloading. Also, they limit the "free" version to downloading two drivers a day. And since you can only check the signature afterwards, it can be a frustrating limitation.

To put this in some context I did recently run windows update and choose to install optional newer WHQLed drivers for my nvidia 7600gt and my Ethernet driver. Both of these failed after installing, the network didn't work, and the system would crash when the nvidia control panel started in my main account. I luckily could run the system in safe mode and had the old drivers hanging out, which I used then got the latest drivers from nvidia which again worked fine (with the updated control panel). I'm not even certain that driver robot OR drivermax would also update the control panel and if this would then not crash just as the windows update had.

In short, both tools have potential to be speedy and useful, but really only work with the for-pay versions, which seem overpriced to me: $30 for driver robot, and $10 for 30 days for drivermax or $30 for 1 year (only).

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I have used this program and can confirm it works well

Though i found a better program in DriverMax

This found updates Driver Robot didn't and is now my software of choice

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is it free to use? –  Vidar Sep 25 '09 at 13:45
    
Yes totally, go for it –  admintech Sep 25 '09 at 14:13
    
It's free if you only need 2 drivers per day. –  dlamblin Dec 19 '09 at 3:02
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I've not heard about Driver Robot, after Google it sounds like a scam. It's always advisable to download the drivers from the computer manufacturer's/hardware vendor's website.

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Thanks for the DriverMax hint. I just found another program which does the same task. It is called SlimDrivers and is available here: http://www.driverupdate.net/. You might want to have a look at it also.

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