Driving Miss Acer

This is about Windows drivers.

I bought a cheap laptop from Walmart, an Acer A514-54-501Z.  While going through the system and deleting all the crappy extra programs they put in these things I noticed that many of the system drivers had a date of 2021 or earlier.  Only 1 or 2 drivers even had a date of 2022 and for a fact I know one was causing the computer to Blue Screen (wifi driver) which certainly prompted an update from Acer.   However, if I go to the Acer Support page I’m given a driver to download for my MediaTek Wifi module however if you go to MediaTek OEM drivers it isn’t even close to the latest driver.

Here’s what happens.  Let’s say you make laptops and you make some real cheap for the Walmart and Target crowd.  You make a profit, but not a big one.  You are NOT going to keep a crack team of software engineers on staff to maintain this laptop in an up to date, pristine status.   You find a driver that works, is stable and it STICKS.  They don’t update them UNLESS THEY HAVE TO, and by have to I mean that they receive tons of complaints or crash data.

Or if their high end computer has the same component and gets updated, maybe they’ll push it down to the bottom tier.  Like it or not, that is just the way it is.

I ran a program called Driver Booster 9 and it found TWENTY FIVE drivers that needed upgrading, including that MediaTek Wifi driver I mentioned earlier.

Do you remember the old saying “Don’t Fix It If It Ain’t Broke”?  Generally good advice however with computer drivers sometimes they are updated to fix security flaws and almost always to streamline the code and improve performance or add new features.

While your manufacturer may not offer an updated driver it almost certainly isn’t because there isn’t one available.  It is because they don’t want to spend the time or money to fix something that isn’t really broken for them.

I created a Restore Point in my computer and ran Driver Booster 9.  Before you install any updates Driver Booster 9 will also create a Restore Point for you.  It is set that way as default.  You can toggle it off if you want. As I mentioned it found 25 drivers that had newer versions.  I first updated that Wifi driver, and it worked perfectly.  No issues.

All 25 of the drivers were WHQL certified drivers and none were beta drivers.  WHQL Only is the default setting.

Anyway, for fun and sport I went ahead and updated all 25 drivers.  Zero issues.  Of course with computers only long term usage tells the tale.   I like Driver Booster 9 but here are my recommendations wrapped up in a summary.

  • Create a Restore Point before upgrades of any kind
  • Use only WHQL certified drivers
  • Upgrade 1 driver at a time so if problems reveal themselves you’ll know which driver caused it.

And my final recommendation:

USE MAC OR LINUX AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO FOOL WITH THIS CRAP.

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