Driver complaint


Why is it that everyone decides to create their own whiz-bang interface for drivers & whatnot?  Why is it always so difficult to just say "Install my printer & use the Windows default interface for managing it".  WiFi cards & printers are particularly bad (D-Link, HP, Epson, LinkSys, etc...), but then there are video drivers (particularly OEM laptop versions), network drivers (Intel's 'ProSet' ethernet driver crap comes to mind), and then, my personal favorite, sound drivers.  Why do sound card mfr's decide a poorly skinned control panel & a monolithic set of useless addons packaged in one huge .exe is the best way to get drivers on a users machine?  RealTek, CreativeLabs, nVidia, CMedia (I'm sure I'm missing a few, here)  Personally, give me the minimal set of .inf files and dll's, and let me decide if I want your P.O.S. addon control panel to control volume and the plethora of doohickeys that are only ever used by game programmers (does anyone in their right mind actually listen to music while pumping it through the 'padded cell' filter?)


Comments (9)
  1. Patrick says:


    There is no need for these custom skinned control panels (that don’t even look like native Windows apps) in the first place.

    I couldn’t agree more with your post.

  2. Colin says:

    I’ve gotta agree as well. I’d rather see a stable functional driver first. I wonder if Creative and others have done the research to see if people actually use the addons they throw in their driver sets? I can’t recall the last time, as you mentioned, I applied an EAX filter to my regular audio stream.

    I think it’s also time to see more focus on certified/tested drivers. I’m starting to see the number of uncertified driverse rise again through various deployments.

  3. Edge says:

    About Intel’s ProSet drivers, I dunno what you have a problem with precisely? Their software and hardware is probably the best I’ve ever seen as far as network cards go. That their driver installer is intelligent enough to bring down the network interface, update the drivers, then bring everything back up is equally cool (other shoddier network card installers would tell you that you needed to reboot).

    So what’s your beef with ProSet I guess is what I’m asking. 😛

  4. Don’t forget logitech. 33Mb for QuickCam Pro drivers, which add all sorts of nonsense, including their own namespace into My Computer.

    So you install it, then uninstall everything but the driver. Uninstall gives you granular options, but install is everything or nothing/

  5. Richard says:

    >Why do sound card mfr’s decide a poorly

    >skinned control panel & a monolithic set of

    >useless addons packaged in one huge .exe is

    >the best way to get drivers on a users


    Because people who don’t spend all their free time sat in front of their computer are in the majority. Unfortunately.

  6. Typhoon121 says:

    I couldent agree more. Many drivers are poorly coded, slow, crash, ect. But my biggest problem is that video card drivers are not easy to update. You use the uninstaller there are still many bits left over. (Dont belive me get driver cleaner pro at and update your ati or nvidia drivers. Why cant it just auto uninstall/update? is that so hard. Any comments?

  7. lexp says:

    Totally agree with author.

    I think marketing teams in mfctr companies don’t get the point. They think people WOW about their crappy skinned unusable control panels with two slidebars. Those days are gone – people need stability, compatibilty and speed. No more, no less.

    My opinion on manufacturers:

    HP – TOTAL crap, especially bs like JSP web server for just viewing toner status.

    Creative – I just do not want to talk about their hyperskinned crappy control panel with zero usefull features.

    NVidia – rather good. Especially platform chipset drivers – minimun crappy apps.

    Intel – medium. Totally crappy Wi-Fi drivers, good chipset drivers.

    Hey, manufacturers, DO YOU HEAR US?

  8. I think Vista should pop up a diaog whenever something tries to create a key in HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun, "do you want to allow this?"

    However, I’ll play devil’s advocate and make an excuse for the Wifi vendors: up until XPSP2, Window’s built-in wireless stuff was utter crap. Linksys, Netgear, etc, pretty much had no choice but to roll their own.

  9. Rune says:

    …how else can you switch the sound card driver from 2.0 to 5.1 sound?

    But then again, this should be a simple property page reachable from device manager. (which some drivers include I’ve noticed)

    As for Intel’s ProSet drivers, they tend to mix languages. I only use English versions of Windows, but often switch it to use Norwegian locale so I get correct keyboard layout and decimal separator. This however seemingly means I also want Norwegian language in various apps… (I don’t) Intel gladly mixes both languages in many of their dialogs (not everything is translated).

    So yeah, many of these companies should burn in h… for what they’ve done. (Not that I believe in such a place, but Creative is one of the companies I’d like to dispatch there if at all possible)


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