Windows

Poll: Which device driver has caused you the most trouble in Windows Vista or XP?

Despite Microsoft's efforts to eliminate them, a new crop of device driver conflicts seems to surface with each Windows release. Take our quick poll and tell us which devices has given you the most driver headaches in Windows Vista and XP.

Windows Vista and XP often retain old drivers even if you upgrade or change hardware. Unfortunately, these old, and sometimes hidden, drivers can cause hardware conflicts or make your system behave erratically. I a recent IT Dojo video, I show you how to find those old drivers and root them out once and for all.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

33 comments
butkus
butkus

How many have had success having Windows recognize an external HD (by any make) when they "disappear" from the My Computer list? Has deleting the "hidden driver" to these devices restored the drive listing? I help out on a web page of a "specific" maker of these and that is the biggest complaint. The external drive shows up, but is empty or needs formatting.

mmorgan
mmorgan

Dell Perc 320 SCSI driver as Windows Vista doesn't recognize the drives

Kulana
Kulana

Creative Zen M. The CZ 'W' works OK as a drag & drop, but I just can't get the CZ 'M' to work.

apl
apl

Some USB memory sticks don't work with XP it seems. Transcend seem to be particularly susceptable, while SanDisk appear to work virtually all of the time.

grrranny
grrranny

This problem, XP and Vista issues with devices and drivers, reads like a misguided and misprogrammed attempt to subvert piracy. Whomever designed the gizmos involved obviously did not think things through, nor test the thing thoroughly, and therefor did not understand that the ultimate outcome would look like "The PC Nazis Have Landed". We do not own our computers!!!

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I mean ALL of them. They were evil. They've gotten a lot better, but I had so many failures with drives installs and upgrades it got stupid. I mean honeslty, it's a fresh OS install, HOW CAN THE DRIVER JUST FAIL TO INSTALL!!?? I'm not bitter at all...

hans
hans

USB devices other than USB drives e.g. USB serial port adapter, mobile phone modems etc

rogerfaucher
rogerfaucher

I simply stopped downloading drivers from Windows Updates because they're either older than the driver currently in use or they break my system or both.

montellanog
montellanog

USB Speaker don?t work with a Del GX280 Windows XP SP3 but they work with an integrated PC Windows XP SP2

jbakic
jbakic

Bluetooth on Vista for sure. it works, then doesn't, then when you try to reinstall, it throws errors.

eddiej.cooper
eddiej.cooper

If codecs count as a form of driver then that gets my vote!! :(

scott814
scott814

Windows XP Media Center ehrecvr.exe, for watching TV. Have to reboot my computer every day (it sits all night and goes idle) because I get the tuner is not available error message.

speedy2
speedy2

PCMCIA Memory PC card

tdh2112
tdh2112

I've had nothing but trouble with ATI Radeon drivers. Every single ATI card that I have used has not worked. The driver install always hangs. I'm talking multiple computers here, including XP Pro and Home. Also, I've never had any issues with nVidia cards.

Lazarus439
Lazarus439

1. Any driver and/or associated software bundle that will only work properly under an account with admin rights (web cams and scanners particularly come to mind). 2. Any driver and/or associated software bundle that operates on the old AOL model (I OWN the computer; you just paid for it). Web cams, again! 3. Video cards from third party vendors with ATI chip sets because the drivers on the ATI web site won't install (not "real" ATI video cards). (Note: this may have changed since I got burned some time ago, but I still don't buy non-ATI branded video cards that have ATI chip sets). 4. Video cards/chips in PCs that claim to be ATI XYZ or nVidea ABC but actually have been altered by the PC's OEM so they're different. Someone's already dinged Dell for this practice, but I bet it's not the only one.

technomad
technomad

The only real driver issue I ran into was the ACPI chipset utility (ATK0110) for a P5Q motherboard on Vista Ultimate. It would not install through the motherboard setup disk, and wouldn't install when pointed to the folder path where the drivers were stored. In the end I needed to review log files to determine which *.ini was trying to be installed, and point directly to the ini file. This problem reoccurred with Win7.

fishcad
fishcad

I installed a Dynex internal card reader which appears to only be good at freezing the machine. Dynex tech support is non-existent.

joelschuster
joelschuster

iPod driver... on three different computers, when the iPod is plugged in on bootup winlogon.exe crashes to bluescreen. Unplug iPod, everything works great.

nitram9857
nitram9857

Asus HDMI drivers for XP Nvidea, blue screens if installed

MikeGall
MikeGall

Had a computer, didn't know what it had for a card. Opened it up, had an Ati Ultra Rage. Okay get drivers, driver installation runs but when I go in device manager and try to select the driver it tells me it is the wrong one. Hours and hours, finally I call up Dell. Dell number on the machine is for US service even though the machine was shipped by the vendor to where I was (Canada). I tell them nope I'm in Canada and get transferred. Finally get someone from "Canada" (well wherever the Canada department happens to be, maybe the guy next to the first guy for all I know). Guy asks for serial number, after a pause asks me to repeat it. Asks me if the computer was imported from some african country, can't remember which one. Anyways, somehow the system got the wrong serial number printed on it, it definitely was a US machine (was part of a medical device show went through all the FDA sourcing rigamaroll). Turns out I needed to download the ATI Ultra Rage from Dell directly because for some reason their version of the card is different then the standard, even though there wasn't any Dell labeling on the card or anything to make me think that the normal drivers wouldn't work. Boo.

Betageek52
Betageek52

Just for giggles, what's a newtork adapter?

Brian Bevan
Brian Bevan

Nvidia accelarator caused the disaster blue screen and no help from nvidia. They did not even reply to the email. Result I binned it through all our Nividia products on the scrap after smasing everyone. Removed them from our shelves and will not purchase for our chain. None of their products are used as a result. Also as an international consultant we never reccomend their products, they are not mentioned in any of our listings.

.Martin.
.Martin.

as can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/nlzs7r I think it is due to my TV tuner card... wouldn't bet my life on it though. not being able to use a USB drive is annoying...

Slayer_
Slayer_

All my oldest stuff, has Windows provided drivers that get the job done, and otherwise, there is updates. I've looked, my Xpert@play 4mb from 1997, has an XP version of the driver lol. I could theoretically use it in an XP machine. My old ISA sound card though is hopeless, only Windows 98 drivers, SB16 AWE64, best sounding sound card ever, to never be used again :(. My old cannon BJC 4300, still has drivers, I think now for Vista as well, heck they still make Ink for it, and its dirt cheap, like 10 bucks each. 10 for black, 12 for colour. And it's good for roughly 100 text documents. That's my oldest hardware, that and this Yundai 1997 monitor I have attached to my system now serving as my secondary monitor, its fully recognized and works perfectly with beautiful colour and sharpness.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

The firmware in the device card is never seen and neither is the BIOS.All of the problems with computers can be traced to virus in the chips then the chips are locked up.This is terrorism right at the core of invention.

gavinhughes86
gavinhughes86

My Dell m1330 laptop that came prepackaged with vista couldn't and still doesn't support the a2dp bluetooth function in vista, It worked in XP no problems.

mmorgan
mmorgan

Dell Perc 320 SCSI drivers on Dell Precision 450. Vista doesn't recognize the drives and I cannot find any drivers to install if I chose F6 at start

Lazarus439
Lazarus439

I've had better luck with ATI drivers if I bought an ATI-manufactured card (as distinct from a third party maker using ATI chips). However, the fact that ATI requires you to uninstall the entire ATI package before unpgrading is a major time killer and annoyance.

MikeGall
MikeGall

It's the device that replaced the tork adaptor.

rogerfaucher
rogerfaucher

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. ;-)