Questions

I hate using HP's driver sites.

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1 Votes
Locked

I hate using HP's driver sites.

CharlieSpencer
I can never find what I need.

I wish HP had something similar to Dells service tag. That method retrieves the only the drivers for your exact system. HP lists drivers for every freaking option and model of component and makes you try to determine which ones you need for your system.

(Don't even get me started on this EliteBook 8440p that came with W7 pre-installed but only a driver disk for XP.)

Anybody got any hints or tips for navigating HP's less than friendly driver pages?
  • +
    2 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    is the only thing that's ever worked for me. And even then, not always. I did try tearing my hair out once, and howling like a werewolf, but my monitor just stared at me like I was some kind of weirdo. How'd it know? :0

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    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    Yeah, I was afraid of that. That's been my approach; pull them down one at a time, try it, fail, roll it back, lather, rinse, repeat. There's got to be a better way. I've called HP tech support before and sometimes even they can't tell me what to download to fix a Device Manager entry.

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    2 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Make a list of the hardware that I have before looking for Drivers particularly when I have to go anywhere near HP Web Pages.

    I just find that it's easier if you know what you are looking for. But with 7 there are very few drivers that you need by default if that helps any.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    The problem is determining exactly what hardware is in there. When Device Manager says 'Network Controller', which of the three listed network controllers is the one I need? What about Device Manager entries that have no apparent counterpart in on the drivers page? (I'm looking at you, 'PCI Commo Controller' and 'PCI Serial Port'.) What about those DM entries that just say 'Unknown Device'?

    At least with Dell I knew if I pulled down everything that I wouldn't be getting drivers that would conflict or didn't fit my system, even if doing so obtained drivers I already had.

    W7 on this 8440p came up with eight 'yellow question marks' in DM, including the NIC (of course).

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    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Well deforming the actual hardware is the easy bit

    I just use Belarc Adviser

    http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

    If you don't have a fully installed OS running then the Unknown Device Identifier works a treat

    http://www.zhangduo.com/udi.html

    Though I was having a Major Senior Moment and couldn't think of Belarc just Belkin.

    Col

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    1 Votes
    seanferd

    I hadn't had so many issues in the past with HP, but the support site has definitely degraded over the last ten years. Now, if I search "pavilion 6681", it advises me to narrow the search and use a model number in the exact format I did use. (Possibly this item is so out of date that it is a problem, but the situation is not unique to legacy systems, as we know.)

    And when I force the page to show matching results anyway, none of the "matches" are remotely relevant. So, I think search is just broken. Perhaps a full part number would be better, but perhaps not.

    Tag method would be much better indeed, but didn't HP have that or similar at one time? I'd swear they had.

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    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    HP search has never been worth squat. Specifying the model number sometimes works, but I've seen HP desktops that don't have a model number. There's a cryptic string of characters on a label next to the MS license key, but putting that string in the search box has NEVER worked.

    it's the same complaint I have with Blackberry - there's frequently no way to identify the model without opening the case (if then).

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    1 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    ie. searching my Presario 6330CA only works from one search box
    on the page here
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/siteHome?lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en

    if I type Presario 6330CA into any other search box on the site I get
    "Product not found" error messages

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    2 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    the solution is to look in the non-functioning device's Properties, get the Device ID, GOOGLE IT!!!!!, find the manufacturer, go back to HP's site, and HOPE there's only one device with that manufacturer's name listed on the driver download page. When I specifically asked, he did not know a way with just Device Manager and the HP web site to determine what drivers are needed; some sort of third party help is required. That strikes me as a poor way to run a support web site; at least put the hardware ID string somewhere in the description on the driver download page. I didn't bother asking how you tell what driver to use when there are multiple 'Unknown Devices' from the same manufacturer.

    To give the tech credit, after we went through that routine for the network card, he pointed me to a web site that's supposed to check the system and identify the missing drivers. In theory I can either install them or download them; I want them downloaded so I can put them in MS SCCM OSD, or apply them to drive images installed on systems that don't match the image's original hardware.

    http://www.hp.com/go/ispe

    Although I haven't tried it yet. Let me get the NIC drivers on and I'll report back.

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    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    Well, that web site was pretty pointless. It identified updated drivers for those devices that already had drivers. There was a second list of devices having problems that was identical to Device Manager's list. Clicking the 'More Information' link resulted in the enlightening information that these devices ... didn't have drivers. Well, no $#!+, Sherlock. It didn't offer to download them or provide any additional guidance as to where to get them.

    I may give the site another try in the future with a different model, but I'm not optimistic.

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Good grief.

    That is quite pathetic. Best I can suggest for hardware ID is to try the Unknown Device Identifier that Col mentions. It IDs hardware by polling, it doesn't rely on the registry.

    And you are likely right that HP support has always sucked. The more I think about it, the more I remember it being a problem.

    My favorite: No references at all at the site for system failure messages from BIOS or the HP Diagnostic that lives in BIOS. Ran into that looking at a laptop not two weeks out of the box.

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    0 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    "Look at device ID"

    ? how does that work when all you have is the UnKnown Device Yellow BANG !

    if I have the Device ID, I'd have the drive installed as well

    the integrated Intel NIC on my Presario 6330CA doesn't show a device ID until the correct Intel provided driver is installed

    I say Intel provided, because they're not on the HP site
    though it was HP who got me the driver after about 4 support emails

    hope you get it working
    Cheers

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    2 Votes
    NexS

    I don't know... perhaps they just don't care what their customers say in feedback, or maybe they only read replies from idiots...
    Either way, they've got the worst support site I've come across for such a major company.

    There are pages under their www[$].hp.com umbrella that either can't be navigated to or are so meticulously hidden that it's pointless trying to find it using any other means but google.

    So my only advice is google it and take an educated guess at the correct hit.

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    0 Votes
    JCitizen

    that never finds a new update, and when it does, it continually downloads the same one even if you installed it; of course most of the time, they don't take hold anyway; so no wonder!

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    0 Votes
    JCitizen

    most of the time for me. It will invariably point back to a bulletin in HP's site; but OH! WELL

    At least it is faster than frigging around navigating HP's site!

  • +
    2 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    is the only thing that's ever worked for me. And even then, not always. I did try tearing my hair out once, and howling like a werewolf, but my monitor just stared at me like I was some kind of weirdo. How'd it know? :0

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    Yeah, I was afraid of that. That's been my approach; pull them down one at a time, try it, fail, roll it back, lather, rinse, repeat. There's got to be a better way. I've called HP tech support before and sometimes even they can't tell me what to download to fix a Device Manager entry.

    +
    2 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Make a list of the hardware that I have before looking for Drivers particularly when I have to go anywhere near HP Web Pages.

    I just find that it's easier if you know what you are looking for. But with 7 there are very few drivers that you need by default if that helps any.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    The problem is determining exactly what hardware is in there. When Device Manager says 'Network Controller', which of the three listed network controllers is the one I need? What about Device Manager entries that have no apparent counterpart in on the drivers page? (I'm looking at you, 'PCI Commo Controller' and 'PCI Serial Port'.) What about those DM entries that just say 'Unknown Device'?

    At least with Dell I knew if I pulled down everything that I wouldn't be getting drivers that would conflict or didn't fit my system, even if doing so obtained drivers I already had.

    W7 on this 8440p came up with eight 'yellow question marks' in DM, including the NIC (of course).

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Well deforming the actual hardware is the easy bit

    I just use Belarc Adviser

    http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

    If you don't have a fully installed OS running then the Unknown Device Identifier works a treat

    http://www.zhangduo.com/udi.html

    Though I was having a Major Senior Moment and couldn't think of Belarc just Belkin.

    Col

    +
    1 Votes
    seanferd

    I hadn't had so many issues in the past with HP, but the support site has definitely degraded over the last ten years. Now, if I search "pavilion 6681", it advises me to narrow the search and use a model number in the exact format I did use. (Possibly this item is so out of date that it is a problem, but the situation is not unique to legacy systems, as we know.)

    And when I force the page to show matching results anyway, none of the "matches" are remotely relevant. So, I think search is just broken. Perhaps a full part number would be better, but perhaps not.

    Tag method would be much better indeed, but didn't HP have that or similar at one time? I'd swear they had.

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    HP search has never been worth squat. Specifying the model number sometimes works, but I've seen HP desktops that don't have a model number. There's a cryptic string of characters on a label next to the MS license key, but putting that string in the search box has NEVER worked.

    it's the same complaint I have with Blackberry - there's frequently no way to identify the model without opening the case (if then).

    +
    1 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    ie. searching my Presario 6330CA only works from one search box
    on the page here
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/siteHome?lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en

    if I type Presario 6330CA into any other search box on the site I get
    "Product not found" error messages

    +
    2 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    the solution is to look in the non-functioning device's Properties, get the Device ID, GOOGLE IT!!!!!, find the manufacturer, go back to HP's site, and HOPE there's only one device with that manufacturer's name listed on the driver download page. When I specifically asked, he did not know a way with just Device Manager and the HP web site to determine what drivers are needed; some sort of third party help is required. That strikes me as a poor way to run a support web site; at least put the hardware ID string somewhere in the description on the driver download page. I didn't bother asking how you tell what driver to use when there are multiple 'Unknown Devices' from the same manufacturer.

    To give the tech credit, after we went through that routine for the network card, he pointed me to a web site that's supposed to check the system and identify the missing drivers. In theory I can either install them or download them; I want them downloaded so I can put them in MS SCCM OSD, or apply them to drive images installed on systems that don't match the image's original hardware.

    http://www.hp.com/go/ispe

    Although I haven't tried it yet. Let me get the NIC drivers on and I'll report back.

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    Well, that web site was pretty pointless. It identified updated drivers for those devices that already had drivers. There was a second list of devices having problems that was identical to Device Manager's list. Clicking the 'More Information' link resulted in the enlightening information that these devices ... didn't have drivers. Well, no $#!+, Sherlock. It didn't offer to download them or provide any additional guidance as to where to get them.

    I may give the site another try in the future with a different model, but I'm not optimistic.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Good grief.

    That is quite pathetic. Best I can suggest for hardware ID is to try the Unknown Device Identifier that Col mentions. It IDs hardware by polling, it doesn't rely on the registry.

    And you are likely right that HP support has always sucked. The more I think about it, the more I remember it being a problem.

    My favorite: No references at all at the site for system failure messages from BIOS or the HP Diagnostic that lives in BIOS. Ran into that looking at a laptop not two weeks out of the box.

    +
    0 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    "Look at device ID"

    ? how does that work when all you have is the UnKnown Device Yellow BANG !

    if I have the Device ID, I'd have the drive installed as well

    the integrated Intel NIC on my Presario 6330CA doesn't show a device ID until the correct Intel provided driver is installed

    I say Intel provided, because they're not on the HP site
    though it was HP who got me the driver after about 4 support emails

    hope you get it working
    Cheers

    +
    2 Votes
    NexS

    I don't know... perhaps they just don't care what their customers say in feedback, or maybe they only read replies from idiots...
    Either way, they've got the worst support site I've come across for such a major company.

    There are pages under their www[$].hp.com umbrella that either can't be navigated to or are so meticulously hidden that it's pointless trying to find it using any other means but google.

    So my only advice is google it and take an educated guess at the correct hit.

    +
    0 Votes
    JCitizen

    that never finds a new update, and when it does, it continually downloads the same one even if you installed it; of course most of the time, they don't take hold anyway; so no wonder!

    +
    0 Votes
    JCitizen

    most of the time for me. It will invariably point back to a bulletin in HP's site; but OH! WELL

    At least it is faster than frigging around navigating HP's site!