I hate using HP's driver sites.

By 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?

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All Answers

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Dogged, bull-headed determination

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to I hate using HP's driver ...

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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Request for Clarification

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Dogged, bull-headed deter ...

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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Pally I always

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to I hate using HP's driver ...

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.


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Request for Clarification

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Pally I always

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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Request for Clarification

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Pally I always

Well deforming the actual hardware is the easy bit

I just use Belarc Adviser

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

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


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Looks like HP's search went bad.

by seanferd In reply to I hate using HP's driver ...

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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Request for Clarification

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Looks like HP's search we ...

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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the search features on the support site are broken . . .

by Who Am I Really In reply to I hate using HP's driver ...

ie. searching my Presario 6330CA only works from one search box
on the page here

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

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According to HP tech support,

by CharlieSpencer In reply to I hate using HP's driver ...

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.

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

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Request for Clarification

by CharlieSpencer In reply to According to HP tech supp ...

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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