When I rebuilt my production PC at the beginning of November, I came face-to-face with a new incarnation of Intel’s Driver Update Utility aka DUU. Now out in version 2.0, the tool no longer depends on ActiveX running inside a Web browser (based on software from a company charmingly named “Husdawg”) to do its thing. Now there’s a full fledged Windows executable to handle the tasks involved in checking Intel drivers on a target PC. And given the scope of devices that Intel provides for most modern PCs nowadays — namely, processors, chipsets, USB controllers, display and audio controllers, and a whole lot more — there’s a lot for this utility to do when it’s run on a typical host.
Sure, the DUU still scans for and grabs drivers, but it now runs standalone and offers all kinds of other info, too.
In addition to scanning your PC and checking the drivers it finds installed, comparing those to the ones it knows about on the Intel site and that are judged to be compatible with your hardware, and providing links to new drivers available for download — a process the program calls “Auto detect and recommend drivers” — the new DUU also offers:
- Links to “the latest intel driver news and updates:” a page in the Intel download center with links to a user survey input form for the newly-rebuilt tool, plus links to versions 1 and 2 of this tool.
- Tracking of your downloads and installs using the tool, along with your download history, and a variety of program settings you can control, including the ability to target some other directory to receive file downloads, besides the default Downloads directory associated with the current logged-in account.
- Easy access to the Intel download center to search for drivers manually.
- Access to online help files, primarily through a series of FAQs on the Intel website.
Admins in charge of maintaining standard system images who have to keep drivers up-to-date will find this tool both useful and informative. But because Intel categorically refuses to recommend their latest driver versions until they’ve been tested and vetted with specific hardware configurations (including yours, perhaps?) this utility is not the be-all or end-all for obtaining and applying Intel driver updates.
In fact, it’s also good to note that the French website Station Drivers tracks the latest Intel drivers carefully and closely (and those of many other vendors besides) and is thus a great alternate source for the most current drivers available for Windows PCs, both WHQL and experimental or beta. Where they get this stuff and how they come up with it is a mystery, but it’s been a treasure trove for the latest drivers for me for years, and should also be on your favorites or bookmarks for those times when you know a new driver fixes some problem you’ve got, but you just can’t find the darned thing. Station Drivers may not always have what you’re seeking, but many times, it will!