• Working with the Intel Driver & Support Assistant

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    ISSUE 20.25 • 2023-06-19 WINDOWS By Ed Tittel Intel’s share of the x86 processor market at the end of 2022 came out at nearly a two-to-one ratio for I
    [See the full post at: Working with the Intel Driver & Support Assistant]

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    • #2567171

      It’s a good product that sits quietly until you need it or it alerts you to an updated driver.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2567192

      I got spooked by the warning about the graphics driver and did not install it. It didn’t offer any other drivers. The next morning when I started my machine up again, DSA popped up a message about the graphics driver, which I found annoying, so I uninstalled the whole thing.

      I use Dells’ SupportAssist application to keep my drivers up to date, so I don’t need DSA. I’ve never had a problem with my Latitude 7390.

      • #2567577

        On my Dell machines over the years — right now, we have a Dell 7080 Micro at the house — I also prefer the Dell Support Assistant to the Intel DSA. It doesn’t seem to pile up the duplicate driver copies to which DSA is prone. But it does the job reasonably well even on Lenovo PCs and laptops where their various Vantage versions do a good job of keeping up with vendor drivers and related updates.

        Thanks for your comments.

        –Ed–

    • #2567193

      I’ve been using it for a number of years, and I’ve never had a moments trouble with it.  I install every driver it presents to me.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2567194

      FWIW, I still have a few gen 2 to gen 4 i5 laptops serving various functions including my current travel laptop, so would have appreciated any suggestions going forward with the older graphics drivers. To-date, I’ve ignored graphics updates, but maybe I’m missing out on improvements.

      • #2567210

        FWIW, I still have a few gen 2 to gen 4 i5 laptops serving various functions including my current travel laptop, so would have appreciated any suggestions going forward with the older graphics drivers.

        I have a ten year old Core i5-4670 in my NAS.  I also keep drive images that are never more than a week old.  Before a driver update I will usually create a fresh drive image of my OS partition, but I’ve never had to use it.

        Then again, it’s a DIY and has no OEM tweaks with which to fiddle.  Even at that, a fresh drive image will allow recovery in the event something goes south on you, no matter the OEM.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

        • #2567230

          I don’t bother with images for everything since the old laptops aren’t really running anything critical. They are generally just test machines running some open source apps – not really worth imaging, but also not worth the time and hassle to rollback a video driver.  Only image I consider important is my primary desktop which is a gen 10 diy so no updating worries.  Even my travel laptop has only a handful of software and I just copy over the files I need, as I need, and if I miss anything, I can access them from my NAS.

        • #2567790

          Dear ChemE75:

          I couldn’t agree more with the strategy of keeping a fresh image handy. I actually image my boot/system and primary data drives at 9AM every morning. That way, if I have to roll back I never lose more than a day’s work, worst case. In the slightly better — and more usual — case, I will shoot an image of my “munged system” using Macrium Reflect before I restore the good morning image in its place. That way, I can mount that image as a virtual drive and grab anything newer from it that I might need (as long as I know how to find it, that is).

          Thanks for your comments.

          –Ed–

      • #2567580

        On my Dell machines over the years — right now, we have a Dell 7080 Micro at the house — I also prefer the Dell Support Assistant to the Intel DSA. It doesn’t seem to pile up the duplicate driver copies to which DSA is prone. But it does the job reasonably well even on Lenovo PCs and laptops where their various Vantage versions do a good job of keeping up with vendor drivers and related updates.

        As far as older Intel CPUs go (that is, 6th generation or older) if the vendor or GPU maker has posted a customized driver, you’ll have to choose to stick with those customizations or switch to a more generic (but probably also more current) driver from Intel. Best way to figure out what’s what is to make an image backup before updating the driver, then updating and see how things work. If you like the change, keep moving forward. If you don’t, restore the image backup and stay away from the Intel updates. My $0.02 on this topic, which I hope is helpful.

         

        Thanks for your comments.

        –Ed–

    • #2567183

      Intel Driver and Support assistant is annoying. Install it, run it, delete it. Or better yet, try Snappy Driver Installer. Wow! It updates all the drivers at one time.
      https://sdi-tool.org/
      Your Welcome!.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2567187

        I should mention, the DriverStore Explorer is very helpful. Thanks.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2567223

        I strongly discourage third party driver updating software.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2567236

          I agree with you 100%. Generally I would not recommend get a driver from any place other than the hardware vendor. However, I urge AskWoody to look at it. So far I have been very impressed. I have an XPS7590 and a couple AMD laptops running windows 10 and 11 with no issues and very impressive results. I did have one issue with a HID driver (mouse), rolled it back and no more issues.

          Generally I install Windows, update the drivers with SDI and then uninstall it.

          Thanks

    • #2567262

      Am I correct in assuming that the ID&SA does not modify anything in the BIOS? In other words, if I clone my hdd before running, and something goes wrong, I can rely 100% on the clone for backup?

      • #2567581

        AFAIK, Intel DSA does nothing to BIOS/UEFI. If it installs a firmware upgrade for some device, you’ll be asked to approve that upgrade before it proceeds. In general, I’ve observed that DSA is pretty respectful of existing installations and seeks to avoid changing things outside the scope of the devices and their drivers, per se.

        HTH, and thanks for your comment.

        –Ed–

    • #2567271

      Intel Driver and Support assistant is annoying

      I never found Intel Driver and Support assistant to be annoying.
      It runs in the background with notifications for new drivers.
      Just a couple of day ago I got a new GPU driver for Intel 7th-10th gen CPUs

      Intel® Graphics Driver 31.0.101.2125 for 7th-10th Gen Intel® Core™ Processor Graphics, and related Intel Atom®, Pentium®, and Celeron® processors.

      https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/776137/intel-7th-10th-gen-processor-graphics-windows.html

      Never use 3rd party drivers updaters or Windows update.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2567362

      … The next morning when I started my machine up again, DSA popped up a message about the graphics driver, which I found annoying, so I uninstalled the whole thing..I use Dells’ SupportAssist application to keep my drivers up to date.

      As I general rule I also only install the the drivers recommended on the Dell support page for my Dell laptop, so these pop-up messages from Intel Driver & Support Assistant (DSA) used to annoy me as well.

      I have an 8th gen Intel processor so my Intel UHD Grahics 620 GPU is considered a “legacy” product and only gets driver updates about four times a year or as needed per the 27-Jul-2022 Intel support article Graphics Driver Support Update for 10th Generation and Older Intel Processor Graphics. For this reason I only want to run the Intel DSA app about once a month or so, and as far as I know there’s no way simple way to configure it so that it doesn’t start automatically at boot-up and run in the background checking for updates every day.

      As a workaround I normally have both services for Intel Driver & Support Assistant (DSAService; default Startup Type = Automatic) and Intel Driver & SupportAssistant Updater (DSAUpdaterService; default Startup Type = Manual) DISABLED as shown below so the app doesn’t launch at boot-up. Whenever I want to run the Intel DSA app I change the Startup Type of both services to MANUAL (or back to their defaults), manually start the services, and then launch the app from my Start button program menu. When I’m finished with the update check I close my browser, manually stop the services, and set the Startup Type back to DISABLED until the next time I want to launch the Intel DSA.

      Win-10-Pro-v22H2-In‌tel-DSA-Services-Disabled-19-Jun-2023
      ————-
      Dell Inspiron 5584 * 64-bit Win 10 Pro v22H2 build 19045.3086 * Firefox v114.0.1 * Microsoft Defender v4.18.23050.5-1.1.23050.3 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.5.31.270-1.0.2047 * Dell Update for Windows Universal v4.9.0 * Intel i5-8265U CPU * Intel UHD Graphics 620 * Intel Driver & SupportAssistant v23.2.17.8

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2567582

        Great suggestion for “tailored use” of DSA to meet your specific circumstances. The best way to get Windows and its apps to work the way you want them to is to script or otherwise automate such behaviors. Thus you could use something like AutoHotKey to schedule your settings changes and run DSA weeky, bi-weekly or monthly as you see fit. Again: great suggestion.

        Thanks for your comments and insights.

        –Ed–

    • #2567594

      Even though I installed Intel DSA, I have been avoiding use of it with my Lenovo Thinkpad P1 Gen5.

      One reason has been that warning about overwriting OEM graphics driver customizations.  I spent quite awhile tweaking the graphics (in my case meaning simply color parameters, contrast etc) to get them exactly how I want them.  Yes, I’ve saved the settings as a preset, and you described how that warning applies only to older machines.  But despite all that, I have to wonder why —  if there were any significant enhancements present or worthwhile in the new graphics drivers —  Lenovo wouldn’t routinely offer parallel driver updates for Intel graphics (or any other hardware) in its own update programs like Vantage or System Update.  Instead, such offerings are less frequent than Intel DSA’s.

      Further, with WiFi working just fine, is there really any reason to update networking drivers if no security issue is involved?  Again, wouldn’t any significant enhancements be offered in Lenovo’s own update utilities, especially while the machine is still a reasonably recent model?

      EDIT:  Corrections

      • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by rick41. Reason: Corrections
    • #2567631

      First, thank you for the tip about DriverStore Explorer.  It did remove a few old drivers from my main system.

      Second, I have never used Intel DSA.  Most of the systems I set up are either Dell or Lenovo.  Both have their own software one can use to get the latest greatest hardware drivers and the firmware updates for the BIOS and the Intel Management Engine.

      When I have to do work on another brand of computer, getting the latest drivers can be dicey, so Intel DSA could prove useful for systems with an Intel CPU, of course.  And then there are AMD CPUs and their supporting chipsets and built-in graphics.

      When I set up a system, not a brand name, but one with a quality motherboard like Asus or Gigabyte, the web site of the motherboard manufacturer has all the drivers needed for the board.  Likewise, manufacturers of graphics, audio, touchpad, wifi and SD card readers generally have drivers available.

      Next, sometimes I have to go speelunking on the internet for older drivers, often out of necessity, downloading and installing drivers from neither the Intel web site nor from the web site of the brand name computer.  Why?  Because the web site of the brand name no longer has the drivers available.

      I am certain that for at least 10 years, I have not encountered a hardware driver customized by the computer brand name tech wizards.  Driver customization typically involves putting a Dell or Lenovo or other wrapper around a standard software  driver.  Why?  Because there is absolutely nothing to be gained from a customization of any code or data used when the driver is installed and running, but something to lose because support of the driver becomes a millstone for the company if there ever is a software bug.  I am curious to see an example of a driver customized in its execution by the brand name manufacturer.

      Compaq found out about hardware and driver customization back in 80486 days, deploying a standard audio chip customized to use different ports than the standard ones. No fun for Compaq, and none for people who had to set up Compaq systems from scratch.

      Driver installs are very frequent events around here.

       

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2567648

      Hey Y’all,

      After creating a Restore Point I gave the program a shot.
      Intel-DriverSupportAssistant

      Looked innocuous enough since I don’t use either Wi-Fi or BlueTooth on this computer.
      So I hit Install All!

      Seemed to go smoothly enough until the end where it said the Wi-Fi driver encountered a problem. However, when I refreshed the web page it said both drivers were successfully installed and I was up-to-date.

      I ran my computer info program and the Drivers section shows that both drivers had the updated versions installed. Curious!

      Driver Description                                                Number
      -------------------                                               -------------
      Alcor Micro USB 2.0 Card Reader                                   2.0.150.10135
      ...
      Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165                                19.51.46.1
      Intel(R) Dynamic Application Loader Host Interface                1.41.2021.121
      Intel(R) HD Graphics 630                                          27.20.100.8854
      Intel(R) iCLS Client                                              1.63.1155.1
      Intel(R) Management and Security Application Local Management     2130.1.16.1
      ...
      Intel(R) Wireless Bluetooth(R)                                    20.100.10.11
      Intel(R) Xeon(R) E3 - 1200 v6/7th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) Host      10.1.1.38
      ...
      

      After rebooting I kept getting a flashing window, so I went into Process Explorer –> Startup and disabled DSA and rebooted, no more flashing window!

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2567689

      Dell or Lenovo.  Both have their own software one can use to get the latest greatest hardware drivers and the firmware updates for the BIOS and the Intel Management Engine.

      I use Lenovo laptops for the last 12 years. Never used their software for updating drivers. Use help site only for BIOS.
      Lenovo doesn’t support PCs with drivers beyond 3 years and I always preferred original OEM drivers over some PC manufacturer hacked drivers.

    • #2567769
    • #2567794

      Thoughts on driver update tools/services:

      As a long-time member of TenForums.com and ElevenForum.com I’ve seen the debate about whether or not to use driver update tools and services rage both pro and con. I do use them myself (primarily the free Snappy tool) but I do understand that lots of Windows users prefer to rely solely on vendor/maker sites for drivers and not much else (some even balk at getting WHQL drivers from Microsoft). This is an area where individual attitudes and practices differ. I may be more cavalier than some because of my daily backup regimen. I know I can always get back to a working installation, so I’m not inclined to fret about backing myself out of driver difficulties. Others may (and often are) more particular about such things. FWIW, I’ve had good luck with the paid-for version of Iobit’s Driver Booster as well as Snappy (in previous Windows eras, I’ve also had good results from DriverAgent).

      Please share your thoughts and concerns in this area, as it touches at least tangentially on Intel DSA among many other things.

      Thanks,

      –Ed–

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2567852

        Would appreciate your response re my concern about installing Intel DSA updates that are never released in a parallel Lenovo version.  In my case I’m talking about a 1-year-old model, and the concern is particularly re graphics.

        • #2568009

          Sorry, I somehow missed your original query. If the PC is 11th Gen or newer, you should be able to install the Intel GPU updates alongside OEM customizations without issues. You’ll probably do so in the context of the Intel ARC Control (see this Intel Support page for more information: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000089899/graphics/intel-arc-dedicated-graphics-family.html). I hope this answers your question. If you’d like to follow-up, please reply here.

          Thanks,

          –Ed–

           

          PS: FWIW, I’m doing this right now on my 8th, 11th and 12th generation Lenovo laptops right now so I can speak from repeated recent experience that this appears to work without affecting graphics performance, capability, or reliability. That’s from a sample size of 6 or so.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2567937

      Would appreciate your response re my concern about installing Intel DSA updates that are never released in a parallel Lenovo version.

      I did it for years. I don’t trust Lenovo hacking OEM drivers.

      You can wait for years with Lenovo (Dell, HP..) to get the new wi-fi & bt drivers.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2568152

      Or better yet, try Snappy Driver Installer. Wow! It updates all the drivers at one time.

      I’ve used SDI for years w/o creating any problems that I am aware of.  The UI is screwy, so you have to be careful as to what you allowing to be installed.  There is plenty of opportunity to make the wrong choices.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
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