DriverPack Solution: install and update drivers in one click

If you’ve every had to reinstall Windows on a computer, you know what a hassle it can be to find and update all of your PC’s drivers.

And while Windows might install some generic drivers that may work with some of the devices on your machines, you will invariably need to check your drivers and update them, which in most cases means that you will have to do a lot of researching, downloading, and installing of individual drivers. Wouldn’t it be great of there was a tool that can install and update all of the drivers for you, in a single click?

That, is a nutshell, is what this free software does, and it does it extremely well. DriverPack Solution works with both 32 bit and 64 bit windows and automatically installs all the drivers in one step.

Unlike other programs, however, it does not save your drivers first or download them one by one, but rather refers to a driver database that is actually stored on the DVD ROM, so you don’t even have to be connected to the internet.

I tested this on a new Windows install, where I was moving from 32bit Windows to a 64bit install, here’s a quick summary:

  • The download was a whopping 2.96 gigs: which is understandable since it contains the entire database of drivers locally. It’s a torrent download.
  • Running Driverpack: I did not have a DVD handy so I ran it from a USB, which worked fine.
  • Scanning: is superfast. It will produce a list of drivers and driver updates in around a minute, or less.
  • Driver updates: clicking on “expert mode” will display all drivers that can be updated. You can inspect these individually, install individual drivers manually if you like, and click to search the web for information related to them.
  • Other programs: DriverPack can install a handful of other free programs, such as 7-Zip and Foxit Reader, on your PC. Some of these however are odd choices (WinDJview? Punto Switcher?). My advice: go to my Freeware Top 30 for all of your software needs!

PROS and CONS:

PROS:

  • One-stop solution: no messing with disks and downloads
  • No internet connection required: the drivers database is local.

CONS:

  • Support forums are in Russian: sadly.
  • A huge download: at 2.96 gigs. But such is nature of this beast. Downloading this every couple of months
  • You can never be %100 sure that you have the latest drives: only that you have the latest drivers that were added to the latest release of DriverPack solutions. This matters less than it first seems, though, since you will at least be able to get your PC up and running, and updates after that can be taken care of by other means.

Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

The verdict: this software is impressive, in that it just works. It is preferable to other similar free software previously mentioned (such as SlimDrivers and DriverIdentifier) in that it can work in settings where you do not have access to the internet (or where the internet is there but your PC for whatever reason is unable to connect).

But I will defer to the opinion of one of my readers, who tipped me off about this program and works at a PC technical support outfit: [DriverPack Solution finds] 90-95% of the drivers, but [it] is the only one I’m aware of that carries the drivers on the disk and does not need internet access to use. And the fact this program has a one-step all-driver installation makes it better than anything else we’ve used, paid or free. We use it on a daily basis and have not run into any problems.”

If you are the type that likes to have all their drivers 100% up to date, however, you should use DriverPack as a first step, and realize that you will need to look elsewhere (most likely on your PC brand make’s website) to verify that there aren’t other updates out there that you need.

But if you are going to use this, please bear the following guidelines in mind:

  1. I do  not recommend you use this software just to update your drivers “for the hell of it”. If you want to update drivers, make sure you have a reason to do so, and go to your PC maker’s site to look for these.
  2. Make sure to uncheck all items in the “Programs” tab. Only install the drivers; do not install the programs, especially anything mail.ru related.
  3. If you are going to use it, backup your drivers first (use DriverBackup).
  4. If the software recommends going online for driver update, and pages open that are in Russian or in a language you do not understand, do not proceed. Only proceed if you understand what it going on.
  5. Bear in mind that this software might not install all drivers that your PC needs.
  6. There is also a chance that some devices might be accidentally disabled. This can happen.

[Thanks go to reader Mark O. (quoted above) for letting me know about this program]

Version Tested: 11 (build 2011/7/01, R230).

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7; 32 bit and 64 bit.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 2.96 gigs). The main download button uses torrent2exe, which bundles a torrent with a torrent client, but you can use links to the torrent itself if you already have a client installed.


 
 
 
Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
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  • jasray

    Definitely a great find and am thankful for the share. I haven’t tried it yet, but I trust it already works. The one problem I encounter when popping around fixing computers are those users who don’t have re-install disks and the computer is blue and black. A Linux distro can help find a support page with a network or wireless driver; the DriverPack–may be easier. (Watch how many of the common tech blogs pick this up in a few hours).

  • jasray

    Here’s how it went for me:
    I went ahead and made a system restore point AND a system image of Windows 7.
    1. The torrent2exe worked fine and allowed me to easily delete the program after the download.
    2. Unpacking and moving to a 4GB USB had one snag: Trojan Horse Dropper.Generic3.BACU. I simply moved it to vault.
    3. The program scanned my system from USB and found around 40 drivers; going into expert mode revealed that most were non-essential updates, but nice to have. A window hovers over each driver and shows the version installed and the version available–nice feature.
    4. I practiced a few installs first by checking off one or two drivers; I never did click “Select All.”
    5. The program shows a window that indicates a reboot is necessary for complete installation.
    6. Reboot–longer than normal and finally made it to the desktop which was totally unresponsive–fear and panic. Clicks, keys–nothing. Press power button–off.
    7. The second re-boot gave me the blue circle showing something was happening; my guess, drivers were being installed. Wait–wait–wait. Hmmm . . . a second shut down.
    8. The third re-boot, although a bit slow, finally provided me with a responding mouse and Internet connection. Somewhat expected, but I don’t know why–new to the program?
    9. A fourth re-boot–that’s where I am now. Perhaps a bit slower, but good. All programs are opening, no hangs, maybe even some better response from the computer itself–like MS Word now opens like lightening.
    10. I’ve used SlimDrivers which works great; in this case, I installed Driver Identifier. Great results: Every driver Driver Identifier found was marked “good.” I think that means perfect.
    For me, it’s a “yes” utility, but on a main machine which is being used as a “test” machine, it may be a good idea to make some sort of backup first.

  • Mario

    I started to download using their torrent program, but was taking TOO LONG. So I decided to use one of the mirrors and I’m downloading it using utorrent. Now it’s going much better : the time was reduced from a one day download to a 9 hours download.

  • SyntaxError

    Try http://driverpacks.net/

    Same idea, works even better, and the forum is in english. Bashrat the Sneaky (the creator) is famous on MSFN.org for his driver packs. They support Win2K through Win7.

  • Elioz

    Dear Samer – as always – great help ,

    It arrived just as I had to reinstall win 7 on my small notebook (Dell Inspirion mini 1018)
    and it did a tramendous job.
    I’ve put it on a night work download , a day after it had isdtalled 2 drivers and 18 updates
    ( I have done the Wifi driver manually just before ) .

    Of course it would be much easier for all of us to use the image option of W7 just after reinstalling which will cost time , effort and trouble later on .
    Again – Super ! Many Thanks.

    Elioz

  • Samer

    I am glad you guys like this software.
    Recently, I received an email from a user who used DriverPack solution and did not have a good experience.
    I am publishing his email as a comment below, although I did edit it, removing some stuff that was unrelated, in order to make it smaller. I also asterisked out some of the swear words.

    Because of this email, I added a section above called “if you are going to use this, bear the following guidelines in mind”

  • wmaher

    I used DriverMax once and loved it but I don’t own a copy so I’m always on the lookout for an alternative. Your recommendation of DriverPack Solution caught my eye and … [it] sounded like a godsend. It found and installed 26 drivers (mostly Intel related) and suggested I use its Web Search option to find the other 3. As you pointed out, the web processes were in Russian and required ANOTHER 2.6 gig download of DriverPack Solution and the clicking of a series of buttons that could not be translated. Long story short, the 3 missing drivers were found on a “special” page that wanted you to give permission to go around some security settings and that’s when the experience turned sour. The process had downloaded the wrong driver for my touchpad, disabling it, and I needed to use a USB mouse to try to get the machine back to usability. I wanted to uninstall the new drivers to identify the problem but I found about 30 installs, all of which had the DriverPack Solution icon rather than the one belonging to the driver’s manufacturer. Uninstalling was not going to happen so I tried to go online for help and discovered that my browsers (Chrome, Explorer, Slimbrowser) had been hacked and would forward all search attempts to a “mail.ru” address. I’ve had this kind of hijacking, likely a rootkit, happen before and know what kind of hell comes with trying to repair it. The only realistic fix was to lose all the hours I’d spent reinstalling dozens of programs and do a CLEAN REINSTALL OF WINDOWS 7. I took your recommendation of this dangerous and deceptive program and was rudely and unsuspectingly f****d. On the one hand, it’s good that you (apparently) avoided this trap (assuming you aren’t associated with DriverPack Solution and it’s evil Russian makers) but if you are unable or unwilling to completely evaluate incoming software you should slow down until you can. If you’re not too proud you should withdraw your recommendation and issue a more detailed warning to future trusting and soon-to-be-f****d downloaders like me. The program is offered as a way to surreptitiously install several means of exerting control over the user’s computer. And don’ fall back on that “we make no guarantees, download at your own risk” bul***it.

    • Samer

      Mr. Maher,
      First off I thank you for your email as I added precautions to the review above in response that probably made this post better.
      A few notes:
      – I was first tipped off about this software on May 6th. I published my review on Jul 7th, more than 2 months afterwards, because I wanted to thoroughly test it on a PC of my own.
      – My experience with this software was excellent, reflected above in the text. A friend was also similarly impressed, and I even sent the reader who told me about the software emails asking him to share his experience.
      – I am in no way affiliated with this software
      – All I can do here is present my experience to the best of my knowledge. I bring some qualifications to this having published this blog for almost 6 years. My policy is to be as honest as can be; this is what created whatever credibility that I have, and this is why I do not worry much about eroding my credibility.
      – I believe the mail.ru thing is related to the programs tab, not the drivers. I do not recommend people install any programs. Just the drivers. I also think it can be uninstalled easily.
      – I find it a little strange that you went ahead and installed items that were in Russian. I do not recommend that users proceed when they don’t understand the language.
      – I do not know whether or not you were infected with a Rootkit or where it may have come from if indeed it exists at all. Stating that it is”probably a Rootkit” is not worth much in my book. I am, though, 100% certain that my experience with this program was malware free.
      – I am not too proud to take any recommendation down. I have taken postings down before, and will do it again if necessary.
      – Also note that every time I review a program like this, I invariably get a similar email or comment to yours. Something similar happened when I published my Slimdrivers review. This is the nature of programs like these; they are not a panacea.
      – You are right in one respect though: I do not offer any guarantees. You are responsible for what you do with your computer. If I recommend something, you are free to take that recommendation, or not. But I do guarantee that what I say is my honest opinion, and is not skewed by any ulterior motive(s).
      – I still think this is a good program.

  • http://techlogon.com/2011/07/09/updating-any-driver-automatically-using-driver-packs TechLogon

    The maker’s website is rated highly by Web Of Trust which is normally a reassuring sign and the idea to automate the process using a full offline database is good but some of the comments would make me hesitate to try this – I wonder if the torrent file could have been compromised at some point?

    If this software is using driverpacks.net as the source for their drivers it is odd as you can download all their driver packs for a single OS in about 1GB. Presumably this program includes all 3 OS (XP, Vista/7 32bit and Vista/7 64bit) by default but it would be better to be able to specify the OS required and only download the drivers for it specifically to cut down the size of download.

  • wm. maher

    Samer – Thank you for your courtesy in posting my admittedly heated feedback. I apologize for my suspicions and for questioning your motives or professionalism – I was naive in believing that a review on freewaregenius was the equivalent of a seal of approval. I was obviously horrified by finding my touchpad deactivated, the driver updates not undoable (far more installs than the original number of drivers (?)) and the malicious hijacking of my internet search tools. You did offer some caveats about the behavior of the program but the installation of malware (if that’s all it was – it evaded multiple antivirus programs) was a nasty undocumented feature. I also discovered the “necessary” torrent downloader the programs installs continues to be loaded at startup though the program has finished its work and did not show up in the installed program list. These seem to me to be notable violations of reasonable trust and I would be concerned for the safety for those who think they have used DriverPack Solution successfully as the unwelcome impacts I documented betray a developer who employs a number of techniques commonly associated with malicious programmers. Took me a lot of work to get unscrewed and I don’t know with certainty if my computer’s activities are now completely under my own control. My paranoia may be fueled by the embarrassing flurry of recent email spam which everybody on my contact list have been getting from “me” recommending “blue pills” and Chinese jewellery. I freely admit I hate this sh**. – wm.

  • Toby

    Regarding the comments on this software. It is clear the user who had issues failed to uncheck the boxes that ask you to allow the Yandex Toolbar and other associated programs to be installed. The Yandex toolbar would be detected as malware in most programs. We have used this program without incident for well over a year and it works wonderfully.

    The touchpad issue is a known bug regarding the ALPS Touchpoint driver to be loaded on some systems that do not have that device. The fix is to go into expert mode BEFORE installing the driver and see if the ALPS is listed as one of the suggested drivers to install if it is simply uncheck the box and your problem is solved.

    It appears that Maher is a button masher and left everything at default rather than take the time to see what was actually on the screen. Don’t blame the software for your inability to read what items were checked prior to clicking install.

    Had Maher taken the time to actually read what they were clicking they would not have had the issues they mention. The software CLEARLY gives you an option to install the toolbar and homepage functions to be changed to YANDEX and you as the user can opt not to do so.

    The program is great and it does the job we use it EVERY day and have no issues whatsoever.

    Maybe next time Maher before you post how bad something is you take the time to reflect on whether it is the software or the operator that is defective…in this case it is clear what the problem was.

    If anyone has questions on how to use the software feel free to email me

    toby@nocomputertroubles.com

  • Veteran7

    Is there a cancel button on the software . Just saw how huge the program is and I do not have close to that much free space to let it run. I should have looked better , my own fault. What would I need to do to stop this? Thanks for any help you can give me. I’ll be picking up more memory this week, should have paid attention. Any way, thanks for putting up stuff to help people.

  • joey bagadoughnutz

    poor maher

  • Wolf

    Maher is an idiot. DPS 12.3 is the best thing to come out of Russia since mail order brides!
    Awesome program, genius.

  • harry

    nice

  • harry

    nice fantastic….!!!

  • harry

    wow very wonderfull…!!!