I am a first time builder working on a Win7 PC. I know that I need to install the latest drivers for my hardware, but I was expecting it to be more straightforward than it is. I am planning to put all of the drivers on to a thumb drive to install from, and was looking to download them when I ran into a snag. The GPU was easy as a quick search from the manufacturer only came up with the latest driver in an ".exe" file.
I then moved on to the MoBo and went to its manufacturer's page. Under the "Downloads" tab I found dozens of files of various versions and uses and types of ways to confuse my infantile (at least in the world of computers) mind. What drivers do I actually need? Do I only need the latest drivers, or are the later ones only patches to previous versions and thus require the old versions to also be installed? If the latter is the case, then must they be installed in their order of release?
I am also not sure exactly what other pieces of hardware I need to install updated drivers for. Do my SSD, HDD, optical drive, or anything else need them? Any help is greatly appreciated as I try to learn more and more about computers.
*UPDATE* After more research I came I began to believe that I needed all of the drivers listed. I began downloading the drivers onto a flash drive, but when I made my way up to the "BIOS-Utilities" and "BIOS" tabs the following message came up:
"Please note, BIOS update is only recommended when experiencing technical difficulties with your system, And is not recommended to be performed regularly.
Moreover, due to the nature of BIOS update, there is certain level of dangers involved. BIOS update must be performed with extreme caution . During BIOS update process, your system must be maintained without interference or power loss to prevent unexpected damage.
In case of BIOS update failure, please follow instructions in your User's Manual for guidelines on BIOS recovery via CrashFree BIOS. In the event that BIOS recovery is not recoverable via CrashFree BIOS, please contact your place of purchase for further assistance on BIOS recovery."
So what does this mean for me on a clean install? I am still assuming I install them, but I wanted to make sure before I did anything stupid.
I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Windows 7 does a pretty good job of installing drivers for compatible hardware. I always get updated chipset, graphics and sound drivers but for the most part other hardware was detected and drivers were installed by Windows.
Personally I would install everything first then determine if I needed the BIOS updates. There should be a description of what the BIOS update is designed to fix. If you don't have the problem there really isn't a point in taking the risk of damaging your system to update it. BIOS updates for "performance improvements" may be an exception to this. I have been lucky so far and I have not lost any hardware to BIOS updates but there are many who have.