Device Driver Updates

Updating device drivers regularly should be part of your preventive maintenance program to ensure that your drivers are always current. Manufacturers occasionally release new drivers to address issues with the current drivers. Check for updated drivers when your hardware does not work properly or to prevent future problems. It is also important to update drivers that patch or correct security problems. If a driver update does not work properly, use the Roll Back Driver feature to revert back to the previously installed driver.

Operating System Updates

Microsoft releases updates to address security issues and other functionality problems. You can install individual updates manually from the Microsoft website or automatically using the Windows Automatic Update utility. Downloads that contain multiple updates are called service packs. A service pack usually contains all the updates for an OS. Installing a service pack is a good way to bring your OS up to date quickly. Set a restore point and back up critical data prior to installing a service pack. Add OS updates to your preventive maintenance program to ensure that your OS has the latest functionality and security fixes.

Firmware Updates

Firmware updates are less common than driver updates. Manufacturers release new firmware updates to address issues that might not be fixed with driver updates. Firmware updates can increase the speed of certain types of hardware, enable new features, or increase the stability of a product. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when performing a firmware update to avoid making the hardware unusable. Research the update completely because it might not be possible to revert to the original firmware. Checking for firmware updates should be part of your preventive maintenance program.