Windows 10 Tips: Fixing Issues Caused by Universal Drivers


Windows 10 provides a great number of provisioning options which, when harnessed properly, can save an IT professional a great deal of time and effort. Provisioning, utilization of a base Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise installation coupled with packages containing settings, drivers & policies, can enable an IT Administrator to quickly deploy appropriate settings across many devices. Much of this process is detailed in the video below:
 

Provisioning isn’t for everyone though. Sometimes an in place upgrade to Windows 10 is the best course of action when one 1 or 2 devices need to be upgraded.  The in place upgrade procedure has been a great and addresses a great number of device upgrade requirements fairly well.  There is however the odd hiccup that can occur however, namely the utilization of a universal driver.

Not all devices are created equal.  With that being said, universal drivers sometimes face an uphill battle to support all devices it encounters.  An improperly assigned driver could at the end of the day cause a great deal of stress for the device and IT Professional alike. Sometimes the OEM provided driver is the best course of action.  To do this, follow these steps to change the universal driver to the OEM driver and ensure it does not change back to a universal driver in a future Windows Update.

  1. Open Control Panel (right-click Start button and select Control Panel)
     
  2. Navigate to System and Security > System > Advanced system settings
     
  3. Click Hardware tab > Device Installation Settings and select No, let me choose what to do option
     
  4. Select Never install driver software from Windows Update
     
    Note: After this is completed, Windows Update will no longer update drivers on said device. All driver updates would be done manually or performed by the OEM’s or third party software.
     
  5. On the keyboard press Windows key‌ + X and choose Device Manager
     
  6. In Device Manager, navigate to the driver causing issues said device (running diagnostics usually provides information on what driver is malfunctioning)
     
  7. Right click on the faulty device and select uninstall
     
  8. Ensure delete the driver software for this device is checked
     
  9. Download and install the prescribed OEM driver as per your device’s requirements
     
    Note: Some OEMs will provide diagnostic tools to assign drivers for said device.  These come in handy when it is not clear what driver works best.
     
  10. Reboot the computer on installation completion
     

This procedure eliminates the use of a Universal Driver, ensures it does not return in a future Windows Update and puts control back in the hands of the IT professional.

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