Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about DriverMax
Many of your queries can be answered within this area, but if you can not find your answers here please write to us. You can do this from the Contact area. We will answer you in 48 hours,please be aware it may take longer during Public Holidays or at times of increased customer enquiries.
How come DriverMax says I can update to a version that is not even listed on the producer's website?
Hardware manufacturers release new driver versions more often than they update their websites. A lot of minor driver updates are not listed for months (!) on producers' websites while the same drivers are distributed on CDs. DriverMax makes sure you have the best version of a driver even if it's not listed on the manufacturer's website. Most of these new versions are also digitally signed by the manufacturer.
How can DriverMax decide what update is the best for me?
When DriverMax searches for an update it does not always look for the most recent version. We have to consider the driver date, the best match for your hardware (based on hardware ID and compatible ID), and many other things. The driver scan algorithm is not relying on the version number only.
How do I get a free registration code for DriverMax?
Older versions of DriverMax required a registration code. The current version uses an activation link. Please make sure to download the latest version of DriverMax, and install it. After that, please follow the instructions in the program to register it.
I haven't received the e-mail containing my activation link!
This may be because your e-mail provider is blocking our e-mails completely, or putting them in your Spam or Junk Mail folder. This is not our fault! Please don't complain to us - instead, complain to your e-mail provider that you can't receive e-mails from us.
Possible solution to your problem: In order to register DriverMax, you could create a new, free e-mail account from services such as GMail or Yahoo Mail and use that account to receive the activation e-mail.
On how many computers can I install and use DriverMax?
DriverMax can be installed on up to 20 computers using the same username and password. After receiving the registration email and after validating your account - you will have to use the same username and password when running DriverMax on the second, third, and so on... computer.
What does "error 5321" mean? Will DriverMax work through a proxy server?
The "error 5321" only appears when DriverMax can not connect to our servers. This can happen because of a network failure or configuration error. The same error message appears if you are trying to connect through a proxy server. For now DriverMax is not able to search for driver updates if you are behind a proxy server.
I entered an incorrect e-mail address when I created my DriverMax account; what can I do now?
Simply create a new account using your correct e-mail address.
How can I purchase DriverMax PRO?
DriverMax PRO - 30 days
Click here to upgrade your DriverMax account to PRO for 30 days
DriverMax PRO - 1 year
Click here to upgrade your DriverMax account to PRO for 1 year
DriverMax PRO - 2 years
Click here to upgrade your DriverMax account to PRO for 2 years
I'm trying to register DriverMax, but it says that my e-mail address is already in use
Probably you created an account some time ago and you forgot about it. Unfortunately there is not much we can do. Please create a new, free e-mail account from e-mail providers such as GMail or Yahoo Mail and use that account to receive the activation e-mail.
Yes. DriverMax now supports Windows 8 and Windows 7 (both 32 and 64 bit), Windows Vista (both 32 and 64 bit) and Windows XP (both 32 and 64 bit).
What are those long strings of numbers and letters that appear next to the download links?
The long string is used by us for internal purposes for the proper identification of a particular driver. It's an internal coding of the file for identification only.
Why do some similarly named drivers, with the same version, have different sizes (in KBytes or MBytes)?
Because the makers of that hardware released several variants (versions) of the driver, which are different and have different sizes, but they did not bother to change the version number stored in the driver itself.
This is not our fault, and there is not much we can do. This is a mistake of the makers of the hardware, and it makes troubleshooting and finding the best version for a driver harder for everybody.
The only solution for this problem would be for the hardware makers to become more disciplined and always modify the version number of a driver, whenever they modify the driver itself.
How can I actually download the driver updates?
First solution. If you go to the "Scan for driver updates" tab of the
DriverMax you will see all the updates that we can actually offer you for
download. This page is refreshed daily. Drivermax can not check more than once a
day because we want to avoid server overloads. By default, after the DriverMax
installation, an automatic update scan is performed.
Second solution. If you go to the "Scan for driver updates"result, and check only the "outdated" list of all devices in your computer. You can manually check if there are any updates by visiting each device's web page. Unfortunately you will see here all possible driver versions for each device - no matter if we can offer you that file for download or not. This is less processor-consuming and everyone can refresh this page every minute.
Why do I get a file named "real_download.php" instead of the actual download?
This happens only because of your Internet browser or download manager. The problem is on your computer, please don't contact us about it. You can either use a different browser or stop the download manager. After clicking on the download link you should be asked if you want to save or open the file. Chosse "Open" then the DriverMax Agent will start to download the driver you requested. The Open / Save dialog looks like this:
|The open dialog when downloading a driver in Internet Explorer||The open dialog when downloading a driver in Mozilla Firefox|
I just installed a new driver version but the old version is still listed
In order for the driver update to be complete we recommend you to follow a few steps:
- download the driver using the DriverMax Agent
- install the driver (you should see a success / failure report)
- if the installation was successful then restart you computer
- check for driver updates again using DriverMax - the new driver version should appear under "your version"
Where's the activation link?
It is in the e-mail DriverMax automatically sends you when you create an account.
When will driver downloads be available?
Why can't I update my drivers?
For now, driver downloads are ONLY available for Windows 8 (both 32 and 64 bit), Windows 7 (both 32 and 64 bit), Windows Vista (both 32 and 64 bit) and Wndows XP (both 32 and 64 bit).
Because it is our policy to meet the needs of all our consumers, we at Innovative Solutions have long concentrated our efforts in the research and development of products that are compatible with new and emerging technologies, such as Windows 8, as well as with more established operating systems, such as Windows XP. With this in mind, we are working diligently to make the interoperability of DriverMax a top priority so that users of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 alike can enjoy the benefits of DriverMax.
I need drivers for my device called ....
We are very sorry but we can not e-mail you drivers for your hardware. You may be able to get drivers for your device when we finish working on the driver downloads feature.
I have installed DriverMax on my PC or laptop, but without a working network adaptor I cannot use DriverMax.
For now it is impossible to download driver updates if your computer doesn't have an Internet connection.
There are a few ways to fix this:
1. If before reinstalling Windows you have saved your previously installed drivers using the Backup drivers option of DriverMax, you can reinstall them using the Restore drivers option of DriverMax.
Saving all your drivers with DriverMax is the first step we recommend before reinstalling Windows.
2. You can use a WiFi or 3G/4G modem USB stick - just insert it into one of your laptop's USBs and follow the instructions. Such USB Sticks usually have the driver included on them.
So if you can get Internet access, you can then use DriverMax to update all your other drivers.
3. You could search for the network driver manually, without DriverMax.
For now, only the solutions described above work. We are working on a new solution which will be easier and will be included in a future version of DriverMax.
Why aren't you replying to my e-mail?
We are very busy working on improvements for DriverMax. We also receive a very large number of e-mails every day. We try to answer all our e-mails, but sometimes it's simply impossible due to the large volume of e-mails arriving every day.
What do you rather have us do - work on new features for DriverMax, or answer e-mail all day?
Please keep in mind that we are already offering you a very valuable program for free. This program incorporates a lot of work, so, please be very patient and forgiving, and forward all the bug reports to us.
Another reason might be that your e-mail provider considers the e-mails you are receiving from us as spam. Please check your spam box or contact them and ask them to allow us to get in touch with you. You can also use a different e-mail address from a different e-mail provider.
I want to support DriverMax!
Thank you for helping us spread the word.
Please write about DriverMax in your blog, web site or forum.
Can we publish DriverMax on a magazine's included DVD or CD?
Yes! You are welcome to do so. Please download the latest version, to make sure that your users get the best version of DriverMax yet!
Where can I get some other cool programs?
Click here for our main web site, containing all the programs that are available from us.
How do I uninstall DriverMax?
Like you would uninstall any other Windows program. Click here for step by step information.
A device driver, or a software driver is a type of computer software, typically developed to make the hardware in your computer work. Typically this constitutes an interface for communicating with the device, through the specific computer bus or communications subsystem that the hardware is connected to, providing commands to and/or receiving data from the device, and on the other end, the requisite interfaces to the operating system and software applications. Often called a driver for short, it is a specialized hardware dependent computer program which is also operating system specific that enables another program, typically an operating system or applications software package or computer program running under the operating system kernel, to interact transparently with a hardware device, and usually provides the requisite interrupt handling necessary for any necessary asynchronous time-dependent hardware interfacing needs.
Device driver theory
key design goal of device drivers is abstraction. Every model of hardware
(even within the same class of device) is different. Newer models also are
released by manufacturers that provide more reliable or better performance
and these newer models are often controlled differently.
Computers and their operating systems cannot be expected to know how to control every device, both now and in the future. To solve this problem, operating systems essentially dictate how every type of device should be controlled. The function of the device driver is then to translate these OS mandated function calls into device specific calls. In theory a new device, which is controlled in a new manner, should function correctly if a suitable driver is available. This new driver will ensure that the device appears to operate as usual from the operating systems' point of view.
Depending on the specific computer architecture, drivers can be 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit, and more recently, 64-bit. This corresponds directly to the architecture of the operating system for which those drivers were developed. For example, in 16-bit Windows 3.11, most drivers were 16-bits, while most drivers for 32-bit Windows XP are 32-bit. More recently, specific 64-bit Linux and Windows versions have required hardware vendors to provide newer 64-bit drivers for their devices.
Device driver development
Writing a device driver is considered a challenge in most cases, as it
requires an in-depth understanding of how a given platform functions, both
at the hardware and the software level. Because many device drivers execute
in kernel mode, software bugs often have much more damaging effects to the
system. This is in contrast to most types of user-level software running
under modern operating systems, which can be stopped without greatly
affecting the rest of the system. Even drivers executing in user mode can
crash a system if the device being controlled is erroneously programmed.
These factors make it more difficult and dangerous to diagnose problems.
All of this means that the engineers most likely to write device drivers come from the companies that develop the hardware. This is because they have more complete access to information about the design of their hardware than most outsiders. Moreover, it was traditionally considered in the hardware manufacturer's interest to guarantee that their clients would be able to use their hardware in an optimum way. However, in recent years non-vendors too have written numerous device drivers, mainly for use under free operating systems. In such cases, co-operation on behalf of the vendor is still important, however, as reverse engineering is much more difficult with hardware than it is with software, meaning it may take a long time to learn to operate hardware that has an unknown interface.
In Windows, Microsoft is attempting to address the issues of system instability by poorly written device drivers by creating a new framework for driver development known as Windows Driver Foundation (WDF). This includes UMDF User Mode Driver Framework that encourages development of certain types of drivers - primarily those that implement a message-based protocol for communicating with their devices - as user mode drivers. If such drivers malfunction they will not cause system instability. The KMDF Kernel Mode Driver Framework model continues to allow development of kernel-mode device drivers, but attempts to provide standard implementations of functions that are well known to cause problems, including cancellation of I/O operations, power management, and plug and play device support.
Device driver applications
Because of the diversity of modern hardware and operating systems, many ways exist in which drivers can be used. Drivers are used for interfacing with:
Local buses of various sorts - in particular, for bus mastering on modern systems
Low-bandwidth I/O buses of various sorts (for pointing devices such as mice, keyboards, USB, etc.)
computer storage devices such as hard disk, CD-ROM and floppy disk buses (ATA, SATA, SCSI)
Implementing support for different file systems
Implementing support for image scanners and digital cameras
Choosing and installing the correct device drivers for given hardware is often a key component of computer system configuration.
Virtual device drivers
A particular variant of device drivers are virtual device drivers. They are used in virtualization environments, for example when an MS-DOS program is run on a Microsoft Windows computer or when a guest operating system is run inside e.g. VMware. Instead of enabling the guest operating system to dialog with hardware, virtual device drivers take the opposite role and emulate a piece of hardware, so that the guest operating system and its drivers running inside a virtual machine can have the illusion of accessing real hardware. Attempts by the guest operating system to access the hardware are routed to the virtual device driver in the host operating system as e.g. function calls.
The virtual device driver can also send simulated processor-level events like interrupts into the virtual machine.