Frequently asked questions

I purchased DriverMax and now I received an e-mail from Avangate which mentions DriverMax. Who is Avangate? Is the e-mail I received legit?

Avangate is the company that helps us with e-commerce. Almost all sales of DriverMax go through them. Avangate is a very large, well established, highly trusted company. It is ok to receive e-mails from them, as they have a strong anti-spam and anti-fraud policy.

How come DriverMax says I can update to a driver 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 their producers' websites. 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.

On how many computers can I install and use DriverMax?

For the 30 Days and 1 Year Subscriptions, DriverMax can be installed on up to 20 computers using the same username and password. For the Lifetime version, the number of computers is unlimited.

What does "error 5321" mean? Will DriverMax work through a proxy server?

The "error 5321" only appears when DriverMax cannot 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.

How can I purchase DriverMax PRO?

I'm trying to register DriverMax, but it says that my e-mail address is already in use

This means that you have already created an account using that e-mail address. All you have to do is log in. If you forgot your password, go to to Settings in DriverMax, click on "REGISTER", press "Next" and then click on "Recover lost password" to reset it.

For what versions of Windows can DriverMax find drivers? What about 64-bit vs 32-bit versions of Windows?

DriverMax can find the best drivers for your PC running Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP. All editions of Windows are supported, and there is full support for 64-bit as well as 32-bit versions of Windows. We offer drivers for both new and old hardware, and have drivers for more than 98% of the hardware devices that are out there. Even if you have very new hardware, old hardware or exotic and less known hardware, we can probably find a driver for it.

How can I actually download the driver updates?

In DriverMax, press the "Scan for driver updates" button from Home. DriverMax will scan your drivers and show you all the outdated drivers. You can either update one driver at a time, or all of them.

I have installed DriverMax on my PC or laptop, but without a working network adapter 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 have implemented a new ticketing system so we can answer to your questions in a more organized way, more quickly. Please go to http://www.drivermax.com/contact and write us there from now on. Although we are still checking our e-mail, this has become a secondary way to communicate to our users, while the majority of you are writing us on our contact page. To make sure we answer your question in time, please contact us there.

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.

What are the device drivers?

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

The 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, most drivers for 32-bit Windows XP are 32-bit. More recently, Windows 10 has required hardware vendors to provide 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 in which drivers can be used exist. Drivers are used for interfacing with:

  • Printers
  • Video adapters
  • Network cards
  • Sound cards
  • 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.