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Device Doctor Finds Some Outdated Drivers...But Does It Do Enough?

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Device Doctor

    PCWorld Rating

    This free utility may help you update drivers, but look at other solutions as well.

DeviceDoctor.com touts the Device Doctor utility as a free and simple solution to a common problem: PCs plagued with out-of-date drivers. This application delivers on its promise of simplicity as you begin to use it, but it doesn't deliver everything you need in order to get your PC's devices current.

Device Doctor screenshot
Device Doctor's interface is bland, and it doesn't offer many details on your problematic drivers.
Device Doctor begins on the right foot: After you launch the app, it tells you to connect all your hardware devices and then asks you to begin the scan manually. Rivals PerfectUpdater and Driver Reviver both launch into a scan automatically, with no warning, which isn't ideal for control freaks like me. Unfortunately, though, things go downhill from there, and quickly: whereas Raxco's PerfectUpdater and ReviverSoft's Driver Reviver both correctly identified more than 20 out-of-date drivers on my Windows 7 PC, Device Doctor found only seven.

While Device Doctor is the only one of the three apps that will actually allow you to update drivers in its free version (the other two offer free scans, but point you to their $30 paid versions when it's time to update), the process is clunky. Instead of handling it within the app itself, you're bumped to Device Doctor's Web site, where you see an ad touting the $30 Device Doctor Pro, which promises automatic driver updates.

The driver updating process offered by the free version begins on a somewhat promising note: Device Doctor wisely suggests that you create a system restore point; this is a nice touch, but PerfectUpdater does one better and creates the restore point for you. And things go downhill from there: I downloaded two drivers and installed them, but received notification that one, for a USB controller on my PC, failed to install correctly.

Device Doctor is free, but so are the scans offered by PerfectUpdater and Driver Reviver. If you must have a free solution, I suggest using one of those products to identify out-of-date drivers, and then locating the necessary fixes yourself.

--Liane Cassavoy

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This free utility may help you update drivers, but look at other solutions as well.

    Pros

    • Free
    • Easy to use

    Cons

    • Didn't find all outdated drivers
    • Downloading drivers is clunky
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