SupportAssist for PCs

Last reply by 09-12-2022 Unsolved
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SupportAssist unable to get drivers / Missing features after re-installation

Alienware x17 R2

Has anyone else been having issues with SupportAssist successfully identifying and getting drivers?

I first noticed it because I kept getting the "Driver detection not available" on the web, and then based on reading that the web requires a working SupportAssist program I went to the program itself to try there.

No luck with either as I always get "An unexpected error occurred" in the program. It's been a couple of days now and I always get the same result regardless of me changing things based on previous posts (making sure the service is up, making sure the Firewall is down, etc.).

I did find a previous post to try and re-install. So I uninstalled and did a clean reinstall, but no change when it comes to the driver functionality.

Which leads me to my second question, has anyone noticed SupportAssist not being the same after a re-install? For example, my new Alienware came with Premium Plus but after the new install there is no feature past Optimize network. Is there an update or addon I need to also re-install? I did make sure I am logged in, although for Warranty Detail it says "Unable to show" so that may be tied to the actual reason somehow? 

Replies (8)
4 Beryllium
1626

Hi JohnnyRedShirt:

There are many users having problems either installing or running SupportAssist v3.11.4.29. Dell Tech Support is aware of the problem but don't seem to want to engage with affected users in this forum (especially customers who no longer have an active service warranty), and I've seen a few reports in the past few week from Alienware and XPS owners who had a new v3.12.1.180 update pushed out to their system.

What is your Windows OS [if Win 10 or Win 11 include the the edition (Home or Pro), version and build number shown at Settings | System | About | Windows Specifications], your current BIOS version [open a Run dialog box (Windows+R keys), enter msinfo32 to open your System Information panel, and look for the “BIOS Version/Date” field] and your current SupportAssist version shown at Control Panel | Programs | Programs and Features?

Go to Control Panel | Programs | Programs and Features and confirm that Microsoft .NET Runtime v5.0.7 is installed. This is a new system requirement for SupportAssist v3.11.4, as shown in the release notes . From my Inspiron 5584:

Win 10 Pro v21H2 Control Panel SupportAssist v3_11_4_29 and MS NET Runtime v5_0_17 21 Aug 2022.png

Go to Start | Windows Administrative Tools | Services and confirm that the Status of the Dell Client Management Service , Dell SupportAssist and Dell TechHub services are all "Running". Dell TechHub is a new service that should have been added by the SupportAssist v3.11.4.29 installer and Dell employee jbilinski posted on 28-Jun-2022 in Admiral1989's SupportAssist - Installation Failed Message that "Dell TechHub replaces Dell Hardware Scan service and is needed to run the Hardware Scan panel".

Win 10 Pro v21H2 Three Services Dell SA Dell TechHub and Client Management Service 06 Sep 2022.png

If you connect to the internet with an Ethernet cable, unplug your cable and see if SupportAssist runs correctly when you connect via WiFi. See Eugene723's suggestion in their 27-Aug-2022 thread SA Unable to Connect to Internet via LAN, Connects via WiFi.

If you haven't already done so, please disable your Fast Startup power option (also known as hybrid boot-up / hybrid shutdown) as instructed in Option # 1 of the TenForums tutorial How to Turn On or Off Fast Startup in Windows 10 and then re-boot your computer to see if SupportAssist runs correctly. If you have a Win 11 OS note that similar instructions are posted in Option # 2 of the ElevenForums tutorial Turn On or Off Fast Startup in Windows 11. Fast Startup is enabled by default but this power option can interfere with the loading of services and drivers of third-party software at boot-up and cause all sorts of odd glitches and unexpected problems, and Microsoft has acknowledged that Fast Startup can even interfere with Windows Update - see the MS support article Updates May Not Be Installed With Fast Startup in Windows 10. As a general rule I always recommend that anyone with a Win 8.1 or higher OS should disable Fast Startup.

Win 10 v21H1 Power Options Turn Off Fast Startup 27 Nov 2021.png

Have you installed the Dell Update/Alienware Update Universal  v4.60  app (rel. 24-Aug-2022) currently recommended on the support page <here> for your Alienware x17 R2? If you do have a Dell Update app installed just note that that the Known Issues section of the SupportAssist v3.11.4 release notes <here> state that driver scans in SupportAssist may not work correctly after Dell Update is installed or updated. If you think you might be affected by this bug see campfiresmoke's 17-Aug-2022 thread Windows Universal Application 4.6.0 for a possible solution; campfiresmoke uninstalled SupportAssist, manually installed the latest Dell Update for Windows Universal v4.6.0 app using the .exe installer recommended on the support page of their computer model, and then reinstalled SupportAssist to fix their SupportAssist "Try again later" error message.

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I don't know if this would re-enable the "Remove Viruses & Malware" panel (only available with a Premium Support Plus plan) on your SupportAssist Home tab, but click on Profile in the top-right corner of the SupportAssist interface and see if your Dell profile needs to be re-entered after your SupportAssist reinstall. However, that might not help if your current SupportAssist installation is unable to make any connection to the back end Dell servers.

SupportAssist v3_11_4 Profile Complete Profile 06 Sep 2022.png

It sounds like your service warranty hasn't expired yet , so if none of this helps I would advise that you open a support request at https://www.dell.com/support/incidents-online/contactus as instructed in the support article How to Create a Support Request Online for Dell EMC. If you service warranty hasn't expired yet you can also click the blue Get Help Now button that is located at the bottom of each page of this Dell forum to start a Live Chat with a Dell support rep (see the 23-May-2022 FAQ at "Get Help Now" Chat Option).
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v21H2 build 19044.1889 * Firefox v104.0.1 * Microsoft Defender v4.18.2205.7-1.1.19500.2 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.5.14.210-1.0.1751 * Macrium Reflect Free v8.0.6867 * Dell SupportAssist v3.11.4.29 * Dell Update Windows Universal v4.6.0 * Inspiron 5583/5584 BIOS v1.20.0
Dell Inspiron 15 5584, Intel i5-8265U CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

1610

Imacri,

I appreciate the well thought out response. Let me first start off with saying that yes, I do have active warranty service for both my machines (they are actually only a couple of days old, as part of my getting setup I wanted to make sure my drivers were up to date so I thought to try and use SupportAssist to do so).

I just checked and it looks like at this point both my machines have version 3.11.4.29. Do you know where the 3.12.1.180 is located? These are both brand new reinstalls from this link: SupportAssist for home PCs | Dell US

Here are the specs for both my laptops:

Windows 11 Home, 21H2 (Both)

BIOS 1.5.1 (Inspiron) and 1.7.0 (Alienware)

SupportAssist 3.11.4.29 (Both)

Confirmed that I have .Net Runtime 5.0.17 (interestingly I also have 6.0.8 - I'm not very experienced when it comes to Microsoft development so I thought I would just mention that).

I have confirmed that all of the services are up and running (and that they are also set to Automatic). 

I am also using Wifi, not cable.

Appreciate the feedback on the Fast Startup. I was completely unaware and will update, especially if it can also impact Windows updates. I will update that, see if there is any difference, and let you know if there is any impact.

The update App is present on both my machines (it came pre-installed). I have reinstalled SupportAssist, but not using the exact steps regarding the Update per your link. Based on your description, it very much looks like that may be the actual bug as everything seems to be up and running and the only portion of SupportAssist not working is the driver portion.

I will take some time to work through the couple of actions from your guidance and let you know. I really do appreciate the well thought out response.

(Additionally, all of the tabs and warranty information has finally populated itself into the program. It seems that maybe there was a delay and it just took some time?)

1598


@JohnnyRedShirt wrote:
...I just checked and it looks like at this point both my machines have version 3.11.4.29. Do you know where the 3.12.1.180 is located?...

... Confirmed that I have .Net Runtime 5.0.17 (interestingly I also have 6.0.8 - I'm not very experienced when it comes to Microsoft development so I thought I would just mention that)....


Hi JohnnyRedShirt:

Glad to hear the correct warranty information finally re-populated in your SupportAssist interface. Hopefully a few other glitches you were having with SupportAssist will also disappear now that this utility has been  able to connect to your Dell account.

SupportAssist runs a self-check to look for newer versions of SupportAssist at each launch. According to crimsom's 27-Aug-2022 post in their thread 17 R5, SupportAssist x64 v3.12.5.0 or v3.12.1.180 Installation Invalid the update to v3.12.1.180 was automatically offered to their Alienware 17 R5 a few weeks ago when they launched SupportAssist v3.11.4.29. I'm guessing that Dell is initially rolling out v3.12.1.180 to a small number of users and monitoring telemetry and user feedback before it goes into wide release.

See my 07-Sep-2022 post <here> in crimsom's thread about how MS .NET Runtime v6.0.8 was recently installed on my Inspiron 5584 without my knowledge.
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Just an aside, but I personally don't like SupportAssist - it's too buggy, consumes too many system resources, and the "system optimization" scans (Clean Files / Tune Performance / Optimize Network - and possibly Remove Viruses & Malware) are too aggressive and have the potential to do more harm than good - see my 12-Jul-2021 comment in ex-jedi's Prevent Automatic Recycle Bin Emptying. I have disabled my Dell SupportAssist and Dell TechHub services so that SupportAssist can't launch automatically on my Inspiron 5584 at boot-up, and I've started using Dell Update v4.x to check for Dell software and driver updates. If I ever need to run a hardware scan I can still run Dell's F12 ePSA (enhanced Pre-boot System Assessment) hardware diagnostics from my BIOS, and my Windows 10 OS also has its own built-in hardware diagnostics at Settings | Update & Security | Troubleshoot | Additional Troubleshooters. Note that I've also disabled Dell SupportAssist OS Recovery (also known as Dell SupportAssist Remediation / System Repair), but that's a whole other discussion - see my 28-Jul-2021 post in Desmodus1984's Inspiron 5570 - SupportAssist OS Recovery Tools Downloads But Not Installing.

If you want to continue using SupportAssist v3.x I'd suggest you turn off all background "system optimization" scans at Options (gear icon) | Settings | Automate Scans and Optimizations | Scan Your System and Drivers and just run the occasional "Get Drivers & Downloads" and/or "Scan Hardware" scans manually from the Home tab.

Dell SupportAssist v3_10_4  Settings Automatic Scans Disabled 03 May 2022.png
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v21H2 build 19044.1889 * Firefox v104.0.2 * Microsoft Defender v4.18.2207.7-1.1.19500.2 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.5.14.210-1.0.1751 * Macrium Reflect Free v8.0.6867 * Dell SupportAssist v3.11.4.29 * Dell Update Windows Universal v4.6.0 * Inspiron 5583/5584 BIOS v1.20.0
Dell Inspiron 15 5584, Intel i5-8265U CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620

1578

Appreciate all the great guidance. I have not yet had a chance to see if I am impacted by the SupportAssist/Update interaction bug (I had planned on doing that this weekend).

But based on all your feedback, maybe SupportAssist is not the way to go.

Would you say that you are covered for all the functionality that SupportAssist offers by using the Update and ePSA? As long as those two would cover me in the exact same way I'm not seeing the point or need of spending all this time on SupportAssist.

1571


@JohnnyRedShirt wrote:

.... But based on all your feedback, maybe SupportAssist is not the way to go. Would you say that you are covered for all the functionality that SupportAssist offers by using the Update and ePSA?...


Hi JohnnyRedShirt:

SupportAssist has all sorts of extra bells and whistles but you'll have to decide for yourself if any of that is useful to you. Unlike Dell Update, SupportAssist loads automatically at boot-up and runs in the background. By default it runs automatic background checks for available Dell software and driver updates as well as other "system optimization" scans that are available on the Home tab of the SupportAssist interface (Clean Files / Tune Performance / Optimize Network - and possibly Remove Viruses & Malware if you paid extra for a Premium Support Plus warranty).  It also collects telemetry data from your system throughout the day and sends that data back to Dell for analysis. If you install SupportAssist OS Recovery (also known as Dell SupportAssist Remediation or System Repair) you can manage settings for that recovery environment from the SupportAssist settings without opening the SupportAssist OS Recovery manager at Control Panel | System and Security. As long as your service warranty is still valid you can also create a support request directly from the Support tab without having to open your browser and submit a support request online.

If you want to learn about SupportAssist see the Version 3.11.4 User’s Guide. Release notes and user guides for recent SupportAssist releases are posted at https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-ca/product-support/product/dell-supportassist-pcs-tablets/docs.

My service warranty has expired, I don't use SupportAssist OS Recovery (see my 28-Jul-2021 post in Desmodus1984's Inspiron 5570 - SupportAssist OS Recovery Tools Downloads But Not Installing) and I don't want Dell running automatic "system optimization" scans (e.g., cleaning my Windows registry, emptying my Recycle Bin, etc.) without my knowledge or collecting telemetry data from my machine. As I noted <above>, Dell Update v4.x and the ePSA hardware scans provide all the functionality I require, but I can still launch SupportAssist manually if I wish to do so by re-starting my disabled Dell SupportAssist and Dell TechHub services (e.g., to run a quick Dell hardware scan without going into my BIOS), so I've turned off all automatic background scanning, telemetry data collection, and other unwanted SupportAssist features at Options (gear icon) | Settings.
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v21H2 build 19044.1889 * Firefox v104.0.2 * Microsoft Defender v4.18.2207.7-1.1.19600.3 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.5.14.210-1.0.1751 * Macrium Reflect Free v8.0.6979 * Dell SupportAssist v3.11.4.29 * Dell Update Windows Universal v4.6.0 * Inspiron 5583/5584 BIOS v1.20.0
Dell Inspiron 15 5584, Intel i5-8265U CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620

1554

Appreciate all the detail.

One thing I just thought of this evening, is there a known issue of Windows 11/Defender blocking SupportAssist from talking to Dell? That may also be why I am unable to check for drivers via it/it took so long for the other functionalities to load.

1524


@JohnnyRedShirt wrote:

... One thing I just thought of this evening, is there a known issue of Windows 11/Defender blocking SupportAssist from talking to Dell? That may also be why I am unable to check for drivers via it/it took so long for the other functionalities to load...


Hi JohnnyRedShirt:

Windows 11 and/or Microsoft Defender are not specifically mentioned in the Known Issues section of the SupportAssist v3.11.4 release notes <here>, but I have no idea how up-to-date those release notes are.

Both Win 10 and Win 11 users are having problems installing and/or running SupportAssist v3.11.4.29, so I don't think the problem is specific to any one operating system. I use Microsoft Defender as my primary antivirus and Windows Security | Settings | About shows my Antimalware Client is version 4.18.2207.7 and my Engine is version 1.1.19600.3 (these are the latest available platform and engine versions listed in the MS support article Manage Microsoft Defender Antivirus Updates and Apply Baselines) and my SupportAssist v3.11.4.29 seems to run correctly. Microsoft Defender is used for real-time protection on many Win 11 computers, so it's unlikely that would be the problem, but you could temporarily disable your Microsoft Defender Firewall (see the MS support article Turn Microsoft Defender Firewall On or Off) to see if that helps.

Win 10 Pro v21H2 Windows Security MS Defender Platform and Engine Versions 10 Sep 2022.png

Did you ever disable Fast Startup on one of your computers and re-boot a few times as I suggested <above> to see if this helps?

I still don't know the exact models of your Dell computers - all you said <here> was that one was an Inspiron and one was an Alienware so there must be some common issue if SupportAssist throws the same error on both machines. Is the "unexpected error occurred" message identical on both machines and is that the full wording of the error, and does it appear when you launch SupportAssist or only when you run a manual "Get Drivers & Downloads" from the Home tab?

Both your machines have a valid service warranty, so if you don't want to wait for the new SupportAssist v3.12.1.180 to be pushed out to your machines to see if that fixes your problem then your best option would be to open an online support request as I suggested <above> and see if Dell has any suggestions. Hopefully your errors will be logged somewhere in your SupportAssist diagnostic logs (e.g., in the hidden C:\ProgramData\Dell\UpdateService\Log\Service.log or the protected logs in C:\ProgramData\Dell\SupportAssist\Agent\Logs that I can only view with TreeSize Free when this utility is started as an Administrator - see image below), and Dell Tech Support should be able to analyze those logs for you.

TreeSize Free v4_5_3 Hidden C_ProgramData_Dell_SupportAssist_Agent_Logs 10 Sep 2022.png
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v21H2 build 19044.1889 * Firefox v104.0.2 * Microsoft Defender v4.18.2207.7-1.1.19600.3 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.5.14.210-1.0.1751 * Macrium Reflect Free v8.0.6979 * Dell SupportAssist v3.11.4.29 * Dell Update Windows Universal v4.6.0 * Inspiron 5583/5584 BIOS v1.20.0 * TreeSize Free Portable v4.6.0.504
Dell Inspiron 15 5584, Intel i5-8265U CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
1439

I’ve had issues with mine ever since I bought 5 months ago. Never has worked rite. They have changed board once endless hours on phone with techs, now they want me to Mail to them. $4000 and this is what I get headache after head ache after head ache. If Alienware was a good brand they would reinvent the command center site to work better and be less buggy. This has been an ongoing problem that will never change. Time to go to a different brand I’ve had it…. .

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