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November 13th, 2023 17:12

Week 1 Question 11/13/2023 - 11/19/2023: POST REPLY HERE

How do you manage driver updates and firmware upgrades on your Dell devices, and do you have any tips to share?

Please post your response below. Visit How to Participate + Official Rules for more information.

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7 Technologist


11.9K Posts

November 14th, 2023 01:57

Number one I do not allow any auto updates, that is the recipe for a disaster. I like to use Windows update and generally do a bit of Google search on the available updates to catch any possible problems before they are too late to catch. Some driver updates that may be Dell only compatible such as a GPU driver, I like to look at the version compared to the manufacturer's version just to check for any out of date versions. As for firmware I agree with others posting here. If you are having a problem and that firmware specifically addresses it then by all means update. But with firmware updates the old adage, leave well enough alone or better yet if it ain't broke, goes a long way. Even most of the motherboard manufacturers have a disclaimer on their support site warning to not update if you are not having a problem (at least the MB manufacturer's sites I have seen).

1 Rookie


3 Posts

November 18th, 2023 17:01

I've had some pretty poor experiences with Dell's update utilities. The website provides a lot of drivers that are irrelevant or unnecessary, which is confusing to a lot of folks. SupportAssist is also slow and bloated.

Instead, I prefer to manage updates myself. I also prefer to stick with GPU drivers directly from Intel and NVIDIA, as the ones from Dell can be literally years out of date. If you're playing a recently released AAA game, you probably want the latest NVIDIA Game Ready driver that's tuned for your game.

But it's important to note that this isn't for everyone - you don't necessarily need to have the latest and greatest on your system at all times. Windows Update will install most of your drivers for you. And you shouldn't go installing random drivers on the Dell drivers list because they seem useful, either. Always a good rule of thumb: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

However, for those of us who want to know about the latest updates and can exercise our own judgement about what to install, what to avoid, and what can wait a bit, here are some things I've found useful:

Windows Update

This will take care of you most of the time. In the event that your drivers aren't automatically installed, they can often be found in the Optional Updates section. I've recently noticed that Windows Update is getting better at delivering BIOS updates, too.

Intel Driver & Support Assistant

Unlike SupportAssist, this is pretty lightweight and lets you stay up-to-date on drivers for GPU, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.


Extremely lightweight tool that lets you customize your NVIDIA GPU driver installation, avoid NVIDIA bloatware and telemetry, and shows you notifications about new driver releases so you can stay updated without necessarily having to install GeForce Experience and all its bloat.


Great resource for staying updated on firmware (both BIOS and Thunderbolt). You can also easily view a list of all historical updates, including their changelogs, which is helpful for BIOS updates.

What's even better is that there is an RSS feed for each device. For example, this is the page for BIOS updates for the XPS 15 7590, and by appending "/atom" to the URL, you get this RSS feed. Personally, I use a service (there are many out there) to send all updates to this RSS feed to my email, so I can easily know about new BIOS updates.

LVFS also gets around any quirks on Dell's own website. For example, the newest BIOS update for the XPS 15 9570 is version 1.27.0, released in September 2022. However, there have actually been 5 (!) newer BIOS versions released since then, which address multiple security vulnerabilities as well as system stability. The newest update is actually version 1.33.0, released in November 2023. You can only find these newer updates on Dell's website if you knew to check the BIOS updates for the Precision 5530, which is an equivalent system. LVFS isn't perfect, but just by searching for your device name, it makes it a lot easier to find BIOS updates when Dell isn't willing to show you them.


6 Professor


5.8K Posts

November 13th, 2023 19:47

Microsoft update does it often for owners, with or without causing issues.

I don't recommend firmware updates unless it fixes an issue you are experiencing, or you need a feature your current BIOS does not support. There's a long history of firmware updates causing issues.

For driver updates I would go directly to the Dell web site and download the drivers manually for your system. I would install manufacturer drivers over Dell drivers for chipset and video cards, as dell drivers are often a few revisions behind. 

10 Elder


43.2K Posts

November 13th, 2023 20:18

Do BIOS updates entirely outside Windows, assuming the Flash Update option is available on the PC's F12 menu.

Use an empty (non-bootable) 2- to 8-GB USB stick that's formatted FAT32.  Download the BIOS update onto the USB from the Support page. Power PC off fully (not a Restart from inside Windows). With power off, plug USB into PC (if not already connected) and power on. Tap F12 at the Dell splash screen and select the Flash Update Option from the menu. Select the BIOS update .exe file on the USB stick and launch the update.

PC will reboot itself several times. Even if it looks like it shut off and isn't doing anything, just leave PC alone until it's safely back at the desktop.


1 Rookie


260 Posts

November 13th, 2023 22:10

I frequently check for available updates using Support Assist and by visiting the Support page for my model. I usually wait a few days before installing any updates to see whether any issues are noted by others, and I always review the update notes to see whether anything needs to be done prior to installing a given update.

1 Rookie


50 Posts

November 14th, 2023 13:46

It's dell Command | Update all the way for me, and I instruct my people who own Dell computers to do the same. I use it both at the office and at home; amazing and tiny piece of software!

1 Rookie


84 Posts

November 14th, 2023 15:17

I normally check for updates every few days using Dell Command | Update. The only time that has come back to bite me in more than two years was the recent ill-fated update to BIOS 2.14, which caused random freezes of my XPS 8940. The freezes seem to have been resolved when I updated to BIOS 2.15.1 a few days ago.


5 Posts

November 14th, 2023 21:28

Windows update, Intel Driver & Support Assistant and just today switched from Dell Support Assist to Dell Command | Update

2 Intern


191 Posts

November 16th, 2023 01:38

After sad experience with Dell's own update utilities, and an admission from a Dell technical support representative that SupportAssist doesn't work properly, I decided to manage my own updates manually.

Admittedly, this is not for everyone. But if you feel technically inclined, it's really the only way to know for sure that your computer is up to date. The key is being able to find which version of a driver or firmware your hardware currently has. You compare this to the versions of drivers and firmware available from Dell's website.

Your first attempt at updating drivers and firmware will take the most time, because you will be bringing your computer completely up to date. Once you are done, keep track of the calendar date on which you did this. (I use Notepad.)

Going forward, every few weeks you can return to Dell's website to check if any firmware or drivers have been issued after the calendar date on which you last checked.

For me, this is the method that gives complete assurance.


1 Message

November 17th, 2023 00:49

I use the Alienware Update standalone program from Dell

1 Rookie


156 Posts

November 17th, 2023 03:26

I use Windows Admin Manager to manage all our Windows PCs Dell or otherwise.  It allows me to schedule updates block updates set up group policy etc.  It also notifies me of any failed updates and or system crashes which is helpful. As far as Dell updates go.  For the 8940 with Nvidia gpu's Firmware updates are blocked.  But any other Dell System restore updates are still allowed to be installed. The rest of the drivers are done through the intel updater at my scheduled times, along with any GPU updates if needed when needed.  

Also, things like CC cleaner, anti-virus programs so forth get locked down so people here can't disable them or any program for that matter all users are running on user accounts not admin accounts in Windows. 


6 Professor


6.1K Posts

November 20th, 2023 09:20

My expensive Alienware 17 R5 laptop is not supported by Dell for Windows 11. Will now have to use third party applications to provide updates. Example Intel® Driver & Support Assistant will identify my laptop and get driver and software updates for most of my Intel hardware. 


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