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Author Topic: Intel drivers and support - The Intel Driver and Support Assistant (IDSA)  (Read 437 times)

IainB

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I have discovered that the best or most suitable Intel drivers for my Intel i7 chip-based Win10-64 Pro laptop might not necessarily be the ones that have been installed via the sometimes unreliable/unwanted Windows Update process.

For what it's worth, here are some notes on The Intel Driver and Support Assistant - this app could be useful to you.

The Intel Driver and Support Assistant.
These are my notes, made as a record and published here as I consider this app is useful and could probably be well worth having for many other PC users, as it helped to bring my laptop up-to-date with the latest Intel hardware driver versions applicable to that laptop - when it had not so been brought up-to-date by the WinUpdate process.

File:           Intel Driver and Support Assistant Installer.exe
dl from:      <https://downloadmirror.intel.com/24345/a08/Intel%20Driver%20and%20Support%20Assistant%20Installer.exe>
Web page: <https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/detect.html?iid=dc_IDSA>
_______________________________

I came across this app by chance last month (Nov. 2018), after doing a duckduckgo search for: Intel 1815.12.0.2021
 - which was the Intel driver that WinUpdate was trying to dl + install. I wanted to know what it was for.
I was hoping that the Intel Driver and Support Assistant would be able to tell me whether I needed to install anything - and, hopefully, WHY I needed to install it. I wish to avoid inadvertently installing Meltdown/SPECTRE fixes as they are reputedly likely to degrade CPU performance.
___________________________
The installation includes "an invitation" to join the  Intel® Computing Improvement Program: the Terms of which are in the spoiler below: (I DECLINED.)
Spoiler
Terms - The  Intel® Computing Improvement Program.
The information collected includes the web browsing histogram telling how long and how often specific categories of sites have been visited on this device.
All sites visits are classified into one of up to 30 categories. We will not send URLs, web pages titles or any user specific content without an additional explicit permission from you.

Collected information contains your device manufacturer, CPU model, memory and display configuration, OS version, software version, region and language settings, regional location and time zone, other devices in your computing environment, software usage (e.g. number of times used, duration of use, etc.), and feature usage. Collected data is associated with a randomly generated unique identifier (GUID) that is stored on your device. Other devices in your computing environment includes universal plug and play devices (e.g. Smart TV model and vendor information, Video Streaming devices) or other devices that broadcast information that is available to your computer on a local area network.  This information is used to help Intel understand how well our products perform over time, to determine how useful they are, to detect issues and to identify future product improvements. The information collected does not include any actual content you create or view and will not be used to identify you without an additional explicit permission from you.

A frequently asked questions providing additional details is available here: https://policy.syste...eport.intel.com/faq/ .

The Intel® Computing Improvement Program utilizes reasonable organizational, technical and administrative measures to protect the information collected against unauthorized or unlawful access, alteration, disclosure or destruction. You can access more information about Intel's privacy practices online at http://intel.com/privacy
_____________________________________________________

When first run, the IDSA (Intel Driver and Support Assistant) works with a web-hosted application to analyze and report on the status of drivers for all the Intel hardware on your particular PC (i.e., the on-board Intel hardware). The report is interesting and very informative - fairly detailed - and is displayed in a browser page. It indicates the software (driver) update packages that are required to be installed on your particular PC to bring it up-to-date.
This it did for me, identifying the device and the driver update required, and asked me to select the download if I wanted to proceed - which I did.

Once installed, the IDSA reloads at system Start-up, and seems to just monitor and check whether the latest drivers applicable to your particular PC's on-board Intel hardware (e.g., including Intel CPU, GPU, bluetooth and wifi processors) are installed. If not, then I think it will automatically download and install it (hasn't needed to do that for me yet), which then would maintain your Intel system(s) up-to-date with the current driver versions - which is what you would expect it to do, at any rate.

Given the - what seems to me to be - excessively inquisitive terms and nature of "The Intel® Computing Improvement Program" (which I declined to join), I do not trust the IDSA to be entirely innocent and so I delete the process after Start-up, though it does not seem to present a burden on the CPU or other resources. Once the process is deleted, it does not seem to automatically persist/reinstate itself - e.g., unlike the annoyingly persistent Google Update processes that are sometimes bundled with Chrome and other Google products.

At the very least, the IDSA provides a useful and independent (of Microsoft) confidence check on the validity/currency of the Intel hardware drivers required to be installed on any given PC.
Probably worth having, therefore.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 08:16 AM by IainB »