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Author Topic: Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent  (Read 6717 times)

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camerongray

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Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent
« on: August 05, 2013, 05:14:53 PM »
At the moment in chat a few helpers seem to be advising the use of a program 'DriverAgent' http://driveragent.com/ and giving out trial passwords in order to allow its use free of charge.

While this software may work, I have a real problem with it being advised before simply directing the guest to either the manufacturer of their machine or the component in question, or it being used as a solution to someone experiencing issues with a component that is already on the latest manufacturer's driver.

To test I dug out my old testing laptop and ran DriverAgent on it, I plan on reinstalling it anyway.  It obviously exploded stating that I needed to update 57% of my drivers (Which of course made no performance difference).  What shocked me was that after running this (While actively discussing it on the chat), one helper who regularly advises this software states "camerongray I have your results - for "tiree"" where 'tiree' is the hostname of my testing laptop.  I did not knowingly share any of this info or even post any links to the scan I had run!

This clearly shows that when a guest runs DriverAgent, some members who have access to the system can read any log submitted (I wasn't even logged in at this point) which includes the machines hostname (Which could for example include someone's full name) along with their entire system information and a list of installed applications.  Needless to say I am not impressed with the fact that DriverAgent staff would happily release information such as my hostname in a public IRC channel where I hadn't even consented to sharing the info with DriverAgent in the first place.

I'd also have to say that the software feels shoddy at best - You literally run the .exe file which then opens a web browser listing all the drivers that supposedly need updated along with download links for each one, drivers are downloaded as individual .exe files that need installed manually anyway so really no more convenient than using the manufacturer's website.

I would really like to find out what people think about software like this being advised in the chat as I feel they fall into the same categories as other "frowned upon" tools such as registry cleaners. In fact, the company that makes DriverAgent also make a registry cleaner and some sort of very dodgy looking BIOS updater that are both just as shoddy looking as DriverAgent itself.

As a replacement for tools such as DriverAgent I can highly recommend 'Unknown Devices' from 'Halfdone Development' - http://www.halfdone.org/ukd/.  Instead of promising to instantly fix all driver problems, try to scare the user and charge them for its use, it just lists the full names/models/chipsets of any unknown components in the machine, allowing the correct driver to be sourced from a reputable source.

I'd love to know others' views on this matter.

Thanks in advance,
Cameron

patio

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Re: Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 05:54:55 PM »
This practice should have stopped in it's infancy...which was about 3 Years ago...
My protests however fell on deaf ears...i cannot mention how many times a bricked PC needed a clean install...which for me as a Helper is un-acceptable for a well reknowned Help Forum.
What i was alarmed at is the fact that it retrieves personal info and when i pointed that out it didn't seem important...

But i don't run Chat.

Just my 2 cents.

   
 
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Geek-9pm


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Re: Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2013, 06:02:15 PM »
camerongray, If there was a time when Driver Snoopers wee needed, that time has long gone. Machines that are sold in the retail chain already have all the drives. Newer version of Windows already have the most common drivers.
Thank you for your report.  I think these alleged  "driver helpers" are the modern snake oil salesmen of cyberspace.

BC_Programmer


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Re: Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2013, 06:10:50 PM »
I wrote a post on DriverAgent... then I found it too short and included "RegistryWizard" which is by the same people, in the same post. the results were hilarious.

The Registry Cleaner found 171 problems with my registry- this was on a practically clean Windows XP SP3 installation. Worse still, most of the things it cited as problems were a misunderstanding by the developers about the purpose of a Registry key or even better the fact that the cleaner couldn't understand either Environment Variables or UNC paths.

Better still, I let it fix as far as It would go, then quit; and within 5 minutes Windows was complaining of a lack of Virtual Memory, and two random applications crashed and explorer faulted; additionally the associations for Sound recorder were all broken, and I couldn't open Windows Help.

if it does this in a CLEAN Windows install, I hate to see the result on the type of system that is already having those issues- even better, no doubt any support for the program would blame the problems that arose on a registry that is still "dirty" even though the issues are a result of the cleaner itself!
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

camerongray

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Re: Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2013, 06:23:34 PM »
I suppose if we could actually get any work done on HopeBot it would be great to have a trigger so if "DriverAgent" is mentioned it pops up a friendly message along the lines of "Computer Hope does not advise the use of driver scanning software such as 'DriverAgent'.  Drivers should only be downloaded from the manufacturer's site.  Use these tools at your own risk."

patio

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Re: Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2013, 06:53:46 PM »
It will fall on deaf ears...see above.
   
 
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Calum

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Re: Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2013, 02:06:20 AM »
This practice should have stopped in it's infancy...which was about 3 Years ago...
My protests however fell on deaf ears...i cannot mention how many times a bricked PC needed a clean install...which for me as a Helper is un-acceptable for a well reknowned Help Forum.
What i was alarmed at is the fact that it retrieves personal info and when i pointed that out it didn't seem important...

But i don't run Chat.

Just my 2 cents.



Pretty much this.
This whole practice is totally unacceptable as the software is useless at best, but knowing now that Driveragent staff have so little regard for personal information is ridiculous.
I would like to see something implemented as mentioned above, perhaps a warning should be issued when someone mentions Driveragent - not just a warning about the software, but a warning to the person who said it, same as with a censored word.
We've had these discussions before when Driveragent and their ilk's shills/staff have invaded the forums posting advice to use the software, and there was even an FAQ written to state that these programs weren't good, so why they now infest chat is beyond me.

camerongray

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Re: Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2013, 06:50:12 AM »
Anyone have any suggestions of what should be said if someone is advising DriverAgent?  At the moment I say something along the lines of "I really wouldn't use DriverAgent" but it sounds a bit like I'm just winging for no reason.

I'm thinking something along the line of
Quote
Computer Hope does not recommend 'Driver Scanning' tools such as DriverAgent, use these tools at your own risk! - http://www.computerhope.com/forum/index.php?topic=24560.0
  but that feels to be making a statement for the entire site which I'm not sure about.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

WillyW



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Re: Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2013, 07:14:23 AM »
Anyone have any suggestions of what should be said if someone is advising DriverAgent? 

...

Post a link to this thread, and say that anybody that is considering using it should read this thread, first.

After all, no one can complain that you posted a link to the very forum that sponsors the channel, can they?     
;)
.



patio

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Re: Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2013, 05:54:23 PM »
Post a link to this thread, and say that anybody that is considering using it should read this thread, first.

After all, no one can complain that you posted a link to the very forum that sponsors the channel, can they?     
;)

Excellent recommendation there Willy...
I advise any active Chat Members should follow that lead.
   
 
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Calum

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Re: Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2013, 01:51:09 AM »
Excellent recommendation there Willy...
I advise any active Chat Members should follow that lead.

Seconded.  Either that, or Driveragent should be added to Hopebot's list of bad words, so people mentioning it will be warned like they would for cussing...

camerongray

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Re: Advising to use tools such as DriverAgent
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2013, 03:50:25 AM »
Seconded.  Either that, or Driveragent should be added to Hopebot's list of bad words, so people mentioning it will be warned like they would for cussing...

That would be the ideal option, but annoyingly I can't see HopeBot being changed in the near future, the list of bugs is piling up!