Pro Tip: Can't find the driver you need? Ma-Config will find it for you

If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are the "family PC repair" person and you often get the odd calls when the printer isn't working or "the Internet is slow". We have all been there, removing Bonzi buddy from mom's laptop or removing the Ask.com bar from your friends IE install, it's unavoidable.

If you find yourself in a situation where you cant find the driver or the OEM driver CD has been lost, check out ma-config.com. The site can scan your machine and find the drivers that you need for your install, it can also analyze a BSOD dump. 

The site is free and has recently been overhauled to make the UI and feature set more user friendly. It's one of those sites that you will likely not visit daily but when you need to find that obscure driver, it can save you a boatload of time.

Let us know in the comments if you have any more sites like the one mentioned in this post that are your "go to" site for finding drivers/software when repairing a family or friends PC. 

View: Ma-config.com

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Firefox to get its own "health report" by collecting user data

Next Story

Cabin in the Woods had plans for Left 4 Dead 2 DLC pack

48 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Hi, I'm webmaster and developer of Ma-Config.com. Sorry I don't speak well english. Thanks for your comments

Ma-config.com exists since 2004. I's a popular service in france(towards 30000 visitors/days)
The plugins are trusted by Kaspersky and signed by Verisign. There is no adware or spyware. I am against such practices.
Microsoft supports my project by BizSpark.

Your product works well on my end. It found a few driver updates for my computer. It was easy-to-use and pretty straight-forward. Thanks a lot for this!

30,000 people a day need to update their drivers?
I find that extremely hard to believe... Are you sure there's no tracking or call back going on there?

Hmmm.

Want to try this...but I'm skeptical. Ah, forget it, I'll try it anyway! At worst, I'll have to re-install windows on this machine anyway, which is probably overdue due to the fact that my brother used this machine to look at pr0n....and it's been acting strange, so yeah....(possible rootkit/bootkit action going on). Good thing I took french in HS as a second language, though. Note to software editor if you're reading this: Make instructions in English only (for non-bilingual people) if their primary language is English. Most people I've met in the states would hit "cancel" the second they saw "Voulez". But it's okay...trying it now.....

Verdict: do NOT use active x to open an IE window that make me click a radio button that reads: "Detect Now"....it's not really a program, it's just another junk IE addon, as far as I'm concerned...uninstalling. Nice try, though, you're getting there.

Edited by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sep 23 2012, 3:50pm :

obiwankenobi said,
Verdict: do NOT use active x to open an IE window that make me click a radio button that reads: "Detect Now"....it's not really a program, it's just another junk IE addon, as far as I'm concerned...uninstalling. Nice try, though, you're getting there.

How is asking you whether you're sure you want to detect drivers, an operation that will send data about your PC to a server, which may be considered a privacy breach by some people, bad?
You'd feel better if you had to install a program instead of running one inside IE?

Tried it, not too bad actually.

Some of the mirrors for the actual downloads are a bit less comprehensive but that's to be expected for a free service.

Who needs this on Linux where we have package repositories and the system detects, installs and updates all your drivers and software automaticly with package manager?

antiWin said,
Who needs this on Linux where we have package repositories and the system detects, installs and updates all your drivers and software automaticly with package manager?

Can you get proprietary binary drivers via package management?

It didn't find any updates, but it wanted to go backwards on my Radeon drivers to v. 12.8 from 12.9beta.
IMO keeping a configuration list of all your computers and downloading the appropriate drivers is the way to go. I mostly use http://www.station-drivers.com for updated drivers and BIOS's.

Gungel said,
It didn't find any updates, but it wanted to go backwards on my Radeon drivers to v. 12.8 from 12.9beta.
IMO keeping a configuration list of all your computers and downloading the appropriate drivers is the way to go. I mostly use http://www.station-drivers.com for updated drivers and BIOS's.

Seems to only show non-Beta by default, click Settings to enable them.

Thanks for this article, i tried it and it found 2 outdated drivers, works like a charm. Oh, i don't give a **** if they upload too much DATA, i have nothing to hide and i'mm fully protected.

I don't know how good or spyware free it actually is, but their website style looks like one of theese penis extender or fake "antivirus xp 2012" websites.

jackkk1 said,
I don't know how good or spyware free it actually is, but their website style looks like one of theese penis extender or fake "antivirus xp 2012" websites.

Don't judge a book by its cover!

The developer of this service is a Windows enthusiast, he even has a blog (in French unfortunately) where he talks about the internals of Windows.

http://www.blog.ma-config.com/


he even created a Linux version of his tool, just for the fun. If it was for spreading spywares, he wouldn't have wasted his time developing a tool for desktop linux users as they are almost non-existant.

I'm just in general, I am sceptical of these kind of services. Generally I would recommend not even updating drivers unless there is a particular issue that needs to be resolved. As far initially finding a driver that is hard to find (which sometimes happens) I would much prefer a web tool where I can just enter the VEN and DEV and see if it can find it. At the moment I find that just Googling the VEN and DEV works best.

Is there a reason why I should trust this service? Has anyone had experience with this tool? Is this a paid advertisement on Neowin?

Simon- said,
I'm just in general, I am sceptical of these kind of services. Generally I would recommend not even updating drivers unless there is a particular issue that needs to be resolved. As far initially finding a driver that is hard to find (which sometimes happens) I would much prefer a web tool where I can just enter the VEN and DEV and see if it can find it. At the moment I find that just Googling the VEN and DEV works best.

Is there a reason why I should trust this service? Has anyone had experience with this tool? Is this a paid advertisement on Neowin?

The developer of this service is a friend of mine.

His service is pretty popular in France, it can be trusted.

And no, I don't think he has paid neowin for talking about his site here.

Simon- said,
I'm just in general, I am sceptical of these kind of services. Generally I would recommend not even updating drivers unless there is a particular issue that needs to be resolved. As far initially finding a driver that is hard to find (which sometimes happens) I would much prefer a web tool where I can just enter the VEN and DEV and see if it can find it. At the moment I find that just Googling the VEN and DEV works best.

Is there a reason why I should trust this service? Has anyone had experience with this tool? Is this a paid advertisement on Neowin?

Couldn't agree more with the first part of what you said!!

Simon- said,
Generally I would recommend not even updating drivers unless there is a particular issue that needs to be resolved.

You recommend NOT keeping your drivers up to date? Driver updates are not just to resolve specific faults and issues you know, but also can bring performance improvements. Not keeping your drivers up to date is madness.

Now, whether you use this or another tool or check manually is something that is open for debate.

TCLN Ryster said,

You recommend NOT keeping your drivers up to date? Driver updates are not just to resolve specific faults and issues you know, but also can bring performance improvements. Not keeping your drivers up to date is madness.

Now, whether you use this or another tool or check manually is something that is open for debate.


Well Performance Issues is a valid reason for updating drivers. eg: Graphics drivers, or if a particular issue has been identified with some other hardware causing other performance issues. For example, I am not going to update my Sound card driver for the sake of it, if the sound is working perfectly fine.

link8506 thanks for the heads up about the developer.

TCLN Ryster said,

You recommend NOT keeping your drivers up to date? Driver updates are not just to resolve specific faults and issues you know, but also can bring performance improvements. Not keeping your drivers up to date is madness.

Now, whether you use this or another tool or check manually is something that is open for debate.


Unless you have problems or need maximal performance, it's not worth the trouble. Even drivers published on Windows Update can go wrong - the last time I tried upgrading my graphics driver, it wasn't recognized as a WDDM driver any more. No sleep, no Aero, no more graphic card in the device list.

TCLN Ryster said,

You recommend NOT keeping your drivers up to date? Driver updates are not just to resolve specific faults and issues you know, but also can bring performance improvements. Not keeping your drivers up to date is madness.

Now, whether you use this or another tool or check manually is something that is open for debate.


Agreed. A very strange philosophy indeed.

Simon- said,
Has anyone had experience with this tool?

Yes I use this site since its creation in 2004. For those who are afraid of ActiveX, the plugin is white-listed by Kaspersky. There is absolutely no risk of malware. Don't forget to set the preferences (settings on ribbon) to define the hard/soft analysis depth of your PC.

Edited by wostaron, Sep 23 2012, 6:37pm :

It worked well. It found 3 driver updates, which one is very hard to find...
On the other hand, this software is creepy! It sends an awful lot of info to the site...
Uninstalled it....

eladbs said,
It worked well. It found 3 driver updates, which one is very hard to find...
On the other hand, this software is creepy! It sends an awful lot of info to the site...
Uninstalled it....

Well, it needs to know your exact configuration, no wonder it sends a lot of data. How do you suggest getting info without sending it from your PC to the server?

Aethec said,

Well, it needs to know your exact configuration, no wonder it sends a lot of data. How do you suggest getting info without sending it from your PC to the server?

Have the code that figures out what's needed running locally?

Mind you, I haven't looked at the payload. If all it's sending is device IDs, then who cares...

_dandy_ said,

Have the code that figures out what's needed running locally?

Mind you, I haven't looked at the payload. If all it's sending is device IDs, then who cares...


So download the entire list of driver version information before a scan so that it's up to date just so people can complain about that?

I think their solution definitely works best and find it more than a little ridiculous that someone would want to do a scan to see what drivers they need, but not send any information to them...

Sadelwo said,
Use the vista/Win7 one and run it in compatibility mode. Worked golden for a few Dells I tested 8 on.

I have an ASUS motherboard, and the installer won't let me install any drivers saying it does not support the OS I'm using. The driver is packed inside the installer...