Audio Drivers

The Problem

Audio Drivers make up a large part of the Dell Driver Packs ...

Inbox Drivers

Microsoft is really on the ball when it comes to Audio Drivers ... probably because they want Cortana to speak to you when you install Windows 10

Inbox Drivers refers to drivers that are built into Windows 10. One issue with Inbox Drivers is that typically they are not the up to date, so if you have newer hardware, the Drivers will not be in Windows 10, so you have your own.

But Microsoft uses a standard High Definition Audio Device for Sound Cards that works just fine. For Business use, and even Home use, this just works.

One thing that sticks out is even when testing on a newly released Dell Latitude 7400 that didn't even ship until April 2019, the Inbox Drivers work perfectly

OEM Customizations

This used to be a thing. We used to have to use OEM Drivers (from Dell, HP, or Lenovo) because OEM's would customize the devices and add features

But things have changed ...

Take my Dell Latitude 7400. I ran a clean install of Windows 10 1903 and before connecting to the Internet, I set my Local Security Policy to disable Driver Updates. Typically I have my Device Installation Settings set like the screenshot below

But changing this setting to automatically download manufacturer's apps and custom icons does something really cool. In the screenshot below, I am getting an update for my Sound Card. If you look at my Recent activity, you can see Intel Graphics Command and Thunderbolt Control Center added automatically as well ... but what is really interesting is the size of the Waves MaxxAudio Pro for Dell 2019 update ... less than 40MB. Keep in mind my Driver Packs average 500MB of Audio Drivers each, so making this change will save quite a bit of space

Looking in my Device Manager my Sound Card did get updated Drivers (even though Policy was set to not do this) because of the Microsoft Store App

Device Manager even shows a Software components section

Solution

  • Remove OEM Audio Drivers from the Driver Packs

  • Use Inbox Audio Drivers

  • Enable Manufacturer Apps from the Windows Store for Driver Updates and OEM customizations