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why should I uninstall older first?


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According to this page you have to uninstall older drivers first. Question is why?

What can get broken?

Why doesn't installation do it automatically or at least warn_me_/refuse_to_install_before_uninstall?

It doesn't make sense.

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What can get broken?
The reason behind uninstalling first is just to ensure the desired files are installed properly. It's the catch-all whether you are downgrading or upgrading. There are times when files are mis-matched among versions. Which obviously could cause issues.
Why doesn't installation do it automatically or at least warn_me_/refuse_to_install_before_uninstall?

Some versions do automatically uninstall previous versions. I am leaning towards saying Dell releases do this. Why it isn't standard? I would guess to say not uninstalling allows a driver rollback but OEMs do testing and ensure proper drivers therefore they would provide the automatic uninstall.

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I have noticed sometimes (not always) using setup.exe will uninstall a driver first and then install the new driver after a reboot.

This doesn't happen often, but this should be the prefered way to install a driver.

So best to uninstall 1st before installing the new driver, it also pays to use something like Driver Cleaner to remove the files that Uninstall doesn't (most of them)

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  • 1 month later...

It is possible to get BSODs if you don't uninstall first, especially if you are going to go to an older driver.

If the installer uninstalls the old one first then it isn't an issue with that driver, but you should uninstall when doing a major version jump, or downgrading.

To be on the safe side uninstall before every new driver install.

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