There is no shortage to the everyday things that entertainingly divide groups of people into two camps. We have the ever-present Apple vs Android fanboy wars, the classic Coke vs. Pepsi debate, and, of course, the one that came to mind when I started writing this post, either loving or loathing Microsoft Windows.
While I like Windows 10 (and, for the record, loved Windows 8.1) and found the Windows 10 update process spectacularly seamless with regards to my Autodesk software, there are features in Windows 10 that are outright baffling in the way they have been integrated.
One such feature is how Windows 10 handles updates, which are downloaded and installed automatically without options for controlling which updates get installed. On one side, this feature makes it so that everyone, from the tech-savvy to the technically challenged, are assured that they are running the most secure version of their OS, which is great! On the other hand, besides security patches, Microsoft is also including many other types of updates as well, including updates for device drivers.
The Bad News
The major problem with this type of functionality is that running the most optimized design and visualization software (AutoCAD, Revit, 3ds Max, V-Ray) often requires using specific certified drivers for the installed graphics card. As an example, visualization artists who rely on V-Ray’s RT rendering engine for real-time activeshade rendering in 3ds Max using CUDA-enabled NVIDIA GPUs are recommended to use NVIDIA driver version 350.12. Likewise, users of Revit 2016 need certified graphic card drivers to run their software with hardware acceleration enabled.
So imagine yourself, being the savvy individual you are, finding the most optimized driver for the software you use only to have something like this show up in your windows update:
When I came across the update above I said to myself “Surely I can’t be the only person who thinks this is an awful idea?” and started searching online in the hopes of either finding a workaround to my problem or to seek solidarity among the ranks of users who thought this was wondrously stupid. Fortunately, I found the former.
The Good News
The good news is that there are a few ways around this problem, so I am posting the two I think work the best for a majority of individuals. The first approach is to access the Device Installation Settings located under the Hardware tab of your System Properties dialog window. Here you’ll have the opportunity of disabling driver software via Windows Update. Unfortunately, this is the nuclear options, meaning, it’s an all or nothing approach to managing drivers for all the different devices your workstation makes use of.
The second approach is to download and run the Windows Update Show/Hide Utility available on Microsoft’s website. Upon running this troubleshooting pack cabinet file you will be presented with a few choices allowing you to hide updates, thereby preventing Windows from automatically installing them. To allow them to be automatically again, simply re-run the utility and choose to Show the update. It’s worth mentioning that this won’t prevent future driver updates, so always be vigilant in checking which updates Windows wants to install.