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Why Did I Get this Additional Driver Utility?

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When I was downloading a driver to put the sound back in my system,  something called “driver wiz” wound up on my system. When I went to the Control Panel to remove it, the command “move” or “remove” is no longer there –  just the word “change.” When you click on Change, it tries to install the program driver wiz. I found out that I’m not the only one having this problem. Can you help?

What you have is a classic PUP –  Potentially Unwanted Program.

Unfortunately, there’s rarely any “potentially” about it. The programs are unwanted. They’ve been getting more aggressive and people are saddled with all sorts of things that they really don’t want.

Let’s talk about prevention first.

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Download drivers safely

When it comes to drivers, you should only get drivers from the manufacturer’s website. Period.

Typically that means the computer manufacturer. If you have a Dell, you go to Dell. If you have an HP, you go to HP.

You might go to the component manufacturer’s site for components that you’ve replaced or added – or when the actual computer manufacturer’s site sends you there.

For example, if you add a video card to your machine, you would go to that device’s manufacturer’s website to get the drivers for that video card.

I do not recommend driver update utilities or driver download sites specifically because of what you’ve just experienced. You often don’t get the right thing or you get more potentially unwanted things.

When installing any software that you’ve downloaded, always use the custom button and look carefully at all of the options. Often, PUPs are hidden options that default to “Yes”. You technically choose to install the software because you said, “Yes, please install it,” by NOT unchecking the hidden option.

Getting rid of PUPs

In general, I would start at the Control Panel and see if there was a way to simply uninstall the program.

In your case, there is not. If a Start menu item was added, especially a Start menu sub-menu, then look in there for an uninstall option. Very often software gets installed with a specific uninstall option placed in the Start menu rather than in Control Panel.

If that’s not there, then I’d go out and grab Revo Uninstaller. Because the program actually appears in Control Panel, I’m hopeful that Revo can clean it for you.

If that doesn’t work, try Malwarebytes Anti-malware. They’ve been doing a lot of work on PUPs lately and they may also catch and remove it for you.

If that doesn’t work then, you have to treat this as malware. Look at my article, “How do I remove malware?” for instructions on doing that.

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Leo

Posted: October 24, 2013 in: Setup and Install
Shortlink: https://askleo.com/11534
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I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and after "retiring" in 2001 I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.

1 thought on “Why Did I Get this Additional Driver Utility?”

  1. I find that an increasingly large percentage of “free” software packages (Izarc, a very good compression utility, comes to mind) come bundled with browser toolbars and other crapware that install themselves silently if you choose the “typical” installation method. For that reason I ALWAYS choose the “advanced’ installation method and I can then deselect the software extras that want to be installed alongside the desired software. Diligence is the first line of defense against unwanted software.

    Reply

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