Thursday, March 11, 2010

Driver Cleaner Professional

As the name indicates, this simple and easy-to-use program allows you to eliminate all traces of previously installed and no longer needed drivers from your computer. An important fact to remember is as time passes by, your operating system will get cluttered with more and more garbage. Some of this garbage includes files remaining somewhere in your System folder which belong to drivers that are no longer used. In most cases these files will also have traces into your system's registry and initialization files and can affect stability and performance. I happened to come across this program when trying to solve a driver problem of my own.

I had just reformatted my computer after several years which called for the installation of brand new drivers the likes of which my system had not seen before. The problem arose while playing Call of Duty for the first time on my just-formatted-and-updated PC. Not 5 minutes into playing my frames per second dropped from a constant 125 to sub 20 causing horrendous and completely unplayable video lag. After 20 seconds of watching my screen stutter the problem would abruptly stop and return to normal, only to begin lagging again a few minutes later. This video lag would only occur while running graphically intensive programs (read video games) and needless to say, I had to fix this problem.

My first instinct was to re-install the same brand-new video driver again in case of an original bad install. This time I decided to test things out by playing Counter Strike 1.6, a very old game that my system should have no problems with. Unfortunately the exact same problem and symptoms returned. I then decided to download older drivers that I knew were compatible with my system. No luck, the problem returned. While searching for a solution I came across Driver Cleaner Professional and decided to give it a shot and try to save myself some formatting time. I removed all traces of my video drivers from my computer using DCP and proceeded to install my previously proven drivers. Success! I didn't even have to buy another video card!

Like I mentioned before, the interface of this program is extremely easy to use especially when you consider the one main task associated with this program: cleaning drivers. Driver Cleaner Pro is intended to deal with drivers revolving around sound cards, motherboards, and graphics cards from manufacturers such as ATI, Creative, Realtek, Nvidia, Logitech, SIS, 3Dfx, S3, as well as many others. The program is also compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7.

Where all the magic happens is in the Cleaning Selection of the program which is mostly a drop down menu for the user to select the proper cleaning filter. After the selection has been made you can simply click the Start button to begin cleaning. If you would like to clean more than one item you can check the "Select multiple cleaning filters" button and then continue to add from the drop down menu for a one time go. The cleaning process takes around 30 seconds to 1 minute and depending on the complexity of the driver being cleaned, your computer may require a reboot in safe-mode. If this is the case, on-screen instructions are provided to help you along the way.

Remember, when working with programs like this backup should always be on your mind. Computer repair that goes wrong can certainly give new meaning to the words "better safe than sorry" and you'll be thanking yourself for taking those few minutes out of your time should the worst arise.

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