Scott Hanselman

How to fix Base System Device Driver issue in Windows 10 and Windows 11

October 26, 2021 Comment on this post [3] Posted in Win10 | Win11
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I had a hard drive die recently so I decided to do a full fresh reinstall of Windows, this time a fresh Windows 11 from a downloaded ISO burned to a USB stick.

Lots of Base System Devices in Device Manager

It was a solid install and everything worked out of the box. I used it for a few days and had no issues, but while poking around I noticed in the Device Manager that there were dozens of Base System Devices that were banged out. Like a TON.

I'd like to get that fixed, so I went to Windows Update but WU said everything was cool.

Since a lot of stuff moved and was redesigned in Windows 11 I went looking for "Windows Update Optional Updates" and it took me a while to find it, even though it's listed right there on Windows Update in Settings.

Windows Update optional updates in Windows 11

Click on Advanced Options. Here you can control things like your Windows Update active hours so it doesn't reboot when you don't want it, etc.

Here you'll see a bunch of Optional Updates. I had like 33 of them.

Lots of Optional Updates in Windows 11

Here's what it looks like when you have a bunch of updates pending. These are Chipset and Motherboard updates.

Optional Updates in Windows Update

I did have to select each of these checkboxes and select Install at the end, but once they were done, I had no banged out (yellow exclamation point) devices in Device Manager.

Hope this helps!


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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October 31, 2021 3:56
Are these updates for only devices I have?
I seem to recall that back in the day, optional updates was the place where you found drivers that Microsoft felt had issues and as such were only for advanced users to try.
I once saw suggestions for updates that were drives for devices I did not even have like printers.
October 31, 2021 13:56
I'm a bit surprised, did you never install any drivers from vendors when installing a fresh OS?
Or did I miss something in the last years? (since Win10?)
November 04, 2021 16:42
I've always been worried about installing those optional updates because they are from 2018, 2017, and older. Are they really the latest/newest/correct driver on my new system?

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.