Intel To Remove Old Drivers and BIOS Updates From Its Site
Just happened to see this over at Slashdot:
By Friday this week, Intel plans to remove old drivers and BIOS updates from its official website. From a report:
"This download, BIOS Update [BLH6710H.86A] 0163, will no longer be available after November 22, 2019 and will not be supported with any additional functional, security, or other updates," reads a message posted to the download page of one of the impacted components. "Intel recommends that users of BIOS Update [BLH6710H.86A] 0163 uninstall and/or discontinue use as soon as possible," the message continues. The downloads are drivers and BIOS updates for Intel desktop components and motherboards the company released in the 90s and early-to-mid 2000s. Downloads for hundreds of components are believed to have been impacted, from motherboards to NIC cards and graphics cards. Most of the drivers are for Windows versions like 98, ME, XP, and older Windows Server editions -- old Windows OS versions that have themselves reached end-of-life (EOL) All components and motherboards reached (EOL) years ago, and Intel stopped delivering firmware updates as a result. Its website was merely hosting the older files for convenience.
Hardly the first time a big name has purged old files, but just a reminder that even freely redistributable files need archiving.
How silly. Let's throw out some more Pentium !!! machines made unusable after Intel told us to remove the BIOS!!!
Intel has already removed all of the drivers. The oldest graphics driver now on their site for Windows XP is from 2013. The search filter no longer recognizes any older OSes.
M$ will probably pressure them to remove the Windows 7 drivers in a couple of years.
Someone uploaded all of the legacy Intel graphics drivers to archive.org:
Yep, they removed the drivers already. I have an Intel desktop motherboard (Pentium 4) that I just recently installed Windows 98 on and it was a huge pain finding the drivers for it because Intel removed all the old ones. I scavenge drivers scattered across the web and it took a few hours to find them all. Things like this are why I have my own driver repository on my network. Once I download them, I never delete them. I've been working on a website that will host both drivers and discontinued patches and hotfixes as I come across them.
Guess Intel thinks that anything older than the Core 2 series isn't worth bothering with at all, despite the fact that old Pentium III and 4 machines can still be used for normal tasks.
Why do you say "despite"? I think it's "because". All these drivers together are something like 10-100TB. If even that. It's one server. ONE. Do you really think it's worth purging for the sake of saving money?
No, the idea is obviously to make old machines unusable.
I'm honestly surprised vendors these days don't remove files the second a product falls out of "support". Just to force you to buy all new stuff.
It sounds like this time they are bitching about the "security" of old update files that now probably have known issues. They probably have some dick headed lawyer making waves.
Other times, like when HP removed a bunch of printer drivers, it was because they included licensed material from some third party and that distribution license expired.
Of course what will happen is all the drivers will get sucked on to one of those spammy driver sites.
The damage seems to be far greater than originally thought. Some newer Windows 7 drivers, like the ones for the relatively recent Intel HD Graphics 620, can no longer be found on Intel's website; only the Windows 10 x64 drivers.
omg!! I forgot when, but I needed an Intel driver for XP, and an article sometime 2013 led to a driver downloadable from intel, and then I get page not found. It is a bit disappointing.
Guess we need a new category in the Library called "Intel Drivers" lol.
Archive has been removed? That's awkward.
Here's a new link:
And the Kaby Lake video drivers modded for Windows 7:
Yep. They completely removed all drivers for Intel motherboards, for every OS. It's going to be a huge pain in the future. I'm already feeling the effects of it, but it's just going to get worse.
I suppose there will be way more doing this, However it won't get me to buy a new machine, I'll Just buy an old one that I DO HAVE drivers for....
Say no to spyware machines & OSes...
Probably an unpopular opinion for these parts, but I don't think it's unreasonable at all for companies like Intel to pull drivers and other downloads for products they no longer support, nor would it be reasonable to expect them to support all of their products forever. It just gets unmanageable after a certain point. Especially once you've been in business as long as Intel.
Imagine being in their shoes. You start SuperAwesomeCo, a company that makes SuperAwesomeProduct. Everything is great, you support the product and it sells well. So next year, in order to stay relevant, your company makes a new version, SuperAwesomeProduct2. This is fine, you can support two products easy enough... your company grows and does well. You decide that every year, you release a new SuperAwesomeProduct, making improvements along the way as you learn more, hire better talent, and have more money for resources to make SuperAwesomeProduct even better. It's been a few years, you now have SuperAwesomeProduct1-5. You've been documenting everything and your support team has no trouble with supporting 5 SuperAwesomeProduct's.
Fast forward 30 years. You've not only released a SuperAwesomeProduct every year, but also several SKUs of that product to target an even wider audience so that you have multiple sources of sales / revenue coming in. The problem? You've now got 130 different SuperAwesomeProducts to support. You know that the majority of your users have long since upgraded to the latest SuperAwesomeProduct and your support team is overworked, trying to support 130 different SuperAwesomeProducts, each with their own SuperAwesomeDrivers. Your dev team is also overworked. Every time a new security vulnerability is discovered in SuperAwesomeDriver, they have to try and update 130 different versions of the software, and on top of everything else, your systems admins are hitting you up for more storage servers to host all of this code and documentation.
At this point, SuperAwesomeCo is spending more and more money on supporting products it no longer makes and most of its customers no longer use. So what's the solution? Purging. You decide that you'll only support SuperAwesomeProduct for 5 years and you cut down from 130 to a more reasonable, 30 SuperAwesomeProduct's to support. Your support staff thanks you, your sys admins thank you, your software devs thank you, and you go to bed happy that night. Consequences? Well, a small minority of users are pissed because you don't support SuperAwesomeProduct32 anymore. A small price to pay. They weren't supporting your company anymore, so why should you support them?
Archives like WinWorld and archive.org exist for a reason. To take on that burden of storing old software / drivers / etc. and supporting that minority of SuperAwesomeProduct32 users. I don't think you should be upset by it when these things happen. Instead, just archive what you can and be glad that places like this exist for people that are still interested in running old / legacy systems.
@BlueSun some parts of your post could be reworded or cut a little for the context of this topic.
More or less it isn't the matter of actually supporting old hardware- I don't expect Intel to provide tech help or release fixes for a 450KX after 25 years. And many other folks with a mind who are running similarly dated hardware know that as well. That's what dedicated forums are for.
I don't even think much of Intel's staff even know what the 450KX was for.
The matter is keeping what support was available available and in this case drivers. The only advantage to Intel pulling these old is they get to shut down a server or repurpose those resources for something else especially with the situation Intel is in right now.
AKA yes you have a point in the first and last paragraphs. Attempting to hold this much data would seem unmanageable and a burden when upgrading or operating server infrastructure, added the consensus "nobody uses that crap anymore." However, Intel could've provided a much better, clearer warning for those in the preservation communities to brace and better archive the software.
@yourepicfailure I know it's a bit long, but I thought the story would help people see things from the perspective of the company rather than just saying, "lol, intel is evil and greedy because they're not providing drivers for my 25 year old hardware anymore"
I do agree. It shouldn't be expected that some old hardware really only used within a niche community should be supported after a long time. But, to me, the context of much of your post was garnered to Intel actually releasing new driver files for old hardware, rather than this thread's initial idea of simply keeping what was released released. But then again, I see where you were going.
However, there are still users that use said hardware. Take Ntrig. When MS bought that company for their technology to use in the Surface, they eliminated the old website and took all drivers for it without warning. Absolutely outrageous.
I don't expect Microsoft to keep releasing bugfixes for my old Latitude XT's Ntrig display. But at the same time I don't think it's super-awesome for my hardware to be crippled by a sudden lack of drivers necessitating me to search dodgy driver websites for them.
The whole updates thing probably clouded my point. Mostly I was just talking about people wanting security vulnerabilities patched on the older drivers. Which probably could have been dropped from my post since if you're using old hardware, you probably don't care about being secure anyway.
The main thing I was getting at was that even hosting older drivers costs them money to maintain the storage and hosting infrastructure to provide those drivers to a minor segment of their user base. Thus they're still paying to support hardware they've long since abandoned. If you're someone that relies on that, then yeah, it sucks. But I do still think it's unreasonable to expect them to host the files and continue to waste money on resources to support a minority, so archive while you still can.
Mine was, at least give us a proper warning, and not have to rely on the media to tell us. And they may or may not be spot on.
If I would've gotten a decent warning Ntrig was about to go down, I would've spent a Saturday downloading every single driver release. Thanks to Ntrig's prevalence on many tablet systems there was bound to be someone who needs a copy of a driver.
I found the Pro100/1000 NIC drivers CD at https://archive.org/details/pro1001000. I probably found most of the Netware and packer drivers for these elsewhere though.
This is why I actually download and archive all drivers for all my machines.