Is There An Easy Way To Know When There Are Updates?

What I’d like to do is download it all onto a flash drive that way I don’t need to be online at a client’s location. I do want to make sure I have the latest drivers though. My plan was to get a 32gb flash drive and just check for updates every morning. Is there a particular day that new drivers are added?

By default SDIO checks for updates when it starts. You can switch this off in the options. There are two torrents it checks for updates: the first is the SDIO torrent which includes the application and driver packs, if that torrent is up to date it checks the second torrent which is just the driver packs but is updated more frequently. I reckon if you check once a week you’ll be pretty much up to date. There’s no set day of the week, it’s whenever Mr Driver man gets to it.

There is also an rss feed you can monitor which will advertise both update torrents:

Which Driver Updates Should I Choose?

I’m trying to learn how to use it without crashing client systems. I see in my system it says there are drivers available for six things. 1 of them says (Updated Driver Available). The others say things like “Old driver (internet)” or “Old driver (not signed) (Internet)” There is even one that says “More optimal driver available though it’s older”. Is it safe to say that the only one I should update is the one that says “Updated Driver Available”? The others since they say the drivers are old, I should just ignore?

If only things were that simple. Snappy gives you options because sometimes you need options. There is no absolute rule to say that “Updated” drivers should always be installed. If that were absolutely true there would be no need to have 20GB+ of drivers on hand. But this isn’t the case, to cover a wide variety of situations you need to have options.

Here’s a thing: if you’re trying to solve a problem with a malfunctioning device and Snappy has an “Updated” driver, you’d probably go ahead and install that because there’s a reasonable chance that might solve your problem. On the other hand if a newer driver got installed that broke a device, you’d be looking to install an older driver, probably one around the same vintage as the device. If you have a choice between signed and not signed you’d probably choose signed but if that didn’t work you might be willing to try alternatives. “More Optimal” is always a good choice and is generally at the top of the offerings as the one most preferred by Snappy itself. The algorithm for choosing a preferred driver is really quite good but it’s not infallible. The decision lies with you and you should never go blindly installing device drivers without a good reason and a rollback plan.

The gui presents the devices on the system, the currently installed driver and what it believes is the preferred driver. If you click the double down arrows you’ll open up a list of alternative drivers for the device. If the top driver doesn’t get the device working, you’ve got options. It’s now up to you to draw on your vast store of knowledge and experience to go through this list of alternatives and choose another driver with the best chance of getting the device working.

(Internet) simply means it’s not available on local storage but it’s available for download on one of the update streams.

I should probably suggest rather than learning how to use the tool without crashing client systems, you learn how to not crash client systems. Part of that is developing a good approach to device drivers. SDIO is merely another excellent and comprehensive way of shooting yourself in the foot.

In answer to your question, it’s safe to say if the device is working then you shouldn’t be installing different drivers.

Do I Have To Install It? Is It Ok To Put SDIO On A Thumb Drive?

It is a portable program. It matters not what device you put it on. I have it on a thumb drive and an iODD as well as a WD external drive. Some people keep it on a network drive. You could even burn it to a dvd if you were so inclined (though I can’t imagine why you would).

The only thing to keep in mind is that sometimes, particularly during network driver updates, you will lose network connectivity which, if you’re running it over the network, will cause SDIO to fail subsequent driver installations until the network is re-established.

The only other thing to keep in mind is that during USB driver updates you will lose USB connectivity which, if you’re running from a USB drive, will cause SDIO to fail subsequent driver installations until the USB subsystem is re-established.

How Can I Contribute Drivers?

Up until recently I’ve resisted getting involved with the driver packs. It’s a rather time consuming process. However, I think it might be a good idea to have one additional driver pack we can use to include drivers that don’t exist in the main driver packs.

So if you’ve located drivers that aren’t in SDIO, feel free to let me know here. I can only accept WHQL drivers.

How To Run SDIO From A Network Share?

There is some path information embedded in the driver pack indexes, the exact nature of which I’m still exploring. This slightly complicates running it from a network share. The paths it uses are based on the SDIO configured paths. In the gui, you can see these paths in the Options dialog, Paths page

In the sdi.cfg file they look like:


These values are used when creating the indexes. If you try to run SDIO from a network share and these paths don’t match up, the indexes will be deleted.

So the correct approach is to create the indexes in the same scenario that they will be used. If you intend to use SDIO locally, either copied on to a computer or on a USB drive then run it in locally when creating the indexes. If you are setting it up to run over a network share then create the indexes while running over that network share.

To set up network share paths in the sdi.cfg file just prefix the directories with the share UNC path:


Where “server” is the name of your server and “sdio” is the share name. You may choose to use a separate writable share for the logs path while the main sdio share is read-only.


Where “sdio-logs” is the share name for the logs directory.

How to create indexes? Simply close the application, delete the contents of the indexes sub-directory then run the application again. It will automatically recreate the indexes. If you want to use SDIO over a network share then run it over that share to create the indexes.

Make sure the share has write permissions, at least while you’re building the indexes. You can change it back to read-only later if you want. SDIO will happily run in read-only mode.

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