You thought Windows drivers from 2006 were old, wait’ll you see the Intel drivers from 1968!

Raymond Chen

Some time ago, I noted that all Windows drivers are dated June 21, 2006. This is a date hack so that the Windows-provided driver is always treated as the driver of last resort, taking a back seat to any manufacturer-provided drivers, which will have a more recent date.

The Intel drivers use the same trick, but they go even further back:

Note: Intel(R) Chipset Device Software uses an unusual date for the devices it is targeting. The date 07/18/1968 is symbolic – Intel was founded that day. The reason this date is used is to lower the rank of Intel(R) Chipset Device Software.

This is necessary because it’s a supporting utility that should not overwrite any other drivers. Updating Intel(R) Chipset Device Software is not needed – do not worry if you don’t have the latest version.

Related reading: Why do the Windows 10 Phone built-in wallpaper images have a timestamp of April 4, 1975?


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  • 紅樓鍮 0

    By the way, how did Intel manage to get assigned the PCI vendor ID 8086? Does Microsoft’s have any special meaning also?

    • Richard Thompson 0

      They asked for it!

      The manufacturers that are part of the original standards/implementation body tend to get assigned whatever ID number they ask for.
      This does of course tend to result in long internal arguments about exactly which ID number they should request…

  • Adam Rosenfield 0

    The “they go even further back” link is currently producing an Access Denied error; the Wayback Machine goes back to a time when it didn’t.

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