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Intel Windows 10 Modern Drivers

Starting in November, 2018, Intel began supplying Modern Windows Drivers for its products. You can read about this switchover on the Intel site. Find the Support post entitled “Introduction of Modern Windows Drivers for Intel Products.” If you download a new version of the  Intel Driver & Support Assistant (IDSA), it will grab those drivers for you should they be available. The latest version runs as a web-based app, and does a pretty good job. But the change comes with a caveat, where Intel Windows 10 modern drivers are concerned. It’s only available for newer Intel graphics chipsets, including Skylake, Apollo Lake, Coffee Lake, Gemini Lake and Kaby Lake (510 or higher and 605 or higher, by chipset model number).

Interesting implications emerge from a new Windows driver architecture, Windows Modern Drivers(MWD).
The Read More link in the graphic is the Intro article linked in the preceding paragraph.

Switching to Intel Windows 10 Modern Drivers

The switchover is easy, if your hardware is new enough to support the new driver family. If so, you’ll also want to visit the Windows Store. Search for and install the Intel Graphics Control Panel, for an interactive set of driver controls tightly integrated into Windows 10. For myself though, all of the PCs I own run Intel graphics chipsets of Haswell or Ivy Bridge vintage. That means neither the new drivers nor the Store app work for me. In fact, although I can download and install that Store app, I get an error message when I try to launch it:

Alas, without a MWD driver, the Store app won’t run.

Implications of Switching to Intel Windows Modern Drivers

So far, reaction to the drivers has been mostly positive, if somewhat mixed. The only way to load these drivers is to run an .exe file. Attempts to extract typical driver file components (.inf files, .dlls, and so forth) apparently don’t produce anything usable. Why is this a potential concern? Because such individual files are REQUIRED by DISM to integrate drivers into offline image files. This is explained in the MS Docs article “Add or Remove Drivers to an offline Windows Image.” So far, nobody’s figured out how to do this using MWD drivers in general, and Intel graphics drivers in particular. This could be a gotcha for some admins who maintain Windows image libraries for deployment. Hopefully, some kind of resolution will soon be forthcoming.

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