Advanced MicroDevices, Inc. driver update for AMD SMBUS

Windows Update[German]Microsoft has released an update ‘Advanced MicroDevices, Inc. driver update for AMD SMBUS’, dated 03/31/2017, via Windows Update for all Windows systems with AMD CPU. Here are some details about this driver update package.


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I receive a comment about this update along Microsoft’s April 2017 patch day (although the driver doesn’t belong to Microsoft’s patch day). The reader reported, that the SMBus driver has been offered via Windows Update on all of his AMD Windows 7 machines.

AMD SMBus-Treiber

The update changes the driver to version 5.12.0.31 (date 02/18./2015) – see Screenshot below.

The previous driver have had version 5.12.0.16 (dated 03/16(2011) – see screenshot below.


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The diver is available via Microsoft Update Catalog

I checked Microsoft Update Catalog and found the driver is offered for all supported Windows platforms.

Update Catalog

The driver package is 30 KB in size and release notes say, the driver is for Advanced Micro Devices, Inc Other hardware::

Description: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc Other hardware software update released in January, 2015

Company: Lenovo

Driver Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc
Driver Class: Other Hardware
Driver Model: AMD SMBus
Driver Provider: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc

Version: 5.12.0.31
Version Date: 1/18/2015

Supported Hardware IDs
pci\ven_1002&dev_4353
pci\ven_1002&dev_4363
pci\ven_1002&dev_4372
pci\ven_1002&dev_4385
pci\ven_1022&dev_780b
pci\ven_1022&dev_790b

Supported Update IDs
def0a545-77e8-495c-a2cd-599515773173

No mor details are provided.

What’s behind the SMBus driver update?

SMBus stands for System Management Bus, a two line bus used for communication between ICs. According to Wikipedia it helps to detect the state of several components. The driver belongs to the mainboard and the chipset.

The reason, why this driver exists: Windows ‘thinks’ it need such a driver. So if device manager shows an unknown device with the hardware id enlisted above, the driver will fix this issue. The new update installs an Null driver via SMBUSAMD.inf. The file SMBUSAMD.cat just contains a digital signature. I don’t know, why Microsoft intended to ship this driver package via Windows Update (and especially without providing any details).

Shall I install this driver?

My answer is No. In normal cases, a null driver shall not harm. But we have had a couple of null drivers shipped via Windows Update within the last months, that’s causing serious issues.

Within this MS Answers forum thread somebody experienced install errors during updates. Also within this forum thread it’s recommended to hide this update. If the driver has been installed and is causing issues, fire up device manager. Then search for SMBus entry, right click the entry and uninstall the driver. Then reboot the machine and hide the update.

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2 Responses to Advanced MicroDevices, Inc. driver update for AMD SMBUS

  1. Lars says:

    Yes, i agree that MS is pushing some dubious driver updates – and on top of that, drivers that tend to cause system instability.

    Over the last 3-4 years, whenever i’ve tried installing device drivers pushed by Windows Update, i’ve had nothing but errors, system crashes and stability problems afterwards.

    As a computer tech’, i highly recommend people take the advice from this blog and NOT install the driver – and to steer clear of any h/w drivers pushed via Windows Update.

    For anyone who isn’t sure what that entails, if you want to update a driver or have a driver missing for your computer, get drivers from the motherboard (for desktop pc’s) or laptop manufacturer’s website ONLY.

  2. doug says:

    Thanks for your words of wisdom. I have been messing with this for around a month now and thought I had it fixed. Then it popped its head back up as a failed update. Every time I restarted my computer it would go away and then few hours later it would show up again no matter what I did. So I’m going to follow the advise here and just hide it in a cold dark place where it can’t hurt my computer.

    Thanks Again
    Doug

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