1. A driver will work with the related device or not, but will never damage it.
2. The SMBus devices are managed by information files (with the suffix ".INF"), which can be read and modified by each text editor, and not by a real driver (= file with the suffix ".SYS").
3. The question, if an old SMBus "driver" will work with a newer Windows OS, depends more on the DeviceID entries of the related .INF file than on the OS.
True, INF files contain device id and helps OS in copying right driver and configuring it,
I dont have much experience in Computers.If a device is compatible with diffrent OS its Id will remain same in INF however drivers may change( AT least i think so).
After all drivers are also software components that interact with OS ( also a s/w) A definite interface( for communication) must be existing.
for example xp is identified as chicago and Nt 5.1 in INF files, and then relevant section are implemented.
If this is not the case then why we have to discard the old hardwares who are healty from electromechanical point of view but wont work in VISTA.
A agree to some extent with you a damage may not result however results can not be relied
The Win7 in-box drivers (real ones or just INF files) for third party devices are made by the vendors of these devices and not by Microsoft. Since the manufacturers of hardware want to sell new products, they do not put the HardwareID's of the "outdated" ones into the actual drivers.
If the device doesn't need a real driver (with a SYS file), it is no problem to get it working with Win7, because you only need to add the missing HardwareID into the text of the related INF file.
I totally agrees with you," if a device does not need driver, its no problem working with win 7"
however in my case what is happening is that" Intel desktop utility" is installing 'intelsmb.sys' into system for SMBus (Its Read me is written for Xp and Vista).
However neither Xp or win 7 or Win 2000 installs any drivers for SMbus( this mean device does not require a driver to operate satisfacterly).
My concern is , in fact what I am imagining is that "Intel Desktop utility" is installing this driver to enable communication with desktop softwares to provide
Real time monitoring and alarm Generation.
1-If intelsmb.sys is limited to monitoring only, then it is of least concern as max. error will be a erronous reading or alarm or No Alarm at all. . On the other hand if it has a capability to control the Hardware(Asic) to increase or decrease the fan speed or take part in Voltage regulation then in my opinion It must be wedded to OS.
This was my concern for asking the suitability of running a Driver written for Older Version of OS on New.
It is already installed on my system, but I was not sure wether to keep it or not.