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How to backup your drivers (and reinstall them later when needed!)

By LookinAround
Aug 15, 2010
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  1. How to backup your drivers (and reinstall them later if and when needed!)

    Did you ever reinstall Windows only to discover you were missing some drivers?
    > This is especially true after reinstalling Windows XP!

    It's good to backup your drivers before a reinstallation. It's also good to just backup your drivers occasionally in addition to your personal files and folders!

    How to backup your drivers
    • Use DoubleDriver to backup your drivers to removable media like a USB flash drive
    • You'll find DoubleDriver creates a sub-folder for each device driver backup
    How to reinstall a driver from backup
    There's 2 ways to do it. Note that both cases require you point to the device driver's INF file (this is the driver's Installation Setup File required by Windows)
    1. If the Add New Hardware Wizard pops-up, point it to the folder containing the device folder backup
      > This folder will include the device driver's INF file
      > The Hardware Wizard should see the INF file and then load the driver. You may need to reboot to complete device installation
    2. Or, to install a driver manually, just go directly to the device driver's backup folder, rt click the INF file, select Install then reboot. Windows should redetect the device hardware and complete the driver install
    A subtle detail to note!
    • Usually, when you download a driver you see it as an executable (EXE file). The EXE file may contain more then just the device driver! e.g. it might include application software. This is often the case for Graphics and Audio drivers.
    Example: A good example is ATI graphic's Catalyst Control Center. This is an application, not a driver, that is installed with the EXE
    • DoubleDriver only backs up the device driver itself - not application level software. This should still be enough to, at least, get your device working again
    • You may still need to locate the driver EXE file to restore full functionality for some devices (e.g. its applications)
    Erik likes this.
  2. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,086

    This should be stickied.

    +1 for great post.
  3. StacyG

    StacyG TS Rookie

    I wish I had seen this before reinstalling XP...great advice for future use!


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