Reformatting without removing drivers

By Arkadius · 12 replies
Sep 25, 2009
  1. Hi, i'm thinking of reformatting because of a bunch of messy files and viruses, but I don't know which drivers I will have to reinstall. Is there a way to reformat without removing my drivers? And is there an easy way to reformat?


    OS Name Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium
    Version 6.0.6001 Service Pack 1 Build 6001
    Other OS Description Not Available
    OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
    System Manufacturer DELL Inc.
    System Model Studio XPS 435T
    System Type x64-based PC
    Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz, 2668 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)
    BIOS Version/Date DELL INC. A09, 2/6/2009
    SMBIOS Version 2.5
    Windows Directory C:\Windows
    System Directory C:\Windows\system32
    Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume3
    Locale United States
    Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.0.6001.18104"
    Time Zone Pacific Daylight Time
    Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 6.00 GB
    Total Physical Memory 5.99 GB
    Available Physical Memory 3.80 GB
    Total Virtual Memory 12.2 GB
    Available Virtual Memory 9.94 GB
    Page File Space 6.28 GB
    Page File C:\pagefile.sys
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    There is no way to save any drivers when reformatting. When one formats they are wiping the drive clean which includes the operating system.
  3. Arkadius

    Arkadius TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The reason i'm asking this is I saw ALOT of drivers on my model number page on dell and I wouldn't know which ones to pick. Would reinstalling windows do anything?
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    If you reformat you will have to reinstall your OS along with everything else.

    Have you considered a Windows repair AFTER you clean up your system from viruses instead?

    Suggestion: Go to the Malware and Virus removal forum, read the UPDTAED 8 Step sticky, follow the steps -- DON'T skipany ofthe steps -- and post there with the three required logs.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    You can use a tool like DriverMax to backup your drivers to removable media before you do the reformat. After the reformat, if prompted for drivers just point the New Hardware Wizard to the folder on your backup.

    /*edit */
    (and btw.. you can also use it to create a report about all your drivers)
    (and can be good to backup drivers even if not reformatting.. just as a helpful thing to have)
  6. Arkadius

    Arkadius TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Is there a way I can import the drivers manually?
  7. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    That depends on the nature of the hardware you need the drivers for. You can update manually from Dell's own website; just make sure you choose the correct model when you do so.

    LookinAround has given some great advice here so look into DriverMax as he suggests.

    The thing that concerns me is the viruses you report. I've seen people reformat their drives, reload back-uped drivers and have the same problems because the viruses were stiill present.

    What have you done to clean your system? Anything?
  8. Arkadius

    Arkadius TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, its mostly cluttered files and all, i'm currently giving logs to a pro "HJT Analyzers".
  9. aqua

    aqua TS Rookie Posts: 57

    reformat is not enough when you have have to wipe off the drive,,use dban
    but before backup your drivers with drivermax or driver genious pro.
  10. Arkadius

    Arkadius TS Rookie Topic Starter

    As I said before, the viruses aren't the main problem, I have many cluttered files.
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Route44 also highlights a good point.... Anytime you backup your stuff to removable media (and suspect viruses might be involved) you should later
    1) Turn off Autoruns for your removable media BEFORE reconnecting the media to a cleaned computer
    2) Then scan the removable media for viruses before copying stuff back to the cleaned computer
  12. Arkadius

    Arkadius TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, if I use DriverMax HOW can I add the drivers into my new system, I doubt I have viruses.
  13. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Just download and run DriverMax. It's user interface and Export/ Import functions are pretty straight forward button clicks. Ask again if need be after you've looked at the tool.
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