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  • Easily back up all your PC’s current drivers

    Posted on Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Easily back up all your PC’s current drivers

    This topic contains 31 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  RetiredGeek 2 weeks, 3 days ago.

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    • #1980670 Reply

      Tracey Capen
      AskWoody MVP

      LANGALIST By Fred Langa Free tools, including Win10’s built-in export-driver command, make backing up your device drivers simple. Plus: Free security
      [See the full post at: Easily back up all your PC’s current drivers]

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1980758 Reply

      Xenafan
      AskWoody Plus

      Tried to backup drivers as shown below and got an error.  Driverbackup exists on and at C:

      C:\WINDOWS\system32>dism/online/export-driver/destination:”c:\Driverbackup”

      Error: 87

      The online/export-driver/destination option is unknown.
      For more information, refer to the help by running DISM.exe /?.

      Is there any way I can this to work?

      • #1980765 Reply

        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        The online/export-driver/destination option is unknown.

        Well that really looks like it’s missing important spaces. “dism  /online   /export-driver   /destination …” maybe?

    • #1980966 Reply

      CraigS26
      AskWoody Plus

      I got 135 entries copied to — dism /online /export-driver /destination:”d:\driverbackups” — and will Copy-Paste to all External Bkup Drives newly created – driverbackups – Folders. In my HP “combo” desktop C: is my SSD OS Drive and D: is the data Save To Drive.

      For rare Driver Updates, I assume you make a Delete All “schedule” & do a Repeat of the Copy Command. I’m not sure I’d find and be able to individually make the Drivers Update Changes. Thanks for the article.

      W10-64 1909 Home / Hm-Stdnt Ofce '16 C2R / i5-8400/ 12 GB / 256 SSD + 1 TB HDD / InSpectre #8 = GREEN

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1981104 Reply

      A1ex
      AskWoody Plus

      So what’s the process to recover drivers, is it just a case of using the .inf files?

      A1ex

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1981212 Reply

        CADesertRat
        AskWoody Plus

        So what’s the process to recover drivers, is it just a case of using the .inf files? A1ex

        I agree with A1ex, Unless I just didn’t see it, I don’t see how to use/replace the saved drivers.

        Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
        4 Win 10 Pro currently 1809 (3 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

    • #1981189 Reply

      GoneToPlaid
      AskWoody Plus

      It is an interesting idea of using a third party utility to back up all drivers on a Windows 7 computer. I did enough quick reading to realize that this might not be entirely reliable. Instead, I prefer to download and save driver installation files to neatly organized folders on my OS hard drive, and then to immediately mirror these folders to another installed hard drive which is periodically backed up.

      Obviously, I can readily restore a backup of my OS hard drive. If I want to start fresh and reinstall the OS, then all I have to do is to reinstall drivers from the other installed hard drive. On the other installed hard drive, I have saved notes about the proper driver installation order, et cetera.

      I always make sure that I have three potential methods to recover the OS from anything. These three methods are:

      1. A backup of the OS hard drive’s boot and OS partitions.
      2. If I have to, or want to, reinstall the OS, then I can install drivers from the other installed hard drive.
      3. If the other installed hard drive either failed or was corrupted by malware, I can resort to my backup of it.

      I have installed removable 2.5″ SATA drive caddies on all of my home Win7 computers. The beauty of this is that I get true SATA III speed when backing up or restoring, versus any USB speed, and since all backup hard drives are stored offline. This required the installation of a true SATA III controller card. Yet at the end of the day, this is a slick way to go for desktop computers since one can avoid any USB issues when trying to either back up or restore one’s computer.

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1981864 Reply

        RetiredGeek
        AskWoody MVP

        GTP,

        Care to share what SATAIII drive caddies you are using?

        May the Forces of good computing be with you!

        RG

        PowerShell & VBA Rule!
        Computer Specs

        • #1982047 Reply

          GoneToPlaid
          AskWoody Plus

          I use removable drive bays. One model which I use can take two 2.5″ drives which are up to 7.5 mm thick. It is similar to this:

          https://amzn.to/2oJjwqX

          I also use another style of removable drive bay. This other model fits in a 5.25″ bay. It can take up to four 2.5″ drives, including Seagate’s 4TB and 5TB 2.5″ drives which have a thickness of 15.5 mm. See:

          https://amzn.to/2BajT0r

          For the above model, I use this PCIe x4 SATA controller which plugs into an unused PCI video card slot:

          https://amzn.to/32gI4pK

          A few years back, I learned the hard way to make sure that any PCIe cards are truly vertical when installed. If the card is slightly tilted, then pins can short across rows within the PCIe slot. Bend the bracket or whatever in order to assure that the card is vertical within the PCIe slot when its bracket is secured.

          • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  GoneToPlaid. Reason: correct a typo
          2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1981208 Reply

      Alith
      AskWoody Plus

      I don’t have a good grasp of cmd prompt format. I exported my drivers using dism and it worked like a charm. What would the cmd promt be for importing them back in the case of a reinstall, if one should need to? (I would try a system image first).

    • #1981628 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      So what’s the process to recover drivers, is it just a case of using the .inf files?

      Yes, pointing to the inf files is the correct answer. How you use the inf files depends on what you are installing.

      cheers, Paul

      • #1982860 Reply

        lanshark
        AskWoody Plus

        @paul

        I don’t understand what you describe as “pointing to the inf files is the correct answer. How you use the inf files depends on what you are installing.” So how would I use the inf files to restore a single driver? multiple drivers? All of ’em?

        I have always avoided driver updates like the proverbial plague, so I’ve never gotten in trouble from updating. Recognizing that there’s always a first time, I can use the process outlined by dear ol’ Fred to at least let me do a driver backup. But, since it entails a Microsoft process, is there not a similar Microsoft process that will restore drivers from that backup?

        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  lanshark.
        • #1983148 Reply

          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Search the internet for “manually update drivers” and all will be revealed.

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1983249 Reply

            anonymous

            @ Paul

            Now why didn’t I think of that? 🙂

    • #1983251 Reply

      lanshark
      AskWoody Plus

      @paul

      Search the ‘net… hmmm…perfectly reasonable…  😉

      Thanks!

    • #1983293 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Good question from a reader:

      Can you please tell me what the command would be to import the dism backup for drivers ?

      Your newsletter shows the command for exporting, but not for importing in cases like a clean install.

      I assume these instructions from Windows Central covers it?

    • #1983504 Reply

      anonymous

      That seems to me more about updating drivers rather than importing a backup of

      drivers.

      • #1983513 Reply

        anonymous

        The article is titled with the word updating, yes. On page two, the article discusses using the Device Manager, and continues to use the language presented in Microsoft dialog as “updating”. Scroll down to the section that follows the option to “Browse my computer” and see the illustrated method to find .inf files.

        The process called updating sometimes includes replacing a broken file with a good copy of the same file. The same process, still called updating, counter-intuitively may mean rolling back to a last good version to replace a badly chosen improvement. In all cases the driver has been updated to a new condition on this date regardless of the publication date associated with the .inf file.

        Hope this helps to explain the word use.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1983689 Reply

      Alith
      AskWoody Plus

      Ok. Thanks for the explanation.  I see you can use the device manager to track down the files in the backup folder.

      • #1983882 Reply

        anonymous

        Tracking down sounds like you’ve lost the file. But the backup folder was created to hold the files where you could easily find them. ‘Browse my computer’ allows you to point the system to the specific driver you intend it to load. ‘Search’ is the tool for finding lost items.

        • #1983964 Reply

          anonymous

          Yes a poor choice of words. Browse is what I meant.

    • #1983843 Reply

      KP
      AskWoody Plus

      Wouldn’t be easier to copy the drivers from C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository? Then the Device Manager Update / Restore would be perform from the individual folder for that device.

      source article: https://www.wikihow.tech/Copy-Drivers-from-One-Computer-to-Another-on-PC-or-Mac

      • #1983851 Reply

        b
        AskWoody Plus

        How many driver folders do you have at that location, and which are actually in use?

        Knuckle dragger Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Crazy/Ignorant Toxic drinker Blockhead Unwashed mass Seeker/Sucker "Ancient/Obsolete" (Group ASAP) Win10 v.1909

        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  b.
        • #1985785 Reply

          KP
          AskWoody Plus

          I took a look. There are a lot of folders and they don’t seem easy to decipher which driver, corresponds to which folder. At this point I am not sure how to locate a current specific driver.

          Initially I thought maybe 20 folders for all the drivers.

          The most useful purpose is to upgrade, say from Windows 7 to Windows 10 where you have all the drivers. I checked one driver and it was compatible from Windows 7 to 10.

          • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by  KP.
      • #1983937 Reply

        Linda2019
        AskWoody Plus

        I have the same question.  It seems to be a lot easier to copy the File Repository.  Is there a particular reason one would do it any differently?

        I saw this article:

        https://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-10-tip-back-up-your-third-party-hardware-drivers/

    • #1983930 Reply

      BobbyB
      AskWoody Lounger

      I don’t know if this is much Help here but for none standard M$ Drivers i.e. Ones that don’t come bundled with the OS installation. I use a trial Version of Glary System utils on my running system.
      Navigate to the back up Drivers utility, then select “Show none Microsoft Drivers” and back them all up to a folder, inside of which resides about 30 sub folders by Driver category. Then save it some where.
      As I have a few machines here that where never intended to run Win7’s to 10 needless to say its a pain tracking down Drivers of the OEM variety although Driverscape is a good Web Site for doing so and its free as well as Virus free though. Compaq Presario of the Win2K + XP era, 2 x HP Machines of Win8 and 8.1 and Acer Win 8.1 all where never intended for Win 7, Acer’s poor after Technical Support and Compaq’s, never intended to survive that long, technical support makes it difficult to track down.
      When the time comes for a clean install, just mount the index number of your Choice from the install.wim then type dism /image:C:\mount /add-driver /driver:C:\Drivers /recurse takes about 5 mins, couple of odd failures generally out of 250 and normally Bluetooth (not important) unmount and commit and your image is good to go, especially handy for Win7 UEFI fresh installs, but the method can be used for tricky installs of Win’s 8 – 10 and on the Boot.wim for the infamous USB3 stalled Booting error on some machines. OBTW it goes with out saying if you can get applicable working OEM Drivers peculiar to you flavour of Windows and vintage of your machine, Download Guard them Jealously because you can extract them using 7Zip to a folder and the above command works as well, as time savers.
      Hope that works for you.

    • #1984664 Reply

      RetiredGeek
      AskWoody MVP

      Hey Y’all,

      Here’s a PowerShell script to automate the process and do some error checking.

      Export-Drivers
      The program needs to run from an administrator level PowerShell prompt and will tell you if you don’t.
      UserPrivleges-1

      By default the program will save the files to [Documents]Customizations[COMPUTERNAME]DriverBackup this can be changed using the -DocFolder parameter.

      Upon successful completion you’ll get a message telling how many driver files were backuped and to where:
      ProgramCompleted

      There are other messages to help you along the way. You can get the help file by using the Get-Help [d:path]\Export-Drivers.ps1 command.

      Coming soon PowerShell to restore all of the drivers with a single command.

      HTH 😎

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by  RetiredGeek.
      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by  RetiredGeek.
      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by  RetiredGeek.
      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by  RetiredGeek.
      Attachments:
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1991221 Reply

      RetiredGeek
      AskWoody MVP

      Hey y’all,

      Here’s the promised Import-Drivers.ps1 program. Works pretty much like the Export drivers one, read the comment based help for details.

      Import-Drivers
      What I can’t figure out is why it will not reload all of the drivers that it exports. The log file gives no clues.

      Here’s a sample:

      1 : G:BEKDocsCustomizationsDELLXPS8920DriverBackupant_libusb.inf_amd64_54173307afc55815ant_libusb.inf
      Microsoft PnP Utility
      
      Processing inf :            ant_libusb.inf
      Successfully installed the driver.
      Driver package added successfully.
      Published name :            oem48.inf
      
      
      Total attempted:              1
      Number successfully imported: 1
      
      2 : G:BEKDocsCustomizationsDELLXPS8920DriverBackuphdxma7.inf_amd64_3f84a3e153f9c22chdxma7.inf
      Microsoft PnP Utility
      
      Processing inf :            hdxma7.inf
      Failed to install the driver : No more data is available.
      
      Total attempted:              1
      Number successfully imported: 0
      
      3 : G:BEKDocsCustomizationsDELLXPS8920DriverBackupheci.inf_amd64_d530ada081501efdheci.inf
      Microsoft PnP Utility
      
      Processing inf :            heci.inf
      Failed to install the driver : No more data is available.
      
      Total attempted:              1
      Number successfully imported: 0
      

      Ideas anyone? 😎

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      Attachments:
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1991458 Reply

        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Are the failed imports because drivers already exist / are later than the exported ones?

        cheers, Paul

    • #1991727 Reply

      RetiredGeek
      AskWoody MVP

      Paul,

      I tried Importing the drivers right after Exporting them so I don’t think that would be the problem. My guess, and it’s only a guess, is that it has to do with them being either protected by the OS or that they are currently actively in use. 😎

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

    • #1992416 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      Now all you need to do is import them into a fresh build!

      cheers, Paul

      • #1992691 Reply

        RetiredGeek
        AskWoody MVP

        Just a matter of exporting the drivers to a USB drive and importing them from there.

        May the Forces of good computing be with you!

        RG

        PowerShell & VBA Rule!
        Computer Specs

        • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  RetiredGeek.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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