The most daunting task after installing Windows is searching for and installing Windows drivers for your computer if Windows doesn’t detect them automatically. This becomes even more difficult if the network drivers are not detected automatically and you can’t connect to the Internet. I always recommend 3DP Net software for automatically detecting and installing network drivers in offline mode.
We tend to download the drivers from the vendor once, and then keep them safe to install again and again. If you have upgraded Windows 8.1, Windows 10 or Windows 11 from Windows 7, it will not let you install drivers used in Windows 7 or prior Operating Systems.
Since Windows 11 is new, there are not many companies that have provided drivers with their components and devices for Windows 11, but you can use most of the Windows 10 drivers in Windows 11 without any issues.
In this article, we discuss how to backup and restore Windows device drivers.
Table of contents
Manually copy the drivers for backup and restore
Most modern devices require third-party or vendor-provided drivers to function properly.
Drivers, including their .inf and other supporting files, are stored in their own sub-folders within the DriverStore system folder. You can save yourself time and effort by backing up that folder. If you need to reinstall Windows on this device, you can copy the same DriverStore folder to your newly installed Windows OS.
The easiest way to backup your current driver collection is to open File Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore. Create a backup of the FileRepository sub-folder on a removable USB drive, network location or separate partition on the same computer.
Automatically installing important system drivers
When we install Windows on a new computer, we want to start as soon as possible. For this, we need at least the essential system drivers to be working. Essential drivers include network drivers, display drivers, and sound drivers. To install these drivers quickly, you can use two softwares: 3DP Net and 3DP Chip.
First, download and install 3DP Net, which will install your network drivers including LAN and wireless drivers. These drivers can be installed in offline mode. You will only need to download the 3DP Net software, install it, and it will automatically detect and install relevant drivers.
After installing the network drivers, you can connect to the Internet. Now you can easily download and install 3DP Chip, which automatically detects and installs display and sound drivers for you.
Using SlimDrivers to download and install drivers automatically
SlimDrivers automatically detects and installs missing drivers and updates outdated drivers. There is a handy scan option, which will let SlimDrivers scan the system for missing and outdated drivers. Once the scan is complete, the user can download and install the required updates.
SlimDrivers also offers the option to backup and restore system drivers. You can back up all installed drivers and restore them whenever you want. You can also schedule driver updates. SlimDrivers will automatically check for new updates and notify you if there’s a new update available.
Using DriverEasy to update device drivers
DriverEasy is a wonderful software that automatically detects the components in your computer and searches and locates drivers for each component. The free version of DriverEasy can search for updates to existing system drivers, download and install them one by one. Downloading and installing drivers with DriverEasy free can only be done manually. For automatic updates, you will need to purchase the premium version of DriverEasy.
DriverEasy was able to detect and update the components, which SlimDrivers were not able to detect.
Backup, restore and print the list of device drivers
Double Driver is a free and simple tool that can perform functions like driver backup, restore and even print the list of drivers installed on the system. The software comes with a very simple user interface. Double Driver comes with a single window with all the options. You can click any button to perform a specific task, like backing up drivers, restoring the backup, printing the list of drivers installed in Windows, and clear log history displayed on the same screen.
With Double Driver, you can even take backups of drivers on remote systems, which makes it a handy tool for system administrators.
What tools do you use to keep your system drivers updated?
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