How to Backup and Restore System Drivers - Page 2

By Ronald Pacchiano | Posted October 15, 2009

Backup Your Computer Drivers

To try DriverMax visit www.drivermax.com and click the “Download” link on the menu bar. Once the download completes, launch the program and follow the simple installation steps.

You’ll need to register a free user account to use some of the programs features. Now that you’ve DriverMax installed, let’s create a backup of your computer’s current drivers.

  1. Launch the application and click on Driver backup and restore.
  2. Now choose Backup drivers. This will start the Experts Drivers Wizard. I should point out that DriverMax will only backup a device’s drivers, NOT any program that might also come with it..
  3. Now press Next to begin. DriverMax will scan your current drivers. Once they’ve been found, press the Select all button. Verify that all the drivers have a check mark next to them and press Next.
  4. Now you choose the export type. You can save drivers to either a folder or to a compressed ZIP file. I recommend the folder as I had reliability problems with the ZIP file. Now you tell the program where to export the drivers. The default location is “C:UsersusernameDocumentsMy Drivers”, where “username” will be your Windows user account name; but you can use any location you like.
  5. When ready, press Next to begin the driver export process.  This should take a few minutes to complete. Once it says Done, press Close.

You now have a backup of all the drivers on your system. If you kept the default backup location in Step 4, be sure to copy the My Drivers folder to external storage before reinstalling your OS. 

Restore Your Computer Drivers

Now that you have backed up your files let’s restore them. We’ll assume you have reformatted your hard drive and have just finished reinstalling Windows onto your PC. To reinstall your drivers, just follow these steps:

  1. Install DriverMax and launch the program
  2. Select Driver backup and restore. Underneath that select Restore drivers from backup. You might see this message: You must run DriverMax with administrative rights if you want to be able to install drivers. Do you want to restart the program in admin mode? Click Yes to restart the program in the required mode.
  3. After the program restarts, select Restore drivers from backup. You should see the Import driver wizard. Click Next to begin. Point the application to the location where you stored the backed-up drivers. Note: The program works most reliably when you select only the drivers that are missing. Do not restore all the drivers because most of them come with the OS.
  4. Select the drivers you need and then press Next.
  5. Confirm the drivers you have selected. Then check the box Install unsigned drivers without asking for confirmation.
  6. If you restore drivers to a different OS then the one you originally backed up from, say from Vista 32-bit to Windows 7 32-bit, then you might also want to check the option Create a restore point before installing the driver. Should you run into a compatibility problem with the previous drivers on the new OS, you can just go back to the restore point before you installed those drivers and start over. Otherwise you might have difficulties removing those drivers from your system and have to reinstall the OS all over again. Once you’ve made your selections press Next to begin the restoration.
  7. When the process completes you’ll see this message: You should restart your computer after each driver installation. Proceed with the reboot now? Click Yes.
  8. Once your system restarts go into Device Manager to check the status of your drivers, verify that they are all installed and verify that you have no unknown devices.

If your primary goal is to simply backup and restore your system drivers, then the free version of DriverMax will work fine for you. However keeping your device drivers automatically updated is worth the price.

Ronald Pacchiano is a contributing writer for SmallBusinessComputing.com.

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