Home Software How to Export Old Device Drivers to a New Windows Installation

How to Export Old Device Drivers to a New Windows Installation

Finding drivers on-line for outdated {hardware} can vary from tough to inconceivable if the gear is outdated by a decade, was by no means broadly circulated within the first place, and now not receives help from the producer. Such was the scenario for a Rosewill-branded PCI wi-fi community adapter that we lately put in on Windows 10 with out an authentic set up disc or conventional installer.

The gadget, a “Ralink RT61 Turbo,” was bought in 2009 and nonetheless performs properly sufficient regardless of not having software program updates since Windows Vista/7 and never being mechanically acknowledged by newer variations of the working system. Not having an Internet connection on a brand new OS could be notably annoying as a result of you possibly can’t get on-line to seek for the drivers.

After attempting to put in the cardboard on Windows 10 with many recordsdata from across the internet (downloaded elsewhere), we found that you could export drivers for third-party gadgets from one copy of Windows to a different — nice information seeing that we had a earlier occasion of Windows on one other drive the place the Wi-Fi card was put in and purposeful.

Generate and Save a List of Devices/Drivers

If you want to determine a selected piece of {hardware} or the situation of a driver file, the simplest methodology could also be from Windows’ “System Information” utility, which could be launched by looking out Start or Run for msinfo32.exe.

The utility opens a window that lists system info together with all gadgets, their drivers (with a full drive path for the situation of every one in order that they’re simple to search out) amongst different particulars, and this info could be saved to a textual content file by going to File > Export (no precise drivers are exported).

Generate a listing of drivers within the Command Prompt

You may also generate a listing of drivers by coming into any one in every of these traces right into a Command Prompt (excluding the notes afterward). Some of the instructions on this article could require administrator privileges and an elevated Command Prompt could be opened by right-clicking cmd.exe > Run as administrator.

While coming into any of those instructions ought to produce a listing of drivers, every one outputs completely different info and formatting.

pnputil.exe /e

dism.exe /Online /Get-Drivers (generates a listing of third-party drivers)

dism.exe /Online /Get-Drivers /All (generates checklist of all drivers within the Driver Store)

driverquery (consists of primary info)

driverquery /FO checklist /v (consists of extra info)

Also observe that you could copy a kind of traces after which right-click wherever in your Command Prompt window to stick the textual content. If that is not working, right-click the Command Prompt’s title bar (the Windows bar on prime), go to Properties and allow “QuickEdit Mode.”

Save that generated checklist of drivers as a textual content file

By including one other string of textual content to the tip of these instructions, the output could be saved to a brand new textual content file in a location of your selecting by altering listing path within the command that you just enter. If you need the file saved to your desktop, nonetheless make sure you change the username from TechSpot to your personal:

⦁ pnputil.exe /e > C:UsersTechSpotDesktopdriverlist.txt

⦁ dism.exe /Online /Get-Drivers > C:UsersTechSpotDesktopdriverlist.txt

⦁ dism.exe /Online /Get-Drivers /All > C:UsersTechSpotDesktopdriverlist.txt

⦁ driveryquery > C:UsersTechSpotDesktopdriverlist.txt

⦁ driverquery /FO checklist /v > C:UsersTechSpotDesktopdriverlist.txt

Third-party instruments that show system info: SIW | HWiNFO64 | SIV

Export All Driver Files to a Backup Folder

For drivers to be put in on Windows, they should be positioned within the working system’s “DriverStore” folder (C:WindowsSystem32DriverStoreFileRepository), which incorporates all driver INFs and their related recordsdata. This is the place we’ll be retrieving the drivers from.

Before getting began, observe that you just could possibly skip the difficulty of exporting and importing the drivers. From the Device Manager on the copy of Windows which wants the motive force, if you happen to can navigate to the DriverStore folder of one other Windows set up the place the motive force is positioned, then the Device Manager ought to be capable to search that vacation spot for suitable driver recordsdata. Right-click the gadget, go to “Update driver,” then comply with the prompts till you possibly can browse to DriverStore on the opposite OS (or wherever your drivers are).

Also, exporting the motive force recordsdata from Windows will not embody further software program that will usually be bundled with a driver bundle, equivalent to a utility that accompanies the motive force. However, in lots of instances Windows gives the given performance natively to some extent (an interface for connecting to wi-fi networks as an illustration). That stated, you could possibly copy this system recordsdata immediately from one occasion of Windows to a different, or discover the utility as a separate obtain from the motive force, or an identical bundle with the identical utility.

Export/backup Windows drivers through Command Prompt

Running both of the Command Prompt or PowerShell operations beneath will extract all the drivers in System32DriverStore out of your energetic Windows set up and save them to a brand new folder (we manually created a folder in our desktop known as “driverbackup”), from which you’ll be able to import/set up them to a different occasion of Windows.

Enter this command to start exporting your entire driver recordsdata to that new folder:

dism /on-line /export-driver /vacation spot:C:UsersTechSpotDesktopdriverbackup

Export/backup Windows drivers through PowerShell

Alternatively, you possibly can carry out the identical motion by coming into this command into an elevated PowerShell.

Export-WindowsDriver -Online -Destination C:UsersTechSpotDesktopdriverbackup

-Online” designates that the recordsdata are being exported from the at the moment energetic working system. However, you possibly can export drivers from an offline picture with a separate command:

Export-WindowsDriver -Path C:offline-image -Destination C:UsersTechSpotDesktopdriverbackup

If these instructions aren’t working, you might want to put in the most recent variations of Microsoft’s ADK and/or .NET Framework.

How to Install Exported Windows Drivers

There are a number of choices for importing the motive force to a different set up of Windows, together with one which solely includes a number of clicks from the GUI of File Explorer:

  • Boot into the copy of Windows the place you need to set up the exported drivers
  • Navigate to the backup folder and discover the folder for the motive force that you really want added to Windows
  • Right-click the INF file and select Install

You can also be capable to have Windows Device Manager mechanically seek for a driver within the exported folder by right-clicking the gadget, going to “Update driver” and following the prompts for “Manually install a driver” till you possibly can browse to your drivers. This did not work for our Wi-Fi adapter, however the earlier methodology did (manually putting in immediately from the INF file).

Other Tools to Backup/Install Drivers

Much of the free software program that advertises the power to “backup” drivers solely saves a listing of put in drivers like we described earlier on this article and in our testing it was tough to search out one which exports your precise driver recordsdata.

Despite not having probably the most fashionable interface, Double Driver was an exception, providing a built-in driver backup characteristic that creates a folder of exported drivers much like the one that’s generated by the choices constructed into Windows.

Quick navigation: Click Backup > Scan Current System or Scan Other System > Check the containers subsequent to the drivers you need to again up > Click Backup Now and comply with the remainder of the prompts

You can browse these extracted recordsdata from File Explorer and right-click the INFs to put in a driver from the context menu like we talked about earlier, or Double Driver has a driver set up GUI within the Restore tab the place you possibly can load the backup folder and choose which drivers you need added to Windows.

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