Backing up your data is the most important aspect of the digital world because electronics is never reliable and can fail anytime. Same is the case with software. It gets corrupted by the passage of time no matter how carefully we use it. One important aspect of Windows is the device drivers. Windows needs software device drivers in order to make the computer hardware work. Installing Device drivers is the most time consuming task if you have to install all the drivers in a fresh installation of Windows.
A wise step is to backup the device drivers after installing all of them in Windows. There are several utilities which can backup Windows drivers for free. In this article we will discuss many free tools that can be helpful in backing up the drivers and then restoring them after Windows re-installation.
DriverMax is the most popular Windows driver update and backup tool. Although it has many drawbacks and negative reviews, it seems to be very popular. The latest version of DriverMax works with Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. Both 32-bit and 64-bit Operating Systems are supported. After installation, it indexes the drivers. After indexation, you will be able to update your outdated drivers and also backup all the drivers to a safe place. You can restore the drivers backup using DriverMax if any of your driver gets corrupted or you re-install Windows.
Double Driver is a fierce competitor to DriverMax. I have read many positive reviews about Double Driver but the only problem I have got is that the main developer site of Double Driver is down at the moment. Among other standard features like backup and restore of drivers, Double driver can also save the driver settings which is a great plus. You can also view and print the driver list that are currently installed in the system.
SlimDrivers claims to be the first cloud based driver update tool. In addition to backup and restore functions, it also updates the drivers to the latest ones. SlimDrivers has a very intuitive interface. The top navigation is the main power house of functions. You can choose to backup drivers from the top menu. It will display all the drivers. You can check the drivers which you want to backup. The Backup To function will give you an option to select a folder of your choice to backup the drivers. The backup button will directly backup to the default location which is:
C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\SlimWare Utilities Inc\SlimDrivers\Backups
Driver Magician Lite
Driver Magician Lite is a pure driver backup utility and it works great. It scans all the drivers installed on the system, extracts their information and backs up everything for you. You can then restore the drivers any time you want. Restoring the drivers is as easy as backing up but the automatic restore feature only works in the paid version of Driver Magician. Driver Magician Lite also comes as a portable edition.
Semper Driver Backup
Semper Driver Backup is rather a new discovery for me. It can display very detailed information about the drivers installed on the system. It can create a full backup of all the drivers installed on the system. Import drivers function will work as a restore option while Backup drivers, the only other button will backup the drivers. It doesn’t give any option for selective backup and it can not organize the backups automatically.
DriverEasy is another great driver backup tool. It works in three easy steps. In the first step it will scan for drivers in the system. I like the way how it displays the drivers. In the second step, if it finds any updates for a driver, you’ll be informed to get the latest version of the driver by clicking Get Drivers button. If you want to backup the drivers, you can go to Tools and select Driver Backup. DriverEasy lets you save all the drivers in the form of a zip file.
DriverBackup is an open source and fast utility to backup and restore Windows drivers. It also offers a command line interface which can be very helpful for network administrators which want to create automated solutions for backing up the drivers.
DriverPack Solution (DRPSu)
DriverPack Solution contains the largest repository of device drivers for Windows. You can write it on a DVD-ROM and then install any kind of drivers for any version of Windows. Due to the large size of the repository, it is downloaded through a torrent file. Right now the download size is 2.86GB.
I have tried my best to get all the best free tools to backup and restore Windows device drivers. If I have missed anything, kindly let me know through comments so that I’ll be able to add it in this list.