Old Hardware, Bad Luck?

Finding drivers on-line for previous {hardware} can vary from tough to unattainable if the gear is outdated by a decade, was by no means extensively circulated within the first place, and now not receives assist from the producer. Such was the scenario for a Rosewill-branded PCI wi-fi community adapter that we not too long ago 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 effectively sufficient regardless of not having software program updates since Windows Vista/7 and never being robotically 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’ll be able to’t get on-line to seek for the drivers.

How to Export Old Device Drivers to a New Windows Installation

After making an attempt to put in the cardboard on Windows 10 with many information from across the net (downloaded elsewhere), we found which you can export drivers for third-party units 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 practical.

Generate and Save a List of Devices/Drivers

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

How to Export Old Device Drivers to a New Windows Installation

The utility opens a window that lists system info together with all units, their drivers (with a full drive path for the situation of every one in order that they’re simple to seek 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 an inventory of drivers within the Command Prompt

You also can generate an inventory of drivers by coming into any considered one 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 an inventory of drivers, each outputs totally different info and formatting.

pnputil.exe /e
dism.exe /Online /Get-Drivers (generates an inventory of third-party drivers)
dism.exe /Online /Get-Drivers /All (generates record of all drivers within the Driver Store)
driverquery (contains fundamental info)
driverquery /FO record /v (contains extra info)

Also be aware which you can 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.”

How to Export Old Device Drivers to a New Windows Installation

Save that generated record 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 simply enter. If you need the file saved to your desktop, nonetheless you’ll want to change the username from TechSpot to your individual:

⦁ 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 record /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 have to be situated within the working system’s “DriverStore” folder (C:WindowsSystem32DriverStoreFileRepository), which accommodates all driver INFs and their related information. This is the place we’ll be retrieving the drivers from.

Before getting began, be aware that you simply might be able to skip the difficulty of exporting and importing the drivers. From the Device Manager on the copy of Windows which wants the motive force, in case you can navigate to the DriverStore folder of one other Windows set up the place the motive force is situated, then the Device Manager ought to be capable to search that vacation spot for appropriate driver information. Right-click the gadget, go to “Update driver,” then observe the prompts till you’ll be able to browse to DriverStore on the opposite OS (or wherever your drivers are).

How to Export Old Device Drivers to a New Windows Installation

Also, exporting the motive force information from Windows will not embrace further software program that may usually be bundled with a driver bundle, reminiscent of a utility that accompanies the motive force. However, in lots of instances Windows offers the given performance natively to some extent (an interface for connecting to wi-fi networks as an example). That mentioned, you might be able to copy this system information instantly from one occasion of Windows to a different, or discover the utility as a separate obtain from the motive force, or an analogous bundle with the identical utility.

Export/backup Windows drivers through Command Prompt

Running both of the Command Prompt or PowerShell operations beneath will extract the entire 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 referred to 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 all your driver information to that new folder:

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

How to Export Old Device Drivers to a New Windows Installation

Export/backup Windows drivers through PowerShell

Alternatively, you’ll be able to carry out the identical motion by coming into this command into an elevated PowerShell.

Export-WindowsDriver -Online -Destination C:UsersTechSpotDesktopdriverbackup

How to Export Old Device Drivers to a New Windows Installation

-Online” designates that the information are being exported from the presently energetic working system. However, you’ll be able to 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, it’s possible you’ll 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 couple of choices for importing the motive force to a different set up of Windows, together with one which solely includes a couple of clicks from the GUI of File Explorer:

  • Boot into the copy of Windows the place you wish 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

How to Export Old Device Drivers to a New Windows Installation

You can also be capable to have Windows Device Manager robotically 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’ll be able to browse to your drivers. This did not work for our Wi-Fi adapter, however the earlier methodology did (manually putting in instantly 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 an inventory of put in drivers like we described earlier on this article and in our testing it was tough to seek out one which exports your precise driver information.

Despite not having probably the most fashionable interface, Double Driver was an exception, providing a built-in driver backup function 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 packing containers subsequent to the drivers you wish to again up > Click Backup Now and observe the remainder of the prompts

How to Export Old Device Drivers to a New Windows Installation

You can browse these extracted information 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’ll be able to load the backup folder and choose which drivers you need added to Windows.

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