Have you ever considered backing up your drivers? Sure we all backup our data and know the importance of making system images in case of disaster, but what about your drivers? It is just as important to back drivers up and it can save an enormous amount of time should you need to recover from a corrupted driver, bad update, operating system reinstall, and particularly in the case of laptop computers that the manufacturers notoriously make locating the correct drivers a nightmare. Having a backup of your drivers can also save the huge downloads of some drivers that come with added bloatware that needs to be carefully avoided during installation.
There are heaps of all round Driver backup/update applications out there that offer different features but PLEASE do not use one of these so called driver updaters to update your computers drivers, it may cause more trouble than the programs worth. If you need to update drivers ONLY get them from the manufacturer of your computer, or peripheral component.
In this guide we are going to look at a free program called Double Driver, which is a portable application meaning there's no installation, and no associated files spread all over your computer. Double Driver works on all modern Windows PC's and even though it doesn't appear supported anymore is a simple application that just backs up and restores one or all your drivers, and makes it all too easy to restore if needed.
Double driver can be downloaded at the link at the top of this guide and comes as a 2MB compressed Zip file. Once downloaded, use your favorite extraction program to unzip it into it's own folder. To open the program navigate to the folder and right click on the "dd.exe" file and select Run as Administrator from the drop down menu.
Click "Scan Curren System"
By default only non Operating system (O/S) drivers are selected for backup, which is all you should need. All non O/S drivers are selected and you should normally go with this choice unless you specifically need one or more only. Click "Backup Now"
The following dialogue box allows you to choose a destination for your driver backup, accept or browse to a new location.
There are three output options and we should look at each.
This is the default and should suit most users. It gives nested folders allowing for individual driver restorations.
Compressed (zipped) folder.
This method compresses all the files into one folder, suitable if space is a concern or perhaps for saving to a flash drive.
Single file self extract (executable)
Makes the backup as one single self extracting file. There are reports of this method being unstable on some machines, so probably best to avoid this method.
Let's go with the default Structured folder method, so click OK.
A progress box will display the backup activity and at the conclusion another box will confirm the successful backup. Click OK to finish the backup.
We chose the structured folder option to backup and an example of how one appears in the default location is below. Note that some of the folders contain sub folders.
Congratulations you have backed up your drivers. It would be wise to repeat this process whenever you update a driver, or install any new hardware.
As well as a backup you can choose Print from the main menu and make a hard copy. Select Print from the home page, follow the prompts for your printer and you will have a copy complete with hardware identification, which can ensure you correctly identify your hardware when seeking information or new drivers on the net.
The picture below shows page one of a typical printout.
Now we have saved a backup of our drivers we should see how restore works. Open the program, again as administrator, and click "Restore"
Click "Locate Backup"
In the following dialogue box select your backup. We used the default location to backup earlier, but if the backup is located elsewhere, select Other location and browse to it.
- Select backup location.
- Click OK.
All the driver backups are now listed and selected. In this example we will choose to restore the Cyber Power Battery driver which is a driver for an uninterruptible power supply. To do this you can deselect all the other drivers manually, or use the "Select" menu item to deselect all, then manually select the driver/s you wish to restore. Then click "Restore Now"
A confirmation box will ask to confirm your intention, click OK.
The Windows Driver Wizard will open, click "Next" and follow the driver installation prompts and you're good to go.
Congratulations you have backed up your drivers and are able to restore them if you need to.
Should you have any questions about this guide, or any computer matter, then please don't hesitate to ask in our forums.
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How to Backup your drivers 4.1.0
Use Double Driver to backup your drivers