Backup Drivers Before Reinstall Windows 7 [Video]

(and Restore Them Later)

You lost your CD Drivers? Damn.

You want to re-install your computer because your computer/laptop is slow or error due to a virus. But you feel confused because the CD driver your computer is lost?

… for that you need to backup the Windows drivers first.

The problem when losing your CD drivers, which is annoying, is that you need to remember the components device ID and also the serial number (for some video cards) and find drivers from internet.

Individual driver must be installed,either by using the CD Drivers we get from the components purchases or by downloading from the manufacturer’s website.

Drivers are required by computer at the time after installing Windows.

Drivers are the software that connect the hardware with operating systems, such as Windows 7, so that the hardware can be detected as a component of a computer and be able to function properly.

All computer components such as video cards, sound cards and Wi-Fi devices are not installed automatically by Windows and require that each.

Hence, you need to perform a backup of drivers before formatting and reinstalling the windows 7, so that it will be able to use again.

How To Backup Drivers Before Formatting Windows 7

There are two ways to perform Windows 7® driver backup, either manually or using the additional driver backup tools (we use DriverMax here because it is very easy to use with just one click).

1. Backup Drivers Windows 7 (Manually)

Drivers on all versions of Windows® are stored in the folder C:\Windows\System32 in the sub-folders Drivers, DriverStore and DRVSTORE 1 1. DRVSTORE is hidden folder. You must setting view hidden folder in windows explorer. × (if any).


For a manual backup, simply copy the three folders and save them on an external USB data storage drive.

2. Backup Drivers Windows 7 (DriverMax)

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  1. Download & install DriverMax first (copy drivermax installer file to USB).
  2. Open DriverMax -> Backup -> Create driver backup archive -> Next .


    Backups contain only specific drivers that you selected. You will be able to restore one or all drivers contained in a backup.

  3. Select All and Backup
  4. Copy the backup files (.zip) from C:\Users\xxx\Documents\My Drivers to an external USB data storage drive/Outside Drive C.

After backup your windows driver, you are ready to reinstalling your PC.

3. Restore Drivers Windows (DriverMax)

After finish reinstalling you Windows PC, now you need to restore/install Windows Driver from you backup files at step 2.

  1. Install DriverMax
  2. Open DriverMax
  3. Restore -> Restore from a previously created backup -> Next.

    Backups contain previous versions of your drivers. In the next step you will be prompted to select which driver(s) you want to restore.

  4. Load Backup Driver File, Choose from USB -> Next
  5. Select All Driver and Click Restore
  6. DriverMax Restore Completed


To backup windows drivers can be done manually or using the software.

Manual Backup is by copying folder that contains the driver files (.sys), driver setup files (Inf), pre-compiled INF files (.pnf), and an XML manifest file that contains the manifest of all the files within the driver package.

Backing up by using software like DriverMax will make it easier for you the next time you are finished restoring drivers after re-install windows with 1 click restore.

P.S. With DriverMax, you don’t need CD driver anymore or download it manually from website vendor.

Read also: Top 10 Windows Drivers Update and Backup Software Automatically

About Bambang Eko

I work on PC with windows OS. Share about Windows Tips and trick for productivity

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16 comments add yours

  1. I like Driver Talent more. Free, no Ads, easy to use. Quite suitable for me. I am not an experienced computer user by the way.

  2. I can only see two folders for drivers. drivers and DriverStore. Why is that?

    • DRVSTORE is hidden folder. You must setting view hidden folder in windows explorer. Here step by step

      1. Open Folder Options by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Folder Options.
      2. Click the View tab.
      3. Under Advanced settings, click Show hidden files and folders, and then click OK.

    • How to Manual reinstall a driver from backup

      There’s 2 ways to do it. Note that both cases require you point to the device driver’s INF file (this is the driver’s Installation Setup File required by Windows)
      If the Add New Hardware Wizard pops-up, point it to the folder containing the device folder backup
      > This folder will include the device driver’s INF file
      > The Hardware Wizard should see the INF file and then load the driver. You may need to reboot to complete device installation
      Or, to install a driver manually, just go directly to the device driver’s backup folder, rt click the INF file, select Install then reboot. Windows should redetect the device hardware and complete the driver install

      For easy way, I recommended using DriverMax so you can Backup and Restore using this tools.

  3. yes, using the DriverMax program is easier but in my case I can’t open Windows because my registry is bad. I can boot my PC using Linux and I can see all my folders and files on my PC. What is the best way to save my drivers so that i don’t have to go re-find and install them when I load fresh install of my Win 7 OS?

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