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Driver Back-up


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#1 .Prodigy.

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 02:31 PM

I'm planning on doing a routine reformat (routine for me anyway) and re-installation of Windows XP Pro. I need to know if theres a way for me to back up all my drivers so I don't need to re-install them every time I reformat. Is there a program that shows all the drivers used on my computer, what they're used for and what files they use? I hope to just copy a bunch of files to my flash drive and update them as I update my drivers.

Thanks in advance,
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#2 usasma

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 03:26 PM

I found this tool in my bookmarks - it says it'll backup your drivers but I've never used it:
http://www.newfreeware.com/utils/2110/

Personally, I just download the latest versions of all the drivers for my motherboard and burn them to a CD before I do the reformat and reinstall.

BUT!!! Maybe you won't need to do a "routine" reformat ever again! There's lot's of good tools out there called disk imagers that will let you redo your drive in less time than a reinstall and will let you include the drivers. The key here is that an "image" allow you to put everything back onto the hard drive where it belongs - where a copy won't do it. Also, images usually take up much less room than a copy. The down side is that you need a place to put this one, huge file!

Oh, and one other caveat - if you change any hardware you'll have to make a new image.

1) You can slipstream everything into an XP install disk (never worked right for me)
2) You can use the disk clone utility from your hard disk manufacturere (may be restricted on what you can copy the image to. They're usually free).
3) You can use a free imaging tool such as Digital Dolly or DriveImageXML
4) You can purchase an imaging program such as Norton Ghost, Drive Image, or Acronis True Image. I use Acronis True Image and am very happy with it.

I store the image on my secondary hard drive. That way, when I want to reapply the image I just pop the Acronis recovery CD in and boot from it. Then I select the image from my other hard drive and click on Restore. About 20 minutes later I'm back up and running with a fresh, spanking clean copy of XP with all my essential drivers and programs installed.

I make several images when I first install - so I can go back to whatever stage I want to. Then, I keep an updated image or sets of images depending on how much space I have left. That way I'm never more than a week away from a fresh install!
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