Copy Windows Drivers From One Machine to Another

By Lowell Heddings on October 12th, 2007

Driver problems are a source of never-ending issues in the Windows world. Often you’ll have a working driver on another machine, but don’t have the installation cd anymore to install on the new computer.

The simplest way to handle this is a tool called DriverMax, which will allow you to backup and restore your drivers. More importantly, it will allow you to pick a particular driver that is installed on the system and export it into a folder for reinstallation later or elsewhere.

You can use this tool to export drivers from either Vista or XP, and you could even try and use some of your working XP drivers in Vista if you were forced to. (This won’t always work)

Launch DriverMax after installation, and you’ll be presented with this graphically pleasing screen where you can select the “Export drivers” option.

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You’ll have to hit the next button to get to the list of drivers. This should show you all drivers installed on your system.

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You can select just the particular driver you are trying to transfer, or you can use Select all if you wanted to backup your entire driver list (useful).

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Use the next button again and you’ll be taken to a screen where you can choose how to backup the drivers. If you are trying to move the drivers between machines you should choose the option to export to a folder.

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Use the next button again and everything is done. You’ll be able to directly open the folder using the “Open extraction folder” button.

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In here you should see the folders containing the actual driver files. This is what you’ll want to copy to the other computer using a thumb drive.

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On the other computer, you can choose to update the drivers for the problem device, and when you are prompted on how you want to search, just choose to “Browse my computer for driver software” and then pick the folder with your exported drivers.

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These instructions are fairly generic, but I’ve found the basic principles to be very handy.

Download DriverMax from Innovative Solutions

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/12/07
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