DriverBackup is a free and easy-to-use Device Drivers’ backup and restore utility that comes with command line options, path formatting and automatic driver restoration. It can easily backup and restore all the currently installed device drives automatically without the need for re-downloading drivers or using CD-ROMs.
Backing up drivers is very useful in case things go wrong. Specifically, if you decide to re-install your operating system it is possible/likely that you will need to invest considerable time and energy hunting down the correct device drivers online or on random CDs that you didn’t know you had. You can prevent this by using a program like DriverBackup and instantly get all of your drivers restored. The other situation where having drivers backed up is useful is if your drivers are corrupted and/or your hardware is not working properly, in which case you can use DriverBackup to remove the drivers as well as quickly get your working drivers back.
Here are some notes on this program:
- The main window: lists all types of drivers that are installed in the system with their full info.
- Selection modes: the three available modes of operation are: (a) Backup (b) Restore, and (c) Remove.
- The backup process: is fairly straightforward. Check the drivers you want to backup, select the path, and (optionally) enter a short description about the device/driver type.
- Filtering: you can filter the list of drivers using tabs ("All" "OEM", and "Third Party" drivers). You can also use the "Digital Signature" and "Full portability" buttons to select the device which has WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Labs) signature and full portability button list you the device drivers which has full capability to be backup and restore.
- Restore: allows you to select and restore the previous versions of drivers that has been saved by the Driverbackup program in case of errors.
- Remove drivers: gives you a very simply and handy method to remove drivers, if that is what you want.
- Automatic Driver Restoration: this functionality under "Start Backup" is designed to create the necessary files if the drivers are to be restored on a system which doesn’t have "DriverBackup" installed. The "Generate file for auto-restoration” checkbox forces DriverBackup! to generate executable files for automatic drivers’ restoration. These files include a batch file “Restore.bat” and “Autorun.inf” that enables autorun in removable devices (USB Flash,CD-DVD-ROM). Note that in order to enable autorun, backup files (Backup Info file “.BKI” and directory tree) must be copied in the root path of device.
- Command Line Builder: this feature can be accessed from the "Tools" menu and is like magic; it offers a simple way to access DriverBackup from a command line or script. For example you can burn the driver files into a Windows CD and all drivers can be installed from the command line at once; very cool!
The verdict: this program combines powerful functionality with an Easy GUI that both a "normal" and advanced user can easily interact with. There is no hitch in the backup/restore functionality, and expert functions like "Command line Builder" and "Automatic Driver Restoration" can be extremely useful.
The utility is light on resources, fast, reliable, and can be run with no installation in portable mode. However, I have found a problem running the utility in the Safe Mode. While this observation was not confirmed on multiple computers yet, note on this possible limitation.