Your drivers can be a scary and intimidating thing. The two pieces of the Windows backend that I never recommend the novice user play with are the registry and device drivers. The smallest of errors in handling either of these can result in system instability or a completely bricked operating system, and that’s no fun.
As you become a more experienced, savvy, and paranoid citizen of the Internet, you’ll grow accustomed to religiously backing up your system and online data. Drivers are clearly a crucial part of this process, and in this post I’d like to introduce you to a free and portable tool that can completely back up or restore every driver on your machine in just a few clicks.
Double Driver [No Longer Available]
Double Driver works with versions of Windows from XP to 8. The download is just a little over 2 MB in size and can be extracted anywhere on your hard drive, external drive, or flash drive.
Launching the application shows how simple it is.
Upon launch, Double Driver will immediately begin to scan your system for drivers. Note that you need to launch the application with administrator privileges for it to work properly.
The main tab of interest, across the top, is Backup.
Click the Scan Current System button (near the bottom) and you’ll get access to every driver that exists on your system. Checkboxes are then automatically ticked for drivers that Double Driver detects as your most important, which by default are non-Microsoft drivers. The Select tab will drop down into a menu that allows you to invert your selection, select all, or select none.
The Scan Other System button will let you scan a non-live version of Windows, if you’re trying to backup another OS installation on a second partition or hard drive.
Clicking Backup Now will do just that.
I’d recommend you set the output as a zipped folder, as it will save the most disk space. The operation should then take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Restoring your drivers is practically the exact same process, in reverse. Go to the Restore tab, select the folder where your backup has been saved to, and load it. You’re then able to select which drivers you want to restore, if not all.
These two features really sum up the core functionality of Double Driver. It allows preserving your drivers to be very easy. The only feature that would have been great to have would be a scheduled driver backup, but drivers are so rarely touched that many people should probably see that as unneccessary.
If you’d like to print out your drivers, there’s a tab for that. Clicking Print will automatically queue up your list of drivers to your default printer. Clear will clear your scan.
Let me stress again how sensitive the Windows system is when it comes to drivers. You should always be careful when tampering with, disabling, or updating any drivers on your system. In my honest opinion, if it ain’t broke then don’t go trying to fix it. Though I haven’t used the software in over a year, just using an automated driver handler like SlimDrivers has caused catastrophic problems for me in the past.
Before you do anything like that, make sure you have a fresh backup of your drivers. It could save your PC! Let me know what you think of Double Driver in the comments below.