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.
[Editor’s note: this review was written by Freewaregenius contributor Gaurav Paul with subsequent editing by the webmaster].
There are two kinds of people reading this right now; readers in the first group are excited about the prospect of easily and quickly backing up their drivers and being able to restore all or some of them at will.
Readers in the second group, on the other hand, are not quite sure (a) why this is of value, and/or (b) why they should bother with this activity at all.
The answer to these questions is simple: 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, inwhich 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 offfers 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.
One thing comes to mind with respect to “Automatic Driver Restoration; we’ve previously featured a similar program on Freewaregenius, DriverMax, which is excellent and offers a similar functionality, but requires installation on a new computer in order to restore drivers. In this light DriverBackup’s ability to create .exe files and restore in batch without the program itself being installed is a very nice innovation. An excellent software overall.
Version Tested: 2.0.0
Compatibility: 64-bit MS Windows, All 32-bit MS Windows (95/98/NT/2000/XP), Vista
Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 319K).