Building the ultimate Vista/7 Device Driver collection
Making Clean installs go just a little quicker.
In a previous guide I talked about how to build yourself the ultimate Ethernet Driver Disc for Windows XP, using a CD or a USB drive with an ISO.
Today I'm going to talk about making the ultimate driver folder for Windows Vista / Windows 7 systems both x86 and x64bit versions. This will primarily be used for Clean / re-installations of Windows Vista / 7 where you have a list of Devices that were not installed during the installation of Windows. I tested this method out on a Dell Inspiron laptop and it found every single driver.
Downloading the driver packs
Go to http://driverpacks.net
Then click "Downloads" and then "Get the latest"
You'll see a list of all sorts of drivers.
You want to grab everything under "Vista/7" for both the 32 and 64bit windows. Every single link is a torrent file. There are no direct downloads.
Once you get everything downloaded you'll get a list of compressed files that look like this. (Just an example)
Extracting the files and putting them on a usb drive.
Using your software of choice, extract each file into their own folder. Personally I like to use the following directory structure.
Drivers\64bit\Video. I also recommend putting muliple driver packs into a single folder. You'll notice there are 3 different Graphics driver packs. Graphics pack A, B and mobile. Putting them in a single folder means you have a better chance of finding the correct video device driver on the first try.
Once you finish extracting them you should have folders that look like this.
Now it's time to copy onto the USB media of your choice (I prefer a 2.5 inch External hard drive. It finds and installs the driver much faster).
If you do every single driverpack it could take a while as the total size will reach about 5 gigs.
Installing the driver.
In this example you will see that I already have a driver installed. But i'm just showing you the wizard as a reference.
1)First you will want to open one of the devices that didn't get installed during the installation of windows.
2) Click the driver tab
3) Click update driver
4) Click Browse my computer for driver software
5) Browse to your usb device containing the driver.
6) Put a checkmark in the box "Include subfolders". This is an important step, as it will tell windows to search every folder not just the root of the folder you pointed it to.
7) Click next.
At this point it will search that folder for the correct driver. In my test it didn't take long at all, usually just a few seconds. Will this work all the time? Probably not 100% of the time, or maybe it will, I dunno. But it sure is a lot faster than hunting down 6 drivers that didn't get installed.
I'm also aware that if you have windows 7 and if you have a working internet connection, telling it to search online for the driver is usually very successful (not so much with vista). If available, try that first. I'm sure you've all ran into a obscure device that said "Audio" but not much else. For those occasions, this method is for you.