When Windows Update does a optional driver download and update where are the drivers stored if at

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by webdevii, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. webdevii

    webdevii New Member

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    I have been curious about this for a while now, when I go to Windows update to do Optional Updates for Drivers where are the actual files stored, are they findable and movable to like a CD or Thumb drive for future use, as we all know most of the driver sites suck now that windows 7 has a very good database of hard to find drivers.

    Thank you all in advance if you can assist

    Regards
    Dev
     
  2. whs

    whs Extraordinary Member

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    Not sure why you want to do that. But one way to keep them for later is to right click on the update and "hide" it. Then it does not get installed but you can always retrieve it at a later point in time.
     
  3. webdevii

    webdevii New Member

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    The reason I want to do it is this, is after a clean install you loose all your data programs and what not. Who knows someday Microsoft my not provide that driver anymore of hard to find drivers, therefore I keep a massive driver database of hard to find drivers when I run across them. Therefore I can just go to device manger and do the Update Drive option and point the "Install From Disk" to my driver database and it will automatically pick up the driver and install it. That is why I was wondering where the downloaded driver(s) were stored on the hard drive Thus being able to coping them to my driver database when I find them, when downloaded from the Microsoft Optional Updates section.

    If it is not known or possible to find it so be it, but if it is it would be nice for what I do.

    Thank you very much for your input

    Regards
    Dev
     
  4. zvit

    zvit Honorable Member

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    The Windows Update Agent downloads all content to %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\Download.

    You shouldn't use this approach to backup drivers though. Either use a free program that will do this for you - here are a list of some:
    Best Free Windows Driver Backup and Restore

    This is in the above list and is a good one. (It's free)
    DriverMax - free driver download program for Windows XP & Vista
    DriverMax is a new tool that finds and downloads the latest driver updates for your computer. No more searching for rare drivers on discs or on the web or inserting one installation CD after the other. Just create a free account, log in, and start downloading the updates that you need.

    Or if you want to get technical, you can follow this guide:
    How to Back Up Windows 7 Drivers
     
  5. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    Actually you are better off going to the manufacturer's or software maker's website to get the drivers you need. They often have newer ones that the one at Windows Update.
    Joe
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley New Member

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    I was fixing to make the very same suggestion.

    It's my understanding that manufacturers are responsible for their own drivers provided by Windows Update. And often the drivers available through Windows Update are outdated before they pass all Microsoft's red tape. To make sure you have the most updated drivers, skip Windows update and download directly from the source.
     
  7. zvit

    zvit Honorable Member

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    That is why it's good to use one of the free software driver programs because they get the driver information right from the manufacture's sites. Even if you don't use the program to update the driver, you can at least see what driver needs updating and what manufacturer it belongs to.
     
  8. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    You can get rid of the updates with e.g. CCleaner.

    Saving the updates isn't really necessary, because new updates come all the time. I have tons of updates, all too old and of no use as they have been replaced by new ones.
     

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