Is it possible to export only active drivers from Windows 10? Solved

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  1.    #1

    Is it possible to export only active drivers from Windows 10?


    I've created a library of unattended installs for Windows. On one of these, I have injected all the drivers from my various home computers. The problem is that the library of drivers is HUGE.

    For example, when I use either DISM or PNPUTIL to export my drivers, I can easily end up with 10 to 15GB or even more of exported drivers for a single system, and that's for the very simple systems without any special hardware installed.

    Other than going through each driver one by one and trying to make heads or tails of what the driver is for, does anyone know of a way to whittle these drivers down to just those that are actually used by the system they are being exported from?

    An example of what I am doing:

    Code:
    pnputil /export-driver * "D:\Exported Drivers"
    Note that using DISM results in exactly the same results.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #2

    Have you ever tried viewing (and perhaps also pruning) your driver collection with a tool such as DriverStore Explorer? I've written a review of this package at Win10.Guru: Toolkit Item: DriverStore Explorer. It will let you eliminate duplicate drivers to reduce the size of the DriverStore. The latest release is v0.10.21 (April 23). Once you load the program, you can simply click the "Select Old Drivers" button, then the "Delete Driver" button and it will delete all old drivers that are not currently in use (if you do try to delete anything that is in use, the program won't delete it unless you manually force it to). Great tool!
    HTH,
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    Hmm, interesting idea. I had not considered anything like that. I'm usually a bit distrustful of such utilities but I'll definitely give it a try.

    Thanks for the great idea!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    hsehestedt said: View Post
    Hmm, interesting idea. I had not considered anything like that. I'm usually a bit distrustful of such utilities but I'll definitely give it a try.

    Thanks for the great idea!
    I endorse Ed's comments. DriverStore is a great tool.

    Of course, it is always a great plan to make an image backup with Macrium Reflect Free or similar first, just in case.......
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    *** WOW ***.

    Before DriverStore Explorer: 12.3GB of drivers.
    After DriverStore Explorer: 1.3GB

    This is stunning!

    I also have zero bangs in device manager, and everything is working perfectly.

    Cerberus - I appreciate the tip. I did this on a test system on which an image backup is created every night.

    Ed - Thank you again for pointing me to this utility. This is insanely useful. It's also pointed out to me a possible flaw in my unattended setup strategy. What I have been doing is creating a sysprep install into which I was injecting the drivers for all of my systems. As a result, when I install from this image, not only is Windows completely installed and configured, but all my drivers are already loaded as well. With the use of this utility I can see that when I installed Windows, it didn't simply copy the files needed for this system into the driver store, it copied ALL of the drivers for ALL of the systems into the local store. I had always assumed that the Windows installation would only install those drivers that it detected as being needed. Clearly I was wrong. That's why my driver store was so huge.

    This is definitely going to be included in among my most prized utilities!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 16,046
    Windows 10 Pro
       #6

    In addition to what has already been said, see this tutorial: DISM - Add or Remove Drivers on an Offline Image

    Part Two in the tutorial shows how you export the current drivers from an existing system, to be added to an offline image, or to be imported to an MDT deployment share as shown in Part Eight in this tutorial: Microsoft Deployment Toolkit - Easy and Fast Windows Deployment

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7.    #7

    Thank you, Kari. I've been using DISM thus far. I had started your tutorial on using MDT but ran into an issue so I need to go back and do it again. If I recall correctly I think it was the bug in the 1903 ADK regarding Windows SIM not working correctly on 64-bit Windows.

    That's the next item on my list for me to explore.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 16,046
    Windows 10 Pro
       #8

    hsehestedt said: View Post
    I had started your tutorial on using MDT but ran into an issue so I need to go back and do it again. If I recall correctly I think it was the bug in the 1903 ADK regarding Windows SIM not working correctly on 64-bit Windows.
    Yes, there's something wrong in both Insider and 1903 versions of ADK. Uninstall, go to ADK downloads and install 1809 version ADK and PE add-on instead:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Works perfectly with MDT. I am using 1809 ADK on Insider build 18898.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    #9

    Woo hoo! Glad it made a difference for you, @hsehestedt. Always happy to hear from those who find my suggested tools useful. I wouldn't try to steer anyone toward tools that I didn't believe in and use regularly myself. I've been using -- and writing about -- DriverStore Explorer since 2014 or thereabouts. Even Kari likes it, and he's usually disinclined to use third-party tools as a matter of principle.
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 16,046
    Windows 10 Pro
       #10

    EdTittel said: View Post
    Even Kari likes it, and he's usually disinclined to use third-party tools as a matter of principle.
    --Ed--
    Yes, I try to avoid third party tools when Windows can do the same with its native tools. However, DriverStore Explorer is one of my exceptions; it's just so easy and practical.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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