Transition Drivers to New Windows Installation

Over the Thanks Giving holiday, I took advantage of the extended time off from work and projects to reinstall Windows on newer, larger drives. When reinstalling Windows finding all of the drivers has traditionally been a pain point for me. This time around someone gave me a bit of information that made handling the drives much easier. After performing the installation, I didn’t have sound. I checked the device manager and found there were a lot of devices that were not recognized.

I initially started with trying to figure out what these devices were. Opening the properties of a device and viewing the hardware ID gives a hint. There are two hexadecimal numbers for a vendor ID and a device ID. Most of the vendor IDs I saw were 8086, which is the vendor ID for Intel (a reference to the 80×86 family of processors).

A lot of these warnings were for features related to the Xeon processor in the computer, some sound drivers, and a few other things. While I was able to find drivers for these online, I could not get them to install.

I was able to find drivers on the manufacturers’ sites for many items, but I ran into problems getting the drivers to install. While speaking of this challenge, someone asked me if I still had access to three specific folders from before I had installed Windows. All of these folders are child folders of c:\Windows\System32. The folder names are drivers, DriverState, and DriverStore. I did have access to these files; this was a hard drive swap. I went back to the device manager, selected an unrecognized device, and selected the option to update the driver. When prompted for a driver location, I pointed to these folders and let the process search. SUCCESS! The driver was found! I continued this process for the other devices.

This was a lot of devices, but it moved me in the direction of success. Some time later, all of the devices except one had their drivers installed. the remaining device, an Inten device with the ID 0x2F9C, remains unidentified. My carry away from this is that if I reinstall Windows on another computer, these folders should be included in the data that is backed up before performing the Installation.

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