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XP pro hardware drivers: library, cache for system when detecting new hardware Answered

Where in the XP Pro OS (operating system) can place all the drivers needed when plug and play starts detecting new hardware? Background: I am currently overseas and the home computer my wife normally uses has crapped out on her. She sent me the HDD (hard disk drive) and I will install XP Pro along with all the applications, but this time will create an image onto the hard drive so she can recover if she needs to (Acronis Image). I was lucky enough to run a driver program that picked up all my drivers (Ghostdriver? program) before I left home and have the drivers the system will need once I send it back to my wife and she installs it. I believe that some of the hardware drivers are located in C:\Windows\System32\drivers but am not sure if this is the only place or if I can just "drop" my copy of drivers into this and have the system pick them up as it "discovers" it's new hardware. I do realize that she may have to reactivate the Microsoft XP Pro license and she can handle that (we also do have a legit copy of WXPPro). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, TJ I am glad I asked, I did not think about the the possible driver conflicts. I will try both the CD and Driver Magician. Thanks!


The fresh XP installation will end up being specific to your current computer (drivers and all). Simply unplug and plugging it back on your wife's computer will cause it to try to install new sets of hardware driver on top of existing ones. You'll end up with ambiguous and conflicting driver installation. Though with some effort, they can be sorted, I’m assuming you are not planning to put your wife through it. Unless there's a tool that I'm not aware of out there that can help you avoid that, then disregard the statements above. On the case of where to dump the drivers, simply burn them onto the root folder of a CD is the simplest. Since XP will also search in CD/DVD drives by default.

I wold agree that the CD option would work the best. In fact, if you got a program like Driver Magician to easily find and backup you drivers to CD.

Goodhart, thanks for Driver Magician link. Been needing something like that for some time not.