Drivers are an important part of the system. They act as intermediaries between the system, and the hardware devices. They interpret the signals, and facilitate communication between the system and the devices. Without proper drivers, the devices either won't work properly, or won't work at all.
Generally, the drivers come on a CD/DVD, with the hardware devices. As an alternative, they can also be downloaded from the hardware manufacturer's site, and that's the best place to download the drivers, or their newer versions.
But sometimes, the CDs can get misplaced, or lost, or the drivers might not be available from even the manufacturer's site, because they might have stopped providing support for the hardware. In such cases, the driver backup software are like a boon. These software back up the installed drivers for different hardware devices on the system.
If you have an old system, and do not have a CD, or cannot get drivers from the hardware manufacturer's site, it would be a good idea to backup all the installed drivers on the system. Or, even if you have the CD, or the drivers, I will still recommend backing up the drivers, and storing them at a safe place, just in case. It's always better to be on the safe side.
Tip: I will also suggest backing up the drivers using more than one software, so that if one program is not successful in restoring them, or is unable to restore some of the drivers, the other ones may still be able to do the job.
In this review, I have covered programs which have the ability to backup drivers, and also restore them. The programs which do not have the ability to restore drivers have not been given a place in the review, and have been mentioned under Other Programs, after the review. This is because, I feel that for general/novice/intermediate users, restoring drivers manually might be a difficult job. I will consider a program useful, only if it has the ability to restore the drivers too, along with the ability to back them up.
Some of the software also have the ability to update the drivers, but I have not covered that in the review. This review is purely based on the abilities of the programs to backup and restore the drivers, and not updating them. As mentioned earlier, the best place to download new versions of the drivers is from the hardware manufacturer's site.
Not all software listed below have the ability to create a list, or a report of drivers installed on the system. If you want a list of drivers installed on the system, you can use the excellent small utility called DriverView from Nirsoft.
[Doakio Editor's Note: This article was restored from Gizmo's Freeware archives as a service to the freeware community. Gizmo's Freeware provided high-quality, volunteer freeware reviews for decades. They shut down in July of 2021.]