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Windows 7: How to extract drivers from driver packages ?

21 Mar 2019   #1
Vineet Garg

Windows 7 Ultimate x32 With Sp1 + Vista Ultimate x32 with Sp1 & Sp2 !!
How to extract drivers from different types of driver packages ?

Hi All,

The objective here is to get the folder with .inf driver file :

I could not find an always working solution to extract drivers but some utilities & procedures come to my rescue. Sometimes a single utility or procedure does it all but sometimes multiple utilities and/or procedures do it for me.

(In some cases I got the .inf file in some initial steps but that was not the driver. When i double clicked the .inf file & read it to find the Device Hardware ID. It was not there. Then other procedure finally brought out the required .inf file folder & it was a totally different idea & location.)

The Utilities :

7-zip : 7-Zip
Universal Extractor : Universal Extractor - A Tool That Supports Extracting All Types of Archive Files Raymond.CC
lessmsi : A tool to view and extract the contents of an msi file - lessmsi

The Procedures & Practices :

(a) Many times I had to keep extracting the things with 7zip one after other, & finally i got the .inf driver files. For eg. In some cases, i extracted the original driver with 7zip & after 3-4 extraction , i got a .cab file. When i extracted the .cab file with 7zip, the driver was extracted.

(b) Sometimes i needed to use multiple utilities to finally extract the driver. For eg. I extracted the driver with 7zip & got a .msi. Then i extracted .msi with LessMSI & got my driver.

2. Command Line For Extraction : Get hold to 'Readme' file for the driver. The file tells about extracting the driver without installation. This worked here for Chipset & IRST ( Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver )

The command line to extract Chipset : SetupChipset.exe -extract <PATH>
For eg. to extract it to a folder NEW ( Path 'C:\NEW' ) :
SetupChipset.exe -extract C:\NEW

The command line to extract IRST : SetupRST.exe -a -p <PATH>
For eg. to extract it to a folder NEW ( Path 'C:\NEW' )
SetupRST.exe -a -p C:\NEW

3. Make Out The Extraction Folder

Warning : Always make system restore point before trying this out!

When we execute a driver installer, it is extracted to a folder before installation. So, neither we have to complete the installation nor abort the installation, go to that location, copy the folder to a safe location & then abort the installation. In this way, we can extract the driver on any good OS without actually installing the driver.
In some cases, the installer itself tells/asks about the extraction folder. So, it becomes very easy.
In some cases, the driver is always extracted to a particular folder for eg. some Intel drivers.
In some cases, the readme file tells about the folder.
In some cases, the log file for the driver installation tells about it. As for IMEI.

In many cases, the driver is temporarily extracted to :
It was the case for IMEI driver & Killer Wireless AC 1550 driver (The Killer driver from the Killer site!)
(The Tip was Shared by sir Traveler99 : Disable Win7n Driver signature)

4. Sometimes a procedure got me a file & then i extracted it with a utility & the driver was extracted. For eg. I got .msi file from the ''C:\Users\USER\AppData\Local\Temp\'' folder & then extracted it with LessMSI & the driver was extracted.

So. ...

Thanks & Regards. ...

EDIT : Utility suggested by Sir F22 Simpilot :

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2019   #2
wither 2

Windows 7 Pro SP1 64 bit

You're way above my head but why do you need to get to the .inf file?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2019   #3
Vineet Garg

Windows 7 Ultimate x32 With Sp1 + Vista Ultimate x32 with Sp1 & Sp2 !!

Hi wither 2,

1) In some cases, force install of .inf files is needed.
For eg. when there is no Win 10 drivers for some older devices, some win7 driver package came to rescue. A force install from extracted .inf , etc. driver files did the job.
There are also other situations where force install is needed.

2) Sometimes direct installation of driver package bloats the OS. It installs many other utilities which are of no use for a particular user & his practices. For eg. I face this problem very often because my interests are often limited to basic device uses which are satisfied with basic drivers.
Recently, I was just engaged with 'MSI GT75 Titan 8RF Gaming Laptop'. There i found that only basic drivers were offered under drivers & other related utilities were listed under utilities. So, the other controls/things are optional!

3) I often like to integrate drivers directly in the Installation ISO & it is quite easy to do that with extracted files.
If you want to add device support in a Recovery Environment, you need those files.

4) I use it to make sure that the driver package works for an OS & Device.

5) If we want to keep Win 7 alive & use it on the modern devices, We need to know about these driver files deeply.

So. ...

Thanks & Regards. ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Mar 2019   #4
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Another utility you might want to check out, though I think 7Z is better, is Universal Extractor 2. Some .exe files can't be extracted. And I was trying to help someone here with a driver for their gamepad and the way the driver was used couldn't use an inf file. The installation of that gamepad was different and I can't remember now what that all entailed. But for the most part an inf file for a video card, sound card, chipset, etc should work without issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2019   #5
Vineet Garg

Windows 7 Ultimate x32 With Sp1 + Vista Ultimate x32 with Sp1 & Sp2 !!

Hi F22 Simpilot,
1. Thanks for the suggestion.
2. You are quite prompt. I also came across a Graphic driver which could not be installed .inf way. There are drivers like that!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to extract drivers from driver packages ?

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