Where are motherboard drivers stored?

Answered by Robert Dupre

When it comes to motherboard drivers, they are typically stored in specific locations on your computer’s operating system. Specifically, in Windows, the drivers are usually stored in two main locations: C:\Windows\inf and C:\Windows\System32\drivers.

Let’s dive into each of these locations and understand their significance.

1. C:\Windows\inf:
The C:\Windows\inf folder contains driver installation files that are stored in the *.inf format. These files are used during the installation or updating of drivers for various devices on your computer, including the motherboard. The *.inf files contain information about the driver, such as its name, version, and supported hardware.

When you install a new device or update a driver, Windows looks into this folder to find the corresponding *.inf file and extract the necessary driver files. These driver files are then copied to other locations on your system, such as the C:\Windows\System32\drivers folder, where they are actually used by the operating system.

2. C:\Windows\System32\drivers:
The C:\Windows\System32\drivers folder is where the actual device driver files (*.sys files) reside. These files are essential for the proper functioning of various hardware components, including those integrated into the motherboard.

The *.sys files in this folder correspond to different devices installed on your computer, such as the network card, audio card, USB controllers, and more. The motherboard drivers, including chipset drivers, are also stored here as they are an integral part of the motherboard’s functionality.

It’s worth mentioning that these driver files are not limited to just the motherboard; they cover all hardware components installed on your system. However, the motherboard drivers play a crucial role in ensuring smooth communication between the operating system and the motherboard, which is often considered the backbone of your computer.

To summarize, motherboard drivers are stored in two main locations on a Windows operating system: C:\Windows\inf, where the driver installation files (*.inf) are located, and C:\Windows\System32\drivers, where the actual device driver files (*.sys) are stored. These files are vital for the proper functioning of the motherboard and other hardware components in your computer.

Please note that the locations mentioned above are the default locations in Windows, and they may vary depending on your operating system version and configuration.