Windows 7 has a vast library of device drivers. All these device drivers are kept in the driver store. On 32-bit PCs, you will find the 32-bit driver store in the %SystemRoot% \System32\DriverStore folder. On 64-bit PCs, you'll find the 64-bit driver store in the %SystemRoot%\System32\DriverStore folder and also the 32-bit driver store in the %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\DriverStore folder.
Within the driver store, you'll find subfolders with localized driver information for each language component configured on the system. For instance, for localized U.S. English driver information, you'll find a subfolder called en-US.
The motive force store also offers a file repository containing nearly 10,000 files that support many thousands of different devices. The file repository is situated in the DriverStore \FileRepository subfolder. The objective of the file repository is to be the primary storage place for device drivers. As you install updates and service packs for the operating system, you may also be updating or changing driver information files in the file repository.
Microsoft has certified every device driver in the driver store to become fully suitable for Windows 7. These drivers are also digitally signed by Microsoft to ensure their authenticity. When you install a Plug and Play hardware device, Windows 7 checks the driver store for a compatible device driver. If a device driver is found, Windows 7 automatically installs these devices.
In the file repository, device drivers are organized by device class. In the various subfolders, you'll find .inf and .sys files for each device driver. You may even find .pnf and .dll files for drivers.
All device drivers come with an associated Setup Information file, which ends with the .inf extension. The .inf file is really a text file containing detailed configuration information about particular classes of devices or perhaps a related group of devices. As an example, the msmouse.inf file has driver information for logical serial mouse and logical PS/2 mouse devices from Microsoft.
The driver information file specifies the fundamental configuration settings for that HAL and identifies any source or linked library files that the device should use. Source files possess the .sys extension. Linked library files have the .dll extension. Some drivers also provide associated component manifest (.amx) files.
Component manifest files are written in eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and stored in the Manifeststore subfolder. They include details on the driver's digital signature and can include Plug and Play information utilized by these devices to configure itself automatically.
All drivers installed on the operating system possess a source .sys file in the Drivers subfolder. Inside the Drivers folder, you'll find subfolders with localized driver source files for each language component configured on the system. For example, for localized U.S. English driver source files, you'll find a subfolder called en-US. Following this, the important thing folders combined with drivers on a PC localized for U.S. English are:
Whenever you use a device driver, the driver is written to a subfolder from the Drivers folder and configuration settings are stored in the registry.
The driver's .inf file is used to control the installation and write the registry settings. When the driver doesn't already exist in the driver store, it doesn't already have an .inf file or another related files on the system. In this case, the driver's .inf file and other related files are written to some subfolder of DriverStore\FileRepository when you install these devices.
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