Topic: USB-flash-drive drivers progressive bloating?

Hey, this is just a simple question about driver functioning in Windows that I thought of asking here. It has been on my mind for some time.

Each time one inserts a new device -- say, microphone, flash drive, or even wireless mouse -- in a USB port, Windows installs something for you, right? My question is, is those things that get installed remain loaded on every startup, so that, over time, say half-a-hundred different peripherals have been plugged in at least once, would it somehow get to speed down Windows a little bit? Wouldn't all those installed device drivers have to get loaded into RAM on each startup just in case previously connected USB devices get connected back in again -- so as to offer them instant functionality --?

How does that work?


EDIT: typos.

Last edited by twipley (2010-08-07 01:05:40)

Re: USB-flash-drive drivers progressive bloating?

Well, true to a point.  Each version of windows had a different way of caching drivers.  Each has a "driver store".
They only get loaded to RAM when needed.  But they do take up HDD space until purged.

Re: USB-flash-drive drivers progressive bloating?

Ok. So, in XP for example, such drivers would be stored in a driver "chest," on the HDD, and then loaded to RAM only when the flash drive (for example) gets inserted? Makes sense.

If that's true then I do not need to worry about the number of devices that get installed to my system -- drivers won't get loaded anyway until those devices get reconnected.

Strange thing Google did not help me much on that one, though.

Thanks mr_smartepants! :)

Re: USB-flash-drive drivers progressive bloating?

Right.  So for XP, some of the drivers are stored here: C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\  with the .inf files stored here: C:\WINDOWS\inf\
The original file is stored here: C:\WINDOWS\Driver Cache\i386\
Drivers downloaded from WU/MU are here: C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download\

Re: USB-flash-drive drivers progressive bloating?

agree with mr_smartepants

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Re: USB-flash-drive drivers progressive bloating?

Most/all USB drives will share the same driver, it will not increase the size on disk it will just reinstall the same driver for a different usb port

Re: USB-flash-drive drivers progressive bloating?

i usb in that there is an inbuilt ANTIVIRUS but it is expired and i want to delete it but it is not working

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