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A list of windows' system drivers are listed in msinfo32 under Software Environment. Like the Windows services list (run services.msc), it shows which drivers are started and their start mode (boot, manual or system).

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Does anyone know how one can start a system driver that is set to manual without changing it to start every time you boot your system?

Probably isn't relevant, but I am on Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit) and the driver I would like to start is the NetGroup Packet Filter Driver (NPF) that is used by WinPCap.

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can probably start it from an admin command prompt - net start xxx or sc start xxx, where xxx is the service name. You can get the service name from the msinfo32. Not guaranteed to work if there are dependencies.

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Thanks! I used this for starting services and didn't know one could launch drivers in this way. No dependencies in this case so it works great! –  JannieT May 17 '12 at 19:49
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Run the device manager (devmgmt.msc).

Under View, check Show hidden devices.

Find the driver you're interested in, possibly under Non-Plug and Play Drivers.

Right-click on the driver, click Properties. Then under the Driver tab, you can click Start.

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+1 for a great GUI alternative to BJ292's shorter method. Thanks! –  JannieT May 17 '12 at 19:52
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