I plan to clean up my laptop. Before doing so, I'd like to copy all necessary device driver files to a separate diskette. How do I track down all the necessary device driver files before I reformat my hard drive?
I really don't recommend this. Even if you discover all the device drivers, that doesn't give you the dependencies, or the multi-leveled dependencies. That said, you can find you current drivers under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services. The device drives are just special services, so you will have to cull out the non-device drivers from the entries. Under each device driver, you should see a "ImagePath" value on the right side.
Why not just make a backup of the hard drive before reformatting? Or even better, reinstall everything after formatting. If you have had much beta software on the machine, even un-installing doesn't always cure all the problems that the beta installs can cause. I wind up doing this at least twice a year on my machine at home, for that very reason.