The tape drivers are found at C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\IOSUBSYS. Apparently you can restore vmcpd.vxd after install and the system will do just fine (not the tape drivers tho). And according to https://jeffpar.github.io/kbarchive/kb/136/Q136255/ it may be possible to patch the vmcpd thingie without even manually editing the registry, just going to the device manager.
Tooted this so I can help others who are interested. I'll now return to my usual hiatus
@espectalll Glad to see you're still alive and kicking!
@codewiz wait and see 👀