Windows Deployment: Advanced Part 3 – Driver Injection

In this article, I’m going to show you how to maintain a driver library within MDT 2013 and create different task sequences for each model of laptop.

It’s important to separate your drivers out to avoid conflicts and reliability issues with the workstations that you deploy the images to (although if your only ever deploying the same manufacturer and hardware class you’re unlikely to see an issue).

Open MDT 2013 on your deployment server.

Drill down to Out-of-box Drivers

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This is where you need to put some thought into your folder structure. (I’m only interested in Windows 8.1 64bit).

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In this example, I have created a folder for Windows 8.1 64bit, within that, I have created a folder for each model of laptop I need to work with. You may, in your environment, have a folder for Windows 8.1 32bit, or Windows 7 (both 32 and 64bit).

I would suggest, purely in the interest of IT management, is to keep the number of variables to a minimum.

For example, it will take considerably more work supporting multiple OS versions across your business, as does multiple hardware types.

I would also suggest when purchasing equipment, avoid ‘home’ and ‘small office’ manufacturers as they don’t tend to have the ‘enterprise’ driver installers that the likes of Dell & HP can provide.

In addition, create a new folder called Windows PE (with both 32 and 64bit drivers).

These WinPE drivers are injected during the initial load of the PE environment, whereas the ones within the Windows folders are injected during the final part of the OS deployment and will reflect what you’ll see in device manager.

Once you’ve created your folder structure, right click and import your drivers…

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Navigate to your driver location.

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Review & confirm.

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Wait….

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Review and click finish.

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Once complete, you’ll end up with a list of drivers for that model of computer.

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Repeat the same for the WinPE drivers if available. If you’re using Dell, they’ll have a separate, smaller cab file you can download and extract.

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Next, select Advanced Configuration, then Selection Profiles.

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Create a new selection profile.

Give it a name. This should reflect the hardware and OS. Hit Next

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Select the relevant drivers from the list.

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Your new selection profile will appear in the middle pane.

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Repeat the above steps for the WinPE drivers.

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Once you’ve done that, head over to task sequences. Create a new sequence based on your GMI capture (create as many sequences as you have hardware models, the underlying GMI capture remains the same).

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Right click on the new task sequence.

Select the Task Sequence tab.

Drill down to Pre-install, Inject Drivers

From the properties tab, under Choose a selection profile, select your new Windows profile (that you created earlier under Advanced Configuration / Selection Profiles).

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Next,

Right click on your deployment share and select properties.

Select the Windows PE tab, choose x64, then the Windows PE x64 profile, as per the Advanced Configuration / Selection Profile we created earlier (the PE one, not the Windows one).

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Don’t forget, if you have ‘SkipTaskSequence=YES‘ in your deployment share rules, you’ll need to revert it to NO.

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Update the deployment share, you’ll notice it takes a little longer this time as it needs to inject the drivers.

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Attach the new LitetouchPE_x64.iso to WDS.

Finally, test the deployment, inc. your drivers on a test machine (as I’ve mentioned above, try and avoid home or small business manufacturers as the driver support for this type of deployment can be limited).

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Choose your newly created task sequence. Let the image deploy – again, the deployment will take longer because of the driver injection process.

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Once the image has installed, head to device manager. All of the drivers should be installed without issue (if not, make sure you’ve downloaded all of the available drivers – again someone like Dell will provide complete driver cab files for their business models).

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TSN

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