Windows 7 : Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 - Creating and Populating a Deployment Share (part 4) - Populating the Deployment Share - Importing Drivers, Importing Packages

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2.3. Importing Drivers

Now it's time to add third-party (out-of-the-box) drivers. Take the following steps:

  1. Create a folder structure on your hard drive.

    We created an F:\Drivers folder and copied the drivers and their accompanying files (INF, SYS, and catalog files) into that folder. (You might want to keep all the drivers stored and organized in the file system; sometimes you need to reimport them, or you might have deleted a driver in the workbench). In the workbench, you can create your folder structure to help organize drivers for specific types of machines. We like to organize based on model types, as shown in Figure 24.

    Drivers in Lab Deployment

    Drivers may not be needed when you create a reference image in a virtual machine, but they are needed when deployed in production. The reason behind this is that basically all virtualization uses generic emulated drivers and they are included in Windows 7 and WinPE from the beginning. Now, the same could be true for physical hardware—and it is at least for old computers—but you will most likely install Windows 7 on brand-new computers and you will need drivers to make them work correctly. Also, the only drivers you really need in a lab deployment share are the drivers that are needed to access the share (network) and access the hard drive (storage).

    Figure 24. Drivers folder structure in the workbench
  2. In the workbench, right-click the folder where you would like to import the drivers and then select Import Driver.

  3. The Import Driver Wizard launches with the Specify Directory page, as shown in Figure 25. Browse to the folder where you copied your drivers (and their associated files). Clicking Next takes you to the Summary page (this should look familiar by now).

  4. Click Next on the Summary page and the Progress page is displayed; you'll then see the Confirmation page.

  5. Click Finish to complete the Import Driver Wizard.

The drivers will appear in the Deployment Workbench folder from which you launched the Import Driver Wizard. But cut and paste works the same here as it did in the Applications and Operating Systems nodes.

A common problem with drivers is that the INF file is not always correct. Sometimes a driver that is a 32-bit-only driver is marked as a 32- and 64-bit driver and that's not good. The problem is, that driver will be sent down to Windows and injected during deployment, but that machine will blue-screen in the worst case. In MDT 2010 Update 1, Microsoft has added some logic to be able to verify that the driver really is a 32- and 64- bit driver; and if it's not, the Deployment Workbench in MDT will flag the driver during import so that the correct override check box will be marked on the driver in the workbench. This little feature is one of the best, and it will save you hours of work. Figure 26 shows how the workbench handles drivers that are not correct.

Figure 25. The Specify Directory page

Figure 26. Incorrect INF files during import

2.4. Importing Packages

Wow, importing packages—is it Christmas? The wording is a little misleading; what Windows really means is importing operating system patches and language packs. The Windows team refers to patches as packages, so the MDT team adopted the same terminology. First download and store your patches (or language packs) locally from Microsoft. Then take the following steps to import them:

  1. In the Distribution Workbench, right-click the folder you would like to import your patches into and choose Import OS Packages. The Import Package Wizard launches with the Specify Directory page (this is identical to the Specify Directory page you saw when importing drivers).

  2. Browse to the folder where you downloaded the patches (CAB or MSU files) and click Next. The Summary page is displayed. Click Next and the Progress page appears; you'll then see the Confirmation page.

  3. Click Finish to complete the Import Package Wizard. The packages (patches) will appear in the Deployment Workbench, as shown in Figure 27.

    Figure 27. Imported packages in the Deployment Workbench

The Packages node is really useful, but it is not used for all kinds of patching. You use it when you create reference images, when the image has to be controlled, and so on. Packages are patches, updates, tools, and language packs. There are two ways to patch Windows when deploying using MDT. You can either download all the patches from and import them to the Packages node; that way, you will be in total control over all patches that are installed in the OS and WinPE. Or you can specify WSUSServer=http://WSUSServerName in the CustomSettings.ini file. The last option is what we prefer since that works well over time. You also need to enable the two Windows Update tasks in the task sequence you create: by default these are always disabled. There are two reasons to download patches and import them into packages. You either have a patch that applies to WinPE or you have a patch that is so critical you want that patch to be installed before the operating system starts for the first time.

Now that you've imported all the components you need at the moment to the workbench, it's time to put them to use. In the next section, you'll learn how to put the components together by creating a task sequence.
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