I know many of you are preparing for deploying OS’s using MDT 2010/2012 or try to capture an image of an OS, and most of the times you are successful. However, there are the non-lucky ones, that have hardware in their company that is not 100% compatible with your deployment tools. You know…every time you have to install an OS, you have to search for drivers on the vendor page because the drivers are not included on the installation media. When deploying with MDT, the most common error message is the one for the network card drivers:
“A connection to the deployment share “…” could not be made. The following networking device did not have a driver installed.”
This happens because the WinPE boot image does not have those network drivers included by default, so you’ll have to add the drivers by yourself in order to succeed with the deployment. This is a straight-forward process, but you will have to go on the vendor page and download the proper drivers for the devices that match the OS you are trying to deploy. When you’re done with that, open the Deployment Workbench and click the Out-of-Box drivers folder. The drivers can be added directly here, but you also have to option to create folders and organize drivers based on OS, vendor, etc.
For this demonstration I will create a folder and add the drivers for my Windows XP systems here, and I recommend you do the same. Don’t just put drivers on the root folder, organize them a bit. Right-click Out-of-Box drivers and choose New Folder.
Give the folder a name and hit Next twice, then Finish.
Right-click the folder just created and choose Import Drivers. On the Import Driver Wizard click the Browse button and search for the location of your drivers. You can select a folder that has multiple sub-folders with drivers present, it will go recursively. If you check the box Import drivers even if they are duplicates of an existing driver, the wizard will import the drivers even if the same drivers already exist. If left unchecked, the wizard will not import the drivers if the same drivers already exist. It is recommended not to check the box so the deployment share size will not increase and driver management be more simple.
On the Summary screen review you settings then hit Next to import the drivers.
If the operation ended successfully, click Finish to close the wizard. Ignore my two warnings; the network driver I added does not support x64 and ia64 platforms as indicated in the driver configuration file.
Now you should see all your drivers in the console.
We are not done yet, we need to update the WinPE boot image. Right-click your deployment share and choose Update Deployment Share.
On the wizard just follow the default options. The operation will take some time, but at the end you should get a successful message. Do NOT cancel the update process, because you might break the deployment share. I’ve done this once, and I had to recreate the all deployment share from scratch.
The last step is to update the boot image in WDS. Just delete the old boot image and add this new one that has the proper drivers included. Now deploy your systems.
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