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MDT Console with more then 15 machines, How to use the same drivers for more machines. RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I'm am looking for a solution to make our MDT design as effective as possible(as small as posible).

    The Situation:
    The company has more then 15 different computers added to the MDT console for the automated installation of Windows 7. The installations are done in 2 different ways, 1 with a local USB key installation (with the deployment folder on the USB key) and the other installation is a network USB key installation (with the deployment folder on the server).
    The local USB key exists for offices in parts of the world where the internet connection is poor.

    The problem:
    We have machines which can use the same driver for different kinds of hardware functions (LAN, WLAN, etc..)
    If we add a new machine to the MDT and we don't check the box for "Import drivers even if they are duplicates of an existing driver" we will automatic use the driver which already exists in the deployment folder. If say half a year later we stop using an older machine which "may" have drivers that are being used for other machines and we delete the machine from MDT we should NOT check the box "Completely delete these items, even if there are copies in other folders". The problem is that this can also lead to a lot of unused drivers in the deployment folder also because we do not know exactly how many computers are using a certain driver.

    At the moment we have another deployment share with for each machine its own drivers installed (so some drivers will be multiple times in the deployment folder) as you can guess this becomes really big.(deployment folder of more then 24 GB). The advantage of this is that we can delete a machine from the MDT list without having to worry if the drivers for that machine might be used by other machines. It is now just becoming to big in size(GB).

    The Question:
    Is there not an option within MDT that checks automatically if the drivers connected to a certain machine in MDT are being used by other machines? In this case we would check the box "Completely delete these items, even if there are copies in other folders" and MDT would not delete the drivers which are still used for the installations of other computers.

    Thanks in advance.

    Greets,

    Arie

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014 12:01 PM

Answers

  • Arie,

    I think you are over-complicating this. Basically using drivers that already exist is the way to go. Otherwise drivers will be imported a second, third or fourth time. Which also takes up allot of disk space. If you're concerned about driver management, then I would suggest to drop your concerns, since there is nothing to less you can do about this particular issue. As long as you don't delete the driver that's been imported earlier by another machine there is nothing to worry.

    Ask yourself:

    - how long am I going to support model x
    - how many times do I want to update drivers

    With selection profiles you can easily target which content needs to go where (on your USB drive of-course)

    I can imagine that managing 25 shares for 25 different models, just because you 'refuse' to have old drivers in your share, or have removed support for some hardware models, isn't really time and energy efficient too.

    If you take a look in your deploymentshare\control folders you will see some XML files. These XML files hold all the entries in your deploymentshare. So your drivers.xml and drivergroups.xml (depending on the number of groups you have) are going to be very big XML files. These XML files are read by MDT to identify the objects in MDT and under which folder the objects are located.

    It's not possible to create or have an dependency between driver files and hardware models, other then creating groups under "Out-of-box Drivers" and using selection profiles.

    Another suggestion would be to decrease your number of hardware models drastically. On the other hand, having 25 Gb of offline media isn't really a big deal either. Portable and removable media of those sizes (32 and 64 Gb) isn't that expensive as it used to be 5 years ago.

    Don't get me wrong, I perfectly understand your desire to manage this, but MDT doesn't provide any other way, then the things I have pointed out to you here.

    Good luck! :)


    If this post is helpful please click "Mark for answer", thanks! Kind regards

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014 1:19 PM

All replies

  • Arie,

    I think you are over-complicating this. Basically using drivers that already exist is the way to go. Otherwise drivers will be imported a second, third or fourth time. Which also takes up allot of disk space. If you're concerned about driver management, then I would suggest to drop your concerns, since there is nothing to less you can do about this particular issue. As long as you don't delete the driver that's been imported earlier by another machine there is nothing to worry.

    Ask yourself:

    - how long am I going to support model x
    - how many times do I want to update drivers

    With selection profiles you can easily target which content needs to go where (on your USB drive of-course)

    I can imagine that managing 25 shares for 25 different models, just because you 'refuse' to have old drivers in your share, or have removed support for some hardware models, isn't really time and energy efficient too.

    If you take a look in your deploymentshare\control folders you will see some XML files. These XML files hold all the entries in your deploymentshare. So your drivers.xml and drivergroups.xml (depending on the number of groups you have) are going to be very big XML files. These XML files are read by MDT to identify the objects in MDT and under which folder the objects are located.

    It's not possible to create or have an dependency between driver files and hardware models, other then creating groups under "Out-of-box Drivers" and using selection profiles.

    Another suggestion would be to decrease your number of hardware models drastically. On the other hand, having 25 Gb of offline media isn't really a big deal either. Portable and removable media of those sizes (32 and 64 Gb) isn't that expensive as it used to be 5 years ago.

    Don't get me wrong, I perfectly understand your desire to manage this, but MDT doesn't provide any other way, then the things I have pointed out to you here.

    Good luck! :)


    If this post is helpful please click "Mark for answer", thanks! Kind regards

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014 1:19 PM
  • Hi Rens,

    Thanks for your answer and explanation. It is a difficult thing to manage, at the end we will try to manage it the way you also suggest. We will use the existing drivers for multiple models and in some cases we will try to document this so that we will not end up with a deployment share full of unused drivers. 

    As I explained to you earlier, we have more then 15 different computer models which are replaced every 4 years. So to prevent that in 4 years we have 15X7 unused drivers in our deployment folder we will try to solve this by documenting. This will also take its time, but with a good administrative template made, it does not have to be so difficult.

    If you have any other suggestions you can always share them with me :D

    Thanks again!

    Arie

    Monday, April 28, 2014 10:00 AM