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Simple Question About Drivers RRS feed

  • Question

  • Environment: MDT 2012 Update 1

    I've been using the default automatic driver selection in MDT and one gold image with native Windows 7 drivers and we have had some issues in the past where Lenovo Thinkpads would incorrectly grab a driver that was meant for Dell Optiplexes during deployment (which ended up causing blue screens).

    If I create a capture of a Thinkpad where all the correct/updated drivers are already installed before capture, is it possible that MDT will overwrite these drivers with more Dell drivers during deployment to a machine?

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 6:32 PM

Answers

  • Well then you must have more free time than me :) .  If all you want to know about is driver ranking then this article explains it.

    http://deploymentbunny.com/2011/06/06/nice-to-know-why-did-windows-7-pick-that-driver/

    Sysprepping a machine by default removes all the drivers to make the image hardware-agnostic, because again, that's how you are supposed to do it. You can tell it to leave the drivers, but I don't recall the exact method.

    When MDT starts, it runs plug and play, which queries the hardware, and then it compares the PNPIDs of all the hardware to all the INF files it finds in the driver store. In simple terms, its best match to PNPID, with the newest date.

    So yes, if your Lenovo and Dell models both use the same NIC card, and the PNPIDs are identical, the newest one will be installed, regardless of vendor. I'm not sure if it will replace a pre-installed driver on the image with a newer one from the store.

    • Marked as answer by Sysadmin792 Friday, November 1, 2013 2:46 PM
    Friday, November 1, 2013 2:15 PM

All replies

  • You should never create a image from a physical machine if its should be deployed to different hardware.

    In your case i would have used Johan Arwidmarks "Total Control" scenario to get the right drivers for the right model. You can read about it here: http://www.deploymentresearch.com/Research/tabid/62/EntryId/112/MDT-2013-Lite-Touch-Driver-Management.aspx 

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 6:54 PM
  • Well that's the plan, to create a capture for each of the two most common hardware models we image that already has all the correct drivers. I'm just concerned that because automatic driver detection is still on (we do have some other models we image less frequently) the drivers may be overwritten during deployment. 

    Thanks for sending along that link, it does look very helpful. I was hoping to avoid the total control method due to the amount of time required and the fact that we only use one OS and a few different models, but I guess it may be my best bet.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 7:18 PM
  • The thing is you're never going to have "just two models".  Soon as you get done, the vendor will come out with new models, or the graphics department will want different video cards, or the engineering department will want high end workstations.

     Building hardware specific images is a really bad idea and a waste of your time. Why go through a multi-day exercise to build an image for a new model when you can import the drivers for it into MDT in 15 minutes and be done?


    • Edited by JoeZeppy Friday, November 1, 2013 12:57 PM
    Friday, November 1, 2013 12:51 AM
  • I appreciate the advice Joe, but we have been using these two models for many months and will be using them for at least 6 more months. We are in an industry where this makes sense. The drivers have been imported into MDT but the automatic detection has been giving us grief. Just really looking for a definitive answer on how MDT decides if it needs to pull a driver for a certain device.
    Friday, November 1, 2013 1:46 PM
  • Well then you must have more free time than me :) .  If all you want to know about is driver ranking then this article explains it.

    http://deploymentbunny.com/2011/06/06/nice-to-know-why-did-windows-7-pick-that-driver/

    Sysprepping a machine by default removes all the drivers to make the image hardware-agnostic, because again, that's how you are supposed to do it. You can tell it to leave the drivers, but I don't recall the exact method.

    When MDT starts, it runs plug and play, which queries the hardware, and then it compares the PNPIDs of all the hardware to all the INF files it finds in the driver store. In simple terms, its best match to PNPID, with the newest date.

    So yes, if your Lenovo and Dell models both use the same NIC card, and the PNPIDs are identical, the newest one will be installed, regardless of vendor. I'm not sure if it will replace a pre-installed driver on the image with a newer one from the store.

    • Marked as answer by Sysadmin792 Friday, November 1, 2013 2:46 PM
    Friday, November 1, 2013 2:15 PM
  • That is awesome information. Thanks very much.
    Friday, November 1, 2013 2:46 PM