Making a single, hardware-independent image



  • What’s the best way to create one master image and be able to deploy it to different hardware sets? This is what I hope to be able to do:

    *Make one image
    *Add all software
    *Add drivers for Hardware Set B (Dell Inspiron 1545) to an image being created on Hardware Set A (Dell Latitude D630) (i.e., the EXE files to setup the drivers)
    *Have Windows 7 Pro x64 be able to find the appropriate drivers in the folders specified and install them with as little administrative overhead as possible.

    Any suggestions are highly appreciated. I’m not even sure when to begin with this and Google hasn’t been helpful.

    Thanks in advance!



  • @Wayne-Workman Yep, the sky’s the limit as far as drivers go :) Customize your little heart out lol…



  • @d4rk3 said:

    I should mention that the Dell .exe driver packages will not work as-is. Make sure you extract them first.

    This is the driver folder structure I use for all of my images:

    AHCI
    Audio
    Chipset
    LAN
    Video
    WiFi

    I do something similar already - but I have other folders too… like
    Smartboard
    NiNite
    NAPS2
    eStudio_Drivers
    FOG
    CannoScan
    Insight

    and so on.



  • @mcgonigiggle I don’t have any right now, but I know a guy…

    Just download 7zip and then right click any Dell driver .exe file and extract :)



  • See: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753716.aspx

    Inclusion of a driver package in a folder referenced by the DevicePath registry entry does not remove any prompts created by the signature on the package. If the package is not signed, or signed by an unknown or untrusted publisher, then the user is still presented with dialog boxes to accept the publisher. Inclusion of the certificate used to sign the driver in the Trusted Publishers certificate store removes this additional prompt. For more information, see the documentation about signing device drivers on the Microsoft Web site

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff544865(v=vs.85).aspx
    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd919238(v=ws.10).aspx

    Unsigned drivers are one of my many banes.



  • Well I figured that one, silly! :P I was hoping you had zipped files! XD

    I wish your user name was “Ferris Bueller” so I could appropriately say, “Ferris Bueller, you’re my hero.”



  • @mcgonigiggle The manufacturer’s site, silly :P

    If you’re only using those two Dell models just grab the drivers for both, extract them to your folder, run the reg add command and you’re done.



  • You are way too good to me. Where did you obtain all the drivers from?



  • I should mention that the Dell .exe driver packages will not work as-is. Make sure you extract them first.

    This is the driver folder structure I use for all of my images:

    AHCI
    Audio
    Chipset
    LAN
    Video
    WiFi



  • @mcgonigiggle It is really that simple :) enjoy the many hours you’ll save with this trick ;D



  • Is it really that simple? Man I overthink things way too much! Thanks for the fast reply; I shall let you know how it goes!



  • (This works on Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and Server 2008 R2/2012/2012 R2)

    All you need to do for drivers in images is this:

    1. Put all desired drivers in a folder. I use “C:\Drivers”.

    2. Run this in an elevated command prompt (if you want to use a different directory simply replace the bolded C:\Drivers with your driver directory):

    reg add “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion” /v “DevicePath” /t “REG_SZ” /d “%SystemRoot%\inf;C:\Drivers” /f

    1. Profit???

 

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