How do I integrate or install drivers for a departmental PC running the Engineering Base Desktop (EBD)?

Overview of EBD Driver Installation

For a successful installation of the Engineering Base Desktop (EBD), device drivers are needed in two places: the WinPE boot image that is launched to begin an EBD installation, and the Windows operating system that is eventually installed on the system. When you network boot to the EBD installer, a PowerShell script runs as WinPE boots up. This script adds drivers from an inserted USB device. You will see a blue PowerShell window pop as WinPE starts to boot. The script detects whether drivers need to be added, and if drivers do need to be added, it will look for a connected USB device. Results will appear in the PowerShell window, but a GUI will also pop up with more information, instructions, and a button to open the log file.

There is also a script within the EBD installer that adds drivers from an inserted USB device. There is no prompt or GUI for this script, but instructions can be found in the GUI pop-up box for the WinPE driver addition script that launches at WinPE startup.

Adding Boot Media (WinPE) Drivers

Determining whether WinPE drivers are needed

If you see a message stating that drivers need to be added when attempting to start an EBD installation, this indicates that WinPE drivers are needed. WinPE typically uses the same drivers that are included in Windows, though it is important to note that only network and storage drivers are typically needed. The underlying Windows utility that adds drivers to WinPE can take a while to add each driver, so to improve performance we recommend only adding required network and storage drivers to WinPE.

The script allows you to keep drivers for multiple computer models on the same USB device. The instructions in the GUI will detect the model name, and show you the exact folder names/structure to use, so the appropriate drivers will be added for the PC model.

Driver Organization on the USB Device

Drivers can be in folders like they typically are when downloaded from the manufacturer, but should not be in a .zip, .exe, or other compressed format. The .inf files should be directly accessible. Consult the log file to see if the script was able to access them. If you are installing the EBD via USB boot media, it is OK to add them there; you do not need a second USB device.

Additional Implementation Details

Loading too many drivers in WinPE can often take a very long time, so CAEN recommends putting only network and storage drivers in \Drivers\<Model Name>\WinPE\ to improve the performance of the previously run script.

If a the directory does not exist, all drivers located in \Drivers\WinPE\ or any subdirectory will be added. If \Drivers\WinPE\ does not exist, all drivers located in \Drivers\ will be added. These options will add unnecessary drivers, and may negatively impact script performance.

Troubleshooting / Tips

  • Be sure your USB device is inserted before the system starts up.
  • Be sure at least one of the following directory structures exists on the USB device, and contains extracted drivers, not a .exe, .zip, or other compressed file type:
    • \Drivers\<Model Name>\WinPE (recommended)
    • \Drivers\<Model Name>\
    • \Drivers\
  • When finding the drivers to add, you usually do not need to download drivers individually. For enterprise hardware manufacturers, you can typically find driver packages that contain all the drivers for a particular hardware model on the manufacturer's website.
  • When downloading drivers, be sure you match the hardware model. Some models have different generations with vastly different drivers, so a "G4" and a "G5" model could require different drivers, and have different driver packages.
  • It is best to add as few drivers as possible to WinPE, so CAEN recommends using a \Drivers\<Model Name>\WinPE\ directory with only network and storage drivers for each model. <Model Name> should match the results of this cmd command exactly:

wmic csproduct get name

  • Click the Open Log button on the initial screen if your driver addition did not work to see more information about what drivers it loaded or attempted to load.

Full Windows Drivers

Determining whether Windows drivers are needed

Sometimes an EBD installation will start, but then abruptly stop or fail in the middle of the installation. A missing network or storage driver in the installed Windows operating system could be the cause of this. The installer is able to begin and run the early steps when the system is booted into WinPE, but as soon as the new Windows operating system is installed and the system reboots to install applications, it can no longer communicate with the SCCM management system and/or write to its disk.

Alternatively, the installation could complete successfully but have missing device drivers when you look in the Device Manager MMC snapin.

Both of these scenarios indicate that device drivers are needed in the full Windows operating system.

Unlike WinPE where only network and storage drivers should be added, it is important to add all drivers to the installed Windows operating system to ensure that the EBD system is fully functional after the installation is complete.

Driver Organization on the USB Device

Add all drivers for the hardware model to \Drivers\<Model Name>\Windows\ directory on a USB device. They can be in folders like they typically are when downloaded from the manufacturer, but should not be in a .zip, .exe, or other compressed format. The .inf files should be directly accessible. If you are installing the EBD via USB boot media, it is OK to add them there; you do not need a second USB device.

Troubleshooting / Tips

  • Be sure your USB device is inserted for the entirety of the EBD installation, and that the BIOS boot order is configured to boot from the disk before booting from a USB device.
  • Be sure at least one of the following directory structures exists on the USB device, and contains extracted drivers, not a .exe, .zip, or other compressed file type:
    • \Drivers\<Model Name>\
    • \Drivers\
  • When finding the drivers to add, you usually do not need to download drivers individually. For enterprise hardware manufacturers you can typically find driver packages that contain all the drivers for a particular hardware model on the manufacturer's website.
  • When downloading drivers, be sure you match the hardware model. Some models have different generations with vastly different drivers, so a "G4" model and a "G5" model could require different drivers, and have different driver packages.

Log files

There are separate log files for the script that adds drivers to WinPE, and the script that adds them to Windows. They are named WinPeDriverLoad.log and WindowsDriverLoad.log. Both scripts give details about what USB devices were detected, what paths were used to look for drivers to add, and what drivers were added. Due to the way the EBD deployment process works, the logs can exist in a few different locations. The files are saved in the same directory that the logs for the EBD installation exist in.

The log files can be found in one of these directories depending on what stage of the installation the EBD install is in:

Windows PE Before the hard disk is formatted X:\windows\temp\smstslog\
Windows PE After the hard disk is formatted X:\smstslog\ and copied to C:\_SMSTaskSequence\Logs\Smstslog\
Windows Operating System Before the SCCM client is installed C:\_SMSTaskSequence\Logs\Smstslog\
Windows Operating System After the SCCM client is installed C:\windows\ccm\logs\Smstslog\
Windows Operating System When the Task Sequence is complete C:\windows\ccm\logs\

Example Usage

This is an example of a system that needs network drivers added, and what would appear in the GUI. When you network boot a system of a new hardware model, you may see a message like the following example:

This indicates that network drivers need to be added in WinPE. Opening up the instructions shows:

Since a network driver is missing in WinPE, you will need to open the WinPE Driver Addition Instructions:

In this example, it will tell you to put the missing network driver in one of three directories on a USB device:

  • \Drivers\<Model Name>\WinPE (recommended)
  • \Drivers\<Model Name>
  • \Drivers

If a driver is missing in WinPE, it could also be missing Windows drivers. Since you are already downloading and adding drivers to a USB device, you could also add Windows drivers as well by opening the Windows Driver Addition Instructions:

This will tell you to put all drivers in one of two directories on a USB device, for example:

  • \Drivers\<Model Name> (recommended)
  • \Drivers

Next, download and extract the drivers from the manufacturer. Navigate to the folder they are extracted to, and see that they are organized by driver type into folders:

Copy them to a USB device following the instructions. For example, you should create a Drivers directory at the root of the USB device, and a <Model Name> sub-directory. Put the network and storage drivers in the sub-directory named WinPE, and put the rest of them in the <Model Name> directory. Note the paths in the top bar of the following example screenshots:

Next, insert the USB device into the system, and reboot it into the EBD installer again. You should see something similar to the following:

In the above example, the script added the drivers, but unfortunately the installation is still missing the network driver. This usually indicates that the incorrect drivers were downloaded (i.e. for the wrong hardware model). After correcting and retrying, you should see the Ready to Install window:

The drivers were successfully added. As it states, leave the USB device inserted so the Windows drivers can also be added during the task sequence.

Details

Article ID: 8630
Created
Fri 8/5/22 8:03 AM
Modified
Fri 8/5/22 10:22 AM