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Install drivers using windows SIM

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#1 t-zwck



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Posted 09 July 2009 - 07:59 AM

You can install device drivers during Windows Setup by creating an answer file using Windows SIM. In this answer file, you can specify the paths to device drivers on a network share (or a local path) by adding the Microsoft-Windows-PnpCustomizationsWinPE or Microsoft-Windows-PnpCustomizationNonWinPE components and specifying the configuration passes in which you intend to install them. You can install device drivers in the windowsPE, offlineServicing, auditUser or auditSystem configuration passes.

By adding device drivers during the windowsPE or offlineServicing configuration passes, you can add out-of-box device drivers to the Windows image before the computer starts. This method can also be used to add boot-critical device drivers to a Windows image. Digitally signed device drivers can be added to an offline Windows image before Windows Setup or during Windows Setup.

In our example here (local path) we are going to create a folder called drivers, that folder will have subfolders in it with our drivers neatly organised (audio/video/network/etc..) for easy management.


and so on

Prepare the Answer file

Startup Windows SIM and in the Windows Image pane, expand components. Select the component called Microsoft-Windows-Setup and add it to Pass 1 WindowsPE if it isn't already added.

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Set the UseConfigurationSet value to True using the drop down menu.

Back in the components pane, select the Microsoft-Windows-PnpCustomizationsWinPE/DriverPaths/PathAndCredentials node and right click, choose add setting to Pass 1 windowsPE.

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Set the Key value to 1 and edit the Path value to read as follows:-


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Validate your answer file and save it as AutoUnattend.xml.

Prepare the USB Key

Format a USB key and copy the Autounattend.xml file to the root of the key, once done, copy the Drivers folder structure which you prepared earlier to the root of the key

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you are now ready to boot the client to test the unattended install.

Below is a sample of the drivers code in AutoUnattend.xml for 64bit Server 2008


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