Applies to LANDESK Managment Suite 9 SP3 and later
The Hardware-Independent Imaging (HII) Driver Repository is a location available via UNC and HTTP that serves as the "master" storage location for all drivers that are used in HII throughout the environment. It can be located on any machine. It does not have to be a LANDESK managed device. The HII Driver Database is also stored in the HII Driver Repository. Everything in the HII Driver Repository can be replicated to Preferred Servers throughout the environment as needed.
Important Note: The information in this document applies to LANDESK Management Suite 9 SP3 and later. HII in earlier versions of LDMS 9 functioned differently and the driver repository cannot be changed from \\coreserver\ldmain\landesk\files\drivers. For more information about using HII in LDMS 9 SP2 and earlier see Hardware Independent Imaging (HII)
The drivers that are stored in the HII Driver Repository must be actual, complete drivers and supporting files. A driver file is a .inf file that contains information used to match the driver to the device. It also contains installation instructions and references to any supporting files that may be needed to make the device function.
Many manufacturers provide drivers as a .exe file. These executable files are usually merely a self-extracting wrapper that contains the .inf and supporting files. When the .exe is run, the .inf and supporting files are extracted and then Windows uses the actual driver file(s) to install the device.
LANDESK HII will not function with drivers in the .exe format as there is no way to determine from the .exe what devices the driver applies to. These types of drivers must be extracted to get to the critical driver files. Most manufacturers provide instructions for extracting the driver files from the .exe. Once this is done, the resultant files can be placed in the HII Driver Repository and they will be added to the HII Driver Database and available for deployment.
There are additional sources for drivers that are not recommended. These include large driver packs and driver harvesting utilities. While appealing due to the ease of getting large numbers of drivers quickly, they often result in corrupt, incomplete or bad drivers. When this happens drivers may not install completely or correctly and drivers may be installed that are not applicable to a device.
It is recommended that all drivers be obtained from the manufacturer or vendor of the device. Some large vendors provide websites that allow the download of many drivers, already extracted from a simple web interface.
The HII Driver Repository can be on any machine in any location. It must be available via UNC and HTTP. It is the only storage server in HII that requires both HTTP and UNC be available. If desired or needed, Preferred Servers where the HII Driver Repository is replicated can have a single share available (HTTP or UNC). It is recommended that the "master" HII Driver Repository be located near the LANDESK Core Server. By default the HII Driver Repository will be configured to the former HII driver store location at \\coreserver\ldmain\landesk\files\drivers and http://coreserver/landesk/files/drivers.
For information about creating a UNC share to be used by LANDESK see How to Configure a Preferred Package Server
For information on creating an HTTP share see How to set up a HTTP share for a Preferred Package Share
Tip: If for some reason you cannot create an HTTP share on the server where you are putting the HII Driver Repository, you can use the LANDESK Core server (or another web server) to provide the HTTP share. Simply create a new virtual directory in IIS and instead of providing a path to a location on the IIS server, point it to a UNC network location. You may need to provide additional credentials to allow IIS to access the files on the remote server. If you do this, make sure that the UNC share is close to the IIS server with a fast connection and remember that this could add to the IIS load on that server.
HII Driver Repository Manager
The HII Driver Repository Manager is accessible via the LANDESK Management Console. To open it select Tools > Distribution > OS Deployment then click the "Manage driver library for hardware-independent imaging" button.
Root UNC where driver files are stored: This is the UNC path to the root of the HII Driver Repository. Drivers can be stored directly in this folder or in any number of sub-folders as desired. The HII Driver Database will be be written to this directory so the path must be available for writing.
Root web URL for accessing the driver files: This is the HTTP path that clients can use to get the driver files and the HII Driver Database.
Note: These paths do not have to match or even be on the same server. However, they must point to the same location on disk.
Repository file count: This is the number of driver files (.inf) that were found and added to the driver library. Drivers require additional files (.sys, .cab etc.) and those files must be stored with the .inf files or the drivers will not function, however they are not counted or included in this total.
Drivers processed: This is the total number of unique devices, OS versions and architecture combinations that can be handled by the current HII Driver Database.
Last update: This is the last time the HII Driver Database was created/updated. It will not updated automatically so if drivers are added the HII Driver Database must be updated.
Save: Clicking Save will commit the changes to the path(s) and build the HII Driver Database. A progress bar and message will indicate when it is complete.
Note: When the HII Driver Database is build, the processing is performed by the machine that is running the LANDESK Management Console. If a remote console is being used and has a poor connection to the HII Driver Repository, the creation of the HII Driver Database may take significantly longer than expected.
Cancel: Clicking cancel will simply close the dialog without updating the HII Driver Database or committing any changes to the path(s).
Preferred Server and Credentials
The HII Driver Repository Manager must be able to read and write to the configured UNC path. Additionally when client machines are being imaged they are not members of any domain and therefore possess no credentials that can be used to access a UNC path.
To help resolve this the HII Driver Repository Manager will make sure that the server configured in the UNC path is configured as a Preferred Server. For information on configuring a Preferred Server see LANDESK Content Replication - Preferred Server (Target) Configuration.
If you do not want this server to be used as a Preferred Server, configure an invalid IP address range (such as 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11) and it will not be distributed to clients. However make sure to configure credentials. Clients can use these credentials to access the HII Driver Database and driver files for download. This allows the clients to authenticate from WinPE even though they are not yet members of the domain and eliminates the need for the creation of NULL or unprotected shares.
If only HTTP will be used by the clients, the HII Driver Repository must still be configured as a Preferred Server in order for the HII Driver Library to be created successfully. However the clients will not use the read credentials as they will access the files via HTTP.
For more information about HII see Hardware Independent Imaging (HII)