1 2 Previous Next 22 Replies Latest reply on Jul 18, 2011 7:05 AM by EMiranda

    Hardware Independent Scripted Installation

    Apprentice

      All,

       

      I have created an XML file that can be used almost as is to perform a hardware independent scripted installation. This file was created using the WIAK for Windows 7/Vista.  It can partition the drive with a system partition of 300MB and the rest partitioned for the OS. It has placed in it a way of pulling drivers down into WinPE and then after all of the files for Windows have expanded move the drivers into the “Windows 7” driver store.  I have tested this rigorously and it works flawlessly.  When combined with a scripted installation using the standard LANDesk scripted provisioning tasks I no longer have the need for images.

       

      With all of the software I am installing with the “Execute File” method the overall time end to end is roughly 90 minutes to usable.  I have on template for desktops and one template for laptops.  I don’t want to pollute the driver store with unneeded drivers.  I control the user profile and machine using group policy.

       

      Here are the variables I used in the unattend file.

       

      Variables used:

      Domain = %lddomain%

      Account = %ldaccount%

      Password = %ldpassword%

       

      Actions taken:

       

      System Partition 300mb

      OS Partition rest of the drive

      Driver injection

      Auto Admin Logon 4 times

      Misc Windows software removed

       

      Please ask if you need a better guide through the process.

       

      ZFerrini

        • 1. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
          Apprentice

          I see people are looking at this, any questions as to how I accomplish this?

          • 2. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
            Rookie

            I like the process. Do you have any more details? Do you use this for all machines? (Laptops, Desktops, etc)?

             

            I'd like more details if possible. Thank you.

            • 3. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
              Rookie

              How do you get the drivers to download via WinPE, then load into the OS driver cache? Are you using a specific WinPE tool, such as DISM?

              • 4. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
                Apprentice

                Good questions,

                 

                To perform the action you will need to have installed the WAIK for Win7, you can use the unattend file you downloaded if you have Win7 Enterprise.  You will need a storage area for the drivers on the network as you will need the UNC for the unattend file, I store them by model not driver type, this is your call.  This allows me to run two unattend files, one for laptops and one for desktops. This uses no special tools called by you Windows does all of the work.

                 

                 

                Let's build the driver sections real quick for reference, you will need to insert each location twice into the unattend file. In order for this to work correctly you must insert the Pass 1 and then Pass 5 in order.  You cannot insert all of the drivers into Pass1 WinPE and then insert them into Pass 5 auditsystem seperatly, each insert has a GUID assigned to it. When you insert the first path into Pass 1 it creates a GUID for it, you then insert the same path into Pass 5 and will create a corresponding GUID matching the one from Pass 1 WinPE.  You will do this for every path you need .

                 

                The first is in Pass 1 WinPE section, open the Windows System Image Manager and from the "Insert" menu select "Driver Path">"Pass1 WinPE". Insert the path to the drivers in the right window next to the "Path" listing.  In the credentials section you will need to place an account that has domain permissions.

                 

                The second is in Pass 5 auditsystem section, open the Windows System Image Manager and from the "Insert" menu select "Driver Path">"Pass5 auditsystem".  Insert the same path that was used in Pass 1.  For credentials you know the drill.

                 

                Ok, that was my sample walkthrough speech, lets get down to explanation.  When WinPE loads and reads through the unattend file one of the first parameters it notes is driver path.  WinPE then places the pointers into memory for later use. In the unattend file WinPE then performs all tasks that are slated for WinPE before copying and expanding the Windows files to the disk, ie partition and format the drive.  WinPE will then copy down the Windows install files and the drivers listed in Pass1 and place them in the correct directories, C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\Temp.  As WIndows runs through the install using the unattend file it verifies the files in the C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\Temp directory are correct and moves them to C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\<driver name and GUID>.  This is just before Win7 runs the PNP section of the OS setup.

                 

                Thats the driver setup in a nutshell.  How detailed do you want me to be for the overall process?  I will follow up tonight when I get time to write it out completetly.

                 

                ZFerrini

                • 5. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
                  Rookie

                  Thanks alot for the awesome write up. Well, I would appreciate as detailed as you can. Once I am done building the image, I will probably document it as well. We will be deploying windows 7 pro, x64 and 32 bit in our environment, so I will have to edit the xml accordingly. Thanks again.

                  • 6. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
                    Rookie

                    When you have time, still waiting to see how that complete write up looks. I appreciate your help. Thanks

                    • 7. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
                      Apprentice

                      I do a scripted install as well.  The only big difference is that I use HII for the drivers.  I'm not a huge fan of LANDesk's HII, but it does manage the drivers for me to some extent.  I then have to use DISM.exe to inject the drivers.

                      • 8. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
                        Apprentice

                        I dont have a need for using LANDesk HII.  In the unattended file attached I can pull the drivers into the Windows driver store and then PNP takes over from there.  Using DISM is an extra step.

                        • 9. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
                          Apprentice

                          The major upside to HII is that you can easily assign a single driver to multiple OS groups.  A lot of people use a system where you setup a folder for each model.  That works great, but when you have 5 different models that use the same video driver, it makes it much easier to have them all tied in together.

                          • 10. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
                            Apprentice

                            Here is a killer for you, HII does not work with a scripted OS instal, only an Image.  I don't use images due to stability as after about 1.5 years the Image needs to refreshed.  My "scripted OS" install will run on a machine for upwards of 5 years without any issues other than the usual hardware failures.  I also dont use the copy profile method , I use GPO's to configure the user profiles.

                             

                            ZFerrini

                            • 11. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
                              Apprentice

                              HII does work duringa scripted install, just not out of he box.  You have to add a few steps.  That is, unless it's bugged.  I had it working before, but our MDT setup is working so well right now, it's hard to justify the time to get LD working.

                              • 12. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
                                EMiranda Expert

                                Zferrini wrote:

                                 

                                Here is a killer for you, HII does not work with a scripted OS instal, only an Image.  I don't use images due to stability as after about 1.5 years the Image needs to refreshed.  My "scripted OS" install will run on a machine for upwards of 5 years without any issues other than the usual hardware failures.  I also dont use the copy profile method , I use GPO's to configure the user profiles.

                                 

                                ZFerrini

                                 

                                image refresh was a must years ago, but at the present time, Images can be created in VMs and snapshotted after changes, rolling back changes and / or keeping things fresh is really easy to do now.

                                • 13. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
                                  Apprentice

                                  Why would you want to impact the user in a negative way if the machine will run to EOL with the current install?

                                  • 14. Re: Hardware Independent Scripted Installation
                                    Apprentice

                                    How many users?  It was easy to get LD to run a scripted install using the System Image Manager and creating an unattend file.  I inject the drivers into the driver store using the unattend file.

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