Troubleshooting device driver issues

In many instances, you must import drivers into your WinPE boot image in order for the OEM utilities to function. In some circumstances, the driver packages available from the OEM include an installation program to install the drivers, but not any instructions on how to import the driver into WinPE.

Configuration Manager imports drivers into WinPE using the standard driver injection process available in the WinPE tool set. This requires a driver INF file (or txtsetup.oem file) along with the driver and other necessary files. The INF is used in the standard driver installation process to insert the driver into WinPE. If the INF (or OEM) file.

In addition, trying to automatically import the driver into the Configuration Manager Driver Catalog and then insert the driver into the boot image might fail. This can be due to one or more of the following issues.

File renaming

Some driver files are named differently depending on the operating system to which they apply: driver_w2k.sys, driver_w2k3.sys, and driver_w2k3_64.sys, for example, might apply to Windows® 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2003 64-bit.

The installation program might rename the files to base names before installing the driver, such as driver.sys. If the installation program renames files before installing them, driver injection into the WinPE image can fail because the correct file names are not present.

Installation program modification of a boot image

During the installation of the IBM Deployment Pack, the installation program performs several modifications to a WinPE boot image to insert drivers and other changes that allow the Deployment Pack utilities to function.

By default, the installation program makes a copy of the Configuration Manager default boot image (boot.wim), mounts the file, makes changes, and unmounts the file.

This modified boot.wim file contains the base set of changes needed by the Deployment Pack. In addition, network and storage drivers are added for boot devices, such as array controllers, and network drivers to be able to communicate with the network in WinPE.

Drivers should be added through the driver catalog within the Operating System Deployment node of the Configuration Manager admin console.

Configuration Manager stores two boot images for distributing to machines booting to PXE. The boot.wim file is the base boot image that contains no Configuration Manager specific files.

When you add drivers to a boot image and then update the boot image on a distribution point, Configuration Manager takes the base boot.wim file and then adds the drivers from the driver catalog, along with other Configuration Manager files, to create a new WIM file, named boot.packageID.wim, such as, for example: boot.SMS00001.wim.

The new WIM file is then distributed to the assigned PXE distribution points for your site.

Drivers import, but fail when updating the WinPE boot image.

Many times, several drivers are loaded together in a common directory and contain a TXTSETUP.OEM file. This can also occur with only one driver in a directory. By default Configuration Manager chooses the TXTSETUP.OEM file for its source of import information for the drivers. If this file is present, Configuration Manager does not display any associated INF files.

This action can sometimes cause an issue. It is better to load drivers individually using their own respective INF files. To do this, rename any TXTSETUP.OEM files in the driver directory so that Configuration Manager prompts you to select the INF files and import the drivers individually.