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How to Manage the Driver Catalog in Configuration Manager

Updated: January 1, 2012

Applies To: System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

Use the procedures and information in this topic to manage the device drivers that are required to deploy operating systems in your System Center 2012 Configuration Manager environment. The procedures include how to import device drivers into the driver catalog, how to add and remove device drivers for driver packages and boot images, how to create driver packages, and how to install drivers on computers during the installation of the operating system.

Use the following sections for more information about how to manage the driver catalog in Configuration Manager:

For information about planning how to use the driver catalog when you deploy operating systems, see Planning a Device Driver Strategy in Configuration Manager.

Use these procedures and additional information to manage device drivers to perform the following:

  • Import device drivers into the driver catalog.

  • Add or remove device drivers to and from driver packages and boot images.

  • Additional actions that manage device drivers.

As part of the import process for the device driver, Configuration Manager reads the provider, class, version, signature, supported hardware, and supported platform information that is associated with the device. By default, the driver is named after the first hardware device that it supports; however, you can rename the device driver later. The supported platforms list is based on the information in the INF file of the driver. Because the accuracy of this information can vary, manually verify that the device driver is supported after it is imported into the driver catalog.

In addition, when you import device drivers into the catalog, you can add the device drivers to driver packages or to boot image packages.

ImportantImportant
You cannot import device drivers directly into a subfolder of the Drivers node. To import a device driver into a subfolder, first import the device driver into the Drivers node, and then move the driver to the subfolder.

Use the following procedure to import Windows device drivers.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Drivers.

  3. On the Home tab, in the Create group, click Import Driver to start the Import New Driver Wizard.

  4. On the Locate Driver page, specify the following options, and then click Next:

    • Import all drivers in the following network path (UNC): To import all the device drivers that are contained in a specific folder, specify the network path to the device driver folder. For example: \\servername\folder.

    • Import a specific driver: To import a specific driver from a folder, specify the network path (UNC) to the Windows device driver .INF or mass storage Txtsetup.oem file of the driver.

    • Specify the option for duplicate drivers: Select how you want Configuration Manager to manage driver categories when a duplicate device drive is imported.

    ImportantImportant
    When you import drivers, the site server must have Read permission to the folder, or the import fails.

  5. On the Driver Details page, specify the following options, and then click Next:

    • In the list of drivers, select the drivers that you want to import into the driver catalog.

    • Enable these drivers and allow computers to install them: Select this setting to let computers install the device drivers. By default, this check box is selected.

      ImportantImportant
      If a device driver is causing a problem or you want to suspend the installation of a device driver, you can disable the device driver by clearing the Enable these drivers and allow computers to install them check box. You can also disable drivers after they have been imported.

    • To assign the device drivers to an administrative category for filtering purposes, such as "Desktops" or "Notebooks" categories, click Categories and select an existing category or create a new category. You can also use the category assignment to configure which device drivers that are applied to the deployment by the Auto Apply Drivers task sequence step.

  6. On the Add Driver to Packages page, specify the following settings, and then click Next:

    ImportantImportant
    This setting can help you when you use a task sequence to automate the deployment of the operating system. To install driver packages as part of a task sequence, use the Auto Apply Drivers and Apply Driver Package task sequence steps.

    • Select the driver packages that are used to distribute the device drivers.

      Optionally, click New Package to create a new driver package. When you create a new driver package, you must provide a network share that is not in use by other driver packages.

    • Clear the Update distribution points when finished check box if you do not want to update distribution points when the device drivers are added to the driver package. By default, this check box is selected because your device drivers cannot be used until they are distributed to distribution points.

  7. On the Add Driver to Boot Images page, specify the following options, and then click Next:

    noteNote
    Add only mass storage and network device drivers to the boot images for operating system deployment scenarios.

    • Specify the boot images that can install the imported device drivers.

    • To update distribution points when the device drivers are added to the boot image, select the Update distribution points when finished check box. You cannot use device drivers until they are distributed to distribution points.

  8. Complete the wizard.

Use the following procedures to modify driver packages and boot images. To add or remove device drivers, locate the drivers in the Drivers node, and then edit the packages or boot images that the selected drivers are associated with.

Use the following procedure to add or remove device drivers associated with a driver package.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Drivers.

  3. In the Drivers node, select the device drivers that you want to add to the driver package.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Driver group, click Edit, and then click Driver Packages.

  5. To add a device driver, select the check box of the driver packages to which you want to add the device drivers. To remove a device driver, clear the check box of the driver packages from which you want to remove the device driver.

    If you are adding device drivers that are associated with driver packages, you can optionally create a new package, by clicking New Package, which opens the New Driver Package dialog box.

  6. If you do not want to update the distribution points where the driver package is stored, clear the Update distribution points when finished check box. By default, the distribution points are updated when the driver package is updated.

  7. Click OK.

Use the following procedure to add or remove device drivers associated with a boot image.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Drivers.

  3. In the Drivers node, select the device drivers that you want to add to the driver package.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Driver group, click Edit, and then click Boot images.

  5. To add a device driver, select the check box of the boot image to which you want to add the device drivers. To remove a device driver, clear the check box of the boot image from which you want to remove the device driver.

  6. If you do not want to update the distribution points where the boot image is stored, clear the Update distribution points when finished check box. By default, the distribution points are updated when the boot image is updated.

  7. Click OK.

You can perform additional actions to manage device drivers when you select one or more device drivers from the Drivers node. These actions include the following:

 

Action Description

Categorize

Clears, manages, or sets an administrative category for the selected device drivers.

Delete

Removes the device driver from the Drivers node and also removes the driver from the associated distribution points.

Disable

Prohibits the device driver from being installed. You can temporarily disable device drivers so that Configuration Manager client computers and task sequences cannot install them when you are deploying operating systems.

Enable

Lets Configuration Manager client computers and task sequences install the device driver when the operating system is deployed.

Move

Moves the device driver to another folder in the Drivers node.

Properties

Opens the Properties dialog box where you can review and change the properties of the device driver. For example, you can change the name and description of the device driver, enable the device driver, and specify which platforms the device driver can be run on.

Use the following procedure and additional information to create and manage driver packages.

Use the following procedure to create a new driver package. You must add device drivers to a driver package and distribute them to distribution points before Configuration Manager clients can install the drivers.

ImportantImportant
To create a driver package, you must have an empty network folder that is not used by another driver package. In most cases, you must create a new folder before you perform this procedure.

noteNote
When you use task sequences to install drivers, limit the number of drivers that are included in your driver packages.

  • For installing drivers on computers running Windows XP, create driver packages that contain fewer than 150 device drivers.

  • For computers running Windows Vista and later, create driver packages that contain less than 500 device drivers.

Use the following procedure to create a driver package.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Driver Packages.

  3. On the Home tab, in the Create group, click Create Driver Package.

  4. In the Name box, specify a descriptive name for the driver package.

  5. In the Comment box, enter an optional description for the driver package. Ensure that the description provides information about the contents or the purpose of the driver package.

  6. In the Path box, specify an empty source folder for the driver package. Enter the path to the source folder in Universal Naming Convention (UNC) format. Each driver package must use a unique folder.

    ImportantImportant
    The site server account must have Read and Write permissions to the specified source folder.

The new driver package does not contain any drivers. The next step is to add drivers to the package.

If the Driver Packages node contains several packages, you can add folders to the node to separate the packages into logical groups.

To view the associated general, data source, distribution point, data access, and security information for the driver package, click Properties.

You can perform additional actions to manage driver packages when you select one or more driver packages from the Driver Packages node. These actions include the following:

 

Action Description

Create Prestage Content file

Creates files that can be used to manually import content and its associated metadata. Use prestaged content when you have low network bandwidth between the site server and the distribution points where the driver package is stored.

Delete

Removes the driver package from the Driver Packages node.

Distribute Content

Distributes the driver package to distribution points, distribution point groups, and distribution point groups that are associated with collections.

Manage Access Accounts

Adds, modifies, or removes access accounts for the driver package.

For more information about Package Access Accounts, see Technical Reference for Accounts Used in Configuration Manager.

Move

Moves the driver package to another folder in the Driver Packages node.

Update Distribution Points

Updates the device driver package on all the distribution points where the package is stored. This action copies only the content that has changed after the last time it was distributed.

Properties

Opens the Properties dialog box where you can review and change the content and properties of the device driver. For example, you can change the name and description of the device driver, enable the device driver, and specify on which platforms the device driver can be run.

You can add steps to task sequences that install device drivers on the destination computer during the operating system deployment. You can specify the device drivers to install, or you can let Configuration Manager search the driver categories to determine the drivers to install. For more information about task sequences, see Planning a Task Sequences Strategy in Configuration Manager.

Use the following procedure to install device drivers as part of the operating system deployment. You can use the one of the following Driver task sequence steps:

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Task Sequences.

  3. In the Task Sequences node, select the task sequence that you want to modify to install the device driver, and then click Edit.

  4. Move to the location where you want to add the Driver steps, click Add, and then select Drivers.

  5. Add the Auto Apply Drivers step if you want the task sequence to install all the device drivers or the specific categories that are specified. Specify the options for the step on the Properties tab and any conditions for the step on the Options tab.

    Add the Apply Driver Package step if you want the task sequence to install only those device drivers from the specified package. Specify the options for the step on the Properties tab and any conditions for the step on the Options tab.

    ImportantImportant
    You can also select Disable this step on the Options tab to disable the step if you must troubleshoot the task sequence.

  6. Click OK to save the task sequence.

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For additional resources, see Information and Support for Configuration Manager.

Tip: Use this query to find online documentation in the TechNet Library for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. For instructions and examples, see Search the Configuration Manager Documentation Library.
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