Deployment Solution provides a provision to add drivers to the driver database to ensure the successful completion of Windows scripted OS installation and Windows image deployment tasks. By adding drivers to the driver database, you eliminate the need for manual driver installations. When you add drivers to the driver database, missing drivers and newly discovered drivers are automatically added to the image.
In the driver management console , with some practices user can maintain the driver database and can keep it up-to-date.
Driver management console has driver listing of two driver database types DeployAnywhere and Preboot, DeployAnywhere driver database is used to make imaging and Scripted OS installation hardware independent ; Whereas preboot driver database is used for WinPE environment , which insures that you can reboot the client computer successfully to automation or PXE.
Some best practices and points which you should know while managing the device driver database
- It’s good to update the driver database with the new version of drivers or for the devices which are newly added in the environment ;
- Add / Import critical device drivers in the driver database , which will make sure after new image deploy or new OS installation the target machine is up and accessible ;
- The critical driver are basically Storage and Network , Storage drivers , i.e. MSD drivers are very essential to make the machine up and running, unavailability of these drivers results target machine to give BSOD (Blue screen of Death) or can go in to continues reboot mode and never boots in to Operating System. The other critical device driver is Network drivers , lacking of which the target machine will not be accessible from the NS console or remotely , and user has to go to the target machine manually to make it accessible from the network.
- Device drivers may not be same for all the OS’s as the device vendor provides the drivers with respect to supported OS types ; make sure you have the correct OS version of drivers , When you add the driver in to the DS driver management , the driver list can give the information about the supported OS types .
- To check the number of drivers present in the driver database select the scroll bar and drag.
- If the required driver is missing , then get the driver form vendor site or from the driver CD provided by the vendor and import in to the Driver database.
- Make sure the driver present in the driver database is matching the device ids, From the list of drivers go to more info tab which will give the details about the applicable device ids . this simple check will make sure the required device driver is present in the driver database.
- Following figure shows more info page which gives the device id’s applicable for the selected device driver , Device id is the combination of basically three fields Vendor id (VEN) , Device ID (DEV) and Subsystem ID (SUBSYS) ; You can find the same information in the drivers source inf file , While matching / applying the driver, DeployAnywhere chooses the most appropriate matching driver , In the drivers inf file there are some more fields present , that is CC , REV , but at present driver manager does not add this details and also DeployAnywhere does not consider these values while retargeting of the drivers.
Driver Manager – More Info
- The driver list displays the driver as : Vendor name . Device name . Driver Version
- Driver list displays the type of the device and supported OSs,
- Drivers can be searched using the vendor name , device name or device id.
- If the target machine has some Operating system already installed and if you need to find out the device ids of the device , you can find these details by going in to the device manager from : My Computer -> Manage -> Device manager ; Then select the device for which you want to find the device details , e.g. Let’s say you need to find out the information about Modem device , Select device type ‘Modem’ and from the tree select the modem , Open Properties page and go to the tab ‘Details’ and from the list select option ‘Hardware ids’ , Which will give you the device id details for the selected modem device
- Driver Manager also supports addition and deployment of Non critical device drivers , I could find the following different non critical devices as – BIOS , Bluetooth , Camcoder , Card Reader-Writer ,CD ROM ,CD RW, Chipset, Copier, Digital Camera, Digital Media, DVD-ROM / RW, FAX, IrDa, Joystick, Keyboard, Modem, Monitor, Motherboard, Mouse, MP3 player, Multifunctional , plotter, print server, Printer, Projector, Scanner, Sound, Telephone, TV Tuner Card, UPS , USB, Video Capture ,Video Card ,Web Cam.
- Driver manager’s driver list displays all the information including type of the device , but for some devices like , printer , scanner , image driver manager shows the device type as unclassified , but there should not be any problem while matching and retargeting of the device driver.
- The device driver can be accessible or evoked from the NS server at C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\Deployment\Task Handler\DriverDB ; User can go to the driver directory for more information , which contains the driver inf file .
- Make sure the device drivers added are digitally signed , You may face the problem while retargeting of the drivers when they are unsigned.
- If the unsigned drivers show an exclamation mark for the devices, use the following tag entry in the unattended answer file: DriverSigningPolicy.
- By using Microsoft utility sigverif you can check if driver file is digitally signed , Go to Windows : Run and type sigverif , to open the tool , go to Advanced page , Check option – Look for other files that are not digitally signed , And select the driver folder.
- Device drivers can be added to the driver database by using the drivermanager.exe which is a backend standalone utility , you need to provide the correct driver database path for that ,
- Drivermanager.exe (x86/x64) utility can be found at : C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\Deployment\Task Handler\ghost.
- You can add drivers to the Preboot database. You can use these drivers for your preboot PXE configurations needs.
- If a Preboot configuration that you already created needs a new driver, you must regenerate that Preboot configuration.
- Only Storage (MSD) and Network drivers can be added to the Preboot driver database , this does not supports Non critical drivers.
- BootWiz.exe also can be used for addition of drivers in to the Preboot driver database, Which is a standalone utility , It is stored in the \Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\Deployment\Task Handler\bootwiz directory.
- After addition or deletion of the driver if you want to check the logs , you can check the driver DB logs at : C:\ProgramData\Symantec\Ghost\DA_DriverDatabase or go to : C:\Users\Public\Documents\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Logs
- The running logs can be viewed from ‘Altiris Log viewer’