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Easily load WinPE2/3 network drivers without adding to boot.wim


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#1 steve6375

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:37 AM

In my work, we boot to WinPE v2 or v3 from a USB Flash drive and then connect via NET USE to our server. Once connected, we can download any image to the target system and use a menu system to select the image we want and what s/w to install, etc.
The problem is that every few days we get a new system to test/use and that requires us to modify the boot.wim to add the WinPE network drivers into the image.
I have simplified this now by modifying startnet.cmd in the boot.wim so that it finds the PCI ID of the network device of the target system when it boots, and then searches a bunch of INF files in a \DRIVERS folder on the USB stick to find and load the correct driver.
Now all I need to do is create a subfolder under the \DRIVERS folder and drop in the WinPE network driver for my new target system. No more boot.wim to modify!
The target system also boots to WinPE quickly as no other network driver is loaded.
A bonus is that the network PCI ID(s) are displayed so I can quickly Google for the correct driver if no driver is found in the \DRIVERS folder.

The script to do this is not fully developed and tested, but it seems to work so far. It can be found here.
Any suggestions for improvement welcome and hope this helps others.

Possible improvements are:
Only look for Enet adapters (not WiFi)
Find the latest INF file rather than just the last one that matched.

#2 wimb

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 12:15 PM

Thanks for your interesting code.
Finding the drive with folder DRIVERS frequently can result in problems with empty cardreader drives.

In Make_PE3 project auto install of missing drivers is taken care of when folder drv of Make_PE3\MULTI is copied to usb boot drive or any other drive.

In that case the LAN or other drivers can be simply dropped as (DriverPacks) folders in folder drv\x86 for the case of 32-bits 7 PE

On booting 7 PE then dpinst.exe will auto and silently install the needed drivers.

:happy_dance:

#3 steve6375

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 12:37 PM

Thanks - I didn't realise DPINST had a scan feature. I guess that would just load the best and latest driver for each adapter then...?

#4 wimb

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 01:03 PM

Thanks - I didn't realise DPINST had a scan feature. I guess that would just load the best and latest driver for each adapter then...?

Yes dpinst will do :happy_dance: (see dpinst.xml)




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