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Managing drivers in MDT 2012 using Driver Groups

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 has some nice improvements to its successors in the driver handling department. You can use Driver Groups or Selection Profiles. In this tutorial I will describe using Driver Groups to manage drivers in MDT 2012.

Firstly we will build the ‘Out-of-Box Drivers’ folder structure and import drivers. I have subdirectories for each architecture, brand and model.


To build up the folder structure you have to know the model name of your hardware. To retrieve the proper computer name execute at command prompt: ‘wmic csproduct get name’, to get the exact name WMI queries to determine the computer model. In my case the computer name is “Latitude E4600”.

Now that we have drivers imported in our Deployment Share, it’s time to move on

At deployment phase MDT uses WMI to query the proper computer model and only the current model drivers will be injected. In order to get this working properly, you have to use the EXACT model name in your Out-of-Box Driver tree. You don’t want to query dead horses.

Inject the correct drivers in your Task Sequence

Add a new step in your Task Sequence to inject the correct driversSelect Add > General > Set Task Sequence Variable


I usually place this new variable in the node just above the Inject Drivers Node.


MDT will query the computer name and inject the drivers which corresponds with the computer name from the Out-of-Box folder structure, right before applying the image at deployment.


I use ‘DriverGroup001’ as Task Sequence Variable, and windows 8 x64\%Make%\%Model% as value for my Windows 8 x64 Task Sequence . You have to adapt this to your Out-of-Box tree.


Finally, you want to go into you’re Inject Drivers node and make sure you’re not using profiles

Selecting Nothing in the Choose a selection profile and choosing the install all drivers from the selection profile. Which in reality is turning off plug and play.  Note that if you leave  the Choose a selection profile set to all drivers, the task sequence is going to inject the drivers in your matching  folder and all the other folders.


If you don’t like to use a new Task in your TS, you can add DriverGroup variables in customsettings.ini like this:


MDT Task sequence will not join domain

When running a sequence to join a domain you will usually not have any issues on actual hardware or using Hyper-V using the below customsettings.ini  that uses the domain\adminID  format.


Occasionally using the above settings will fail in vmware. If so, try changing your settings as shown below.


Sysinternals Top 10 Suite Silent Installer

This is a silent installer of my top 10 favorite sysinternals apps. It useful if you want to push it out silently to a select group of users. It includes the below sysinternals applications.

    • Process Explorer

Find out what files, registry keys and other objects processes have open, which DLLs they have loaded, and more. This uniquely powerful utility will even show you who owns each process.

    • AutoRuns

See what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system boots and you login. Autoruns also shows you the full list of Registry and file locations where applications can configure auto-start settings.

    • Process Monitor

Monitor file system, Registry, process, thread and DLL activity in real-time .

    • DiskView

Graphical disk sector utility.

    • Autologon

Bypass password screen during logon

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    • TcpView

Active socket command-line viewer.

    • BgInfo

This fully-configurable program automatically generates desktop backgrounds that include important information about the system including IP addresses, computer name, network adapters, and more.

    • Port Monitor

Monitor serial and parallel port activity with this advanced monitoring tool. It knows about all standard serial and parallel IOCTLs and even shows you a portion of the data being sent and received. Version 3.x has powerful new UI enhancements and advanced filtering capabilities.

    • Disk Monitor

This utility captures all hard disk activity or acts like a software disk activity light in your system tray.

    • Ram Map

An advanced physical memory usage analysis utility that presents usage information in different ways on its several different tabs.

    • Desktops

This utility enables you to create up to four virtual desktops and to use a tray interface or hotkeys to preview what’s on each desktop and easily switch

Configuration Dialog

After installation completes you will have shortcuts for each application in your start menu under all programs – Sysinternals Suite as shown below.


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Autoruns 11.60 silent installer

This is a silent installer of Autoruns.  Autoruns is an excellent utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show other locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autorunsgoes way beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows Me and XP.

Autoruns‘ Hide Signed Microsoft Entries option helps you to zoom in on third-party auto-starting images that have been added to your system and it has support for looking at the auto-starting images configured for other accounts configured on a system.

You’ll probably be surprised at how many executables are launched automatically!


The silent installer will add icons to the desktop as well as accessories\system tools folder in your start menu.

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Windows 8 based PE boot disk with explorer shell and many great utilities

This is my newly created customized Windows 8 PE x86 boot disk with windows 8 explorer shell and many great diagnostic and repair utilities.

I have updated the iso  on 06.07.13 to include two imaging /cloning applications.  Drive Image XML and Drive Snapshot. Shortcuts for each  in the start menu and on the desktop.

ISO bootable image includes the following open source free apps

·         Google Chrome 26

·         Opera 12

·         7Zip

·         MBR Fix

·         ServiWin

·         Regshot

·         AMSN

·         ANote

·         Eraser

·         Filezilla FTP

·         Foxit PDF Reader

·         Infran View

·         Multi Res

·         Notepad ++

·         Process Explorer

·         Process Hacker

·         Tree Size

·         Tweet Deck

·         IMDisk Virtual Disk

·         Defraggler

·         VLC

·         Virtual Keyboard

·         DriveImage XML

·         Drive Snapshot

·         All the basic windows apps

·         Plus much more

All portable apps are listed in the Windows Start Menu under all programs.


If you prefer to use the Portable Apps menu instead then run the Portable Apps Menu shortcut on the desktop.  The portable apps menu also allows you to download more apps by selecting the Apps>Get more apps. These freshly downloaded apps will only be available during the current session.




image Gandalf's_Win8PE_x86-4-30-2013 4-17-37 AM

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It’s a large download (about 500mb) so be patient it can take 10-20 minutes (depending on your internet speed) to download. After downloading burn the bootable Gandalf’s_Win8PE_x86.ISO file to CD, USB or mount  the iso.

ImgBurn silent installer

ImgBurn is a lightweight open source CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application that everyone should have in their toolkit!

Screenshot - Ez-Mode Picker

For those who may need to install ImgBurn to users silently.  Download this packaged executable from my skydrive link below.

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FileZilla silent Installers for x86 and x64

FileZilla is an excellent open source FTP client.

For those who may need to install FileZilla  to users silently. Download the packaged executables for both the x86 and x64 versions below.

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7-Zip 9.22 x86 and x64 silent installers

7-Zip is a excellent open source  file archiver with a high compression ratio


For those who may need to install 7-Zip  9.22. to users silently. Download either of these packaged executable’s for x86 or x64 from the link below.

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Notepad++ 6.3.2 silent installer

Notepad++ is an excellent free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages.


For those who may need to install Notepad++ 6.3.2. to users silently.

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