Saturday, September 21, 2013

Creating Driver packages and best practices

There are different ways to use drivers and driver’s packages in SCCM.
I won’t be discussing how to import and create the driver packages but I will be discussing which way is the best way to use and apply the driver packages.

The important thing is, the way we apply the drivers will impact the actual machine build timings.

In the beginning I used to do the driver packages using the category as below (NIC, Storage, Video, Etc..).

This is a good way of saving space on the network drives and it makes SCCM guy life easy. When you get a new model identify required drivers and import then into appropriate category then update the driver package. In this method, we are adding different set of drivers to one driver package. When a machine reaches Apply driver package step it scans all available drivers and apply appropriate drivers. If you have 1 or 2 models this method is good as there are not many drivers to scan in the package. But if you have 10-15 models the drivers package will grow as big as 5 -6 GB. When we build a machine using this driver package, the applying driver stage will take quite some time to finish and the build time will significantly increase. In some cases the simple Windows 7 build took more than 3 hours to finish.

So to overcome this long build issues, we need to reduce the driver package size so Apply driver package task will take less time and the build will complete quickly.

Basically, perform a clean build of a newly arrived hardware model, identify missing drivers then create a new package with all the new drivers, add the driver package to the Task Sequence then filter using WMI query using Model or Version (especially if it is Lenovo).

This reduces the build time significantly.

Bottom line is, if you are experiencing longer build duration, review how you are applying the driver package and follow individual driver package approach rather category approach.

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