Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I need to create an image which upon its first boot detects the graphics card type and installs the appropriate drivers before taking the next steps. This means I need to automate the installation process so that it happens without the user knowing, wait for the process to complete, then force a reboot. The target platform is Win XP.

I have a set list of possible graphics cards and all of the drivers that I need, and have established a method of determining the graphics card type. I found this page on automating an install process. The problem I face is that the driver installer applications aren't all .msi so I can't just use msiexec, and they don't all have an installshield .iss installer, they all have at least an .exe installer.

I could just use some packager program to create .msis but that means relying on free third party software that I won't know anything about. If anyone has done this kind of thing before I would appreciate your opinions on what the best option would be.

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The normal way to do this is to slipstream the drivers into the Windows install image. That way the Windows installer should install the correct driver based on what it finds in the target machine.

share|improve this answer
Hi John, thanks for that. This seems like a good solution, would there be any way of customising the installation i.e. modifying the directory to which they install, using this technique? – Bill Walton May 4 '12 at 10:15
If you need to specify an installation diretory, you aren't just installing're installing the extra software that some video cards include (and don't really need). Slipstreaming just installs the drivers (a .inf file, and a bunch of .dll and other related files that all end up in your windows directory) – Grant May 4 '12 at 12:41
@Bill, I can't recall if that information can be included in the inf file or not. It's been a long time since I've done this. – John Gardeniers May 4 '12 at 22:19
@Grant, the question quite specifically talks about drivers, not associated applications. In reality it's extremely rare that all that crap that gets installed during a normal graphics driver installation is ever actually needed or wanted. – John Gardeniers May 4 '12 at 22:23

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.