I have a bunch of Lenovo E530 laptops with their new style (terrible) touchpad. These touchpads are pretty much unusable without the synaptics driver installed.

I'm deploying a windows 7 image though WDS. WDS has the correct version of the synaptics drivers in it's driver store. I've also tried adding the drivers directly to the WIM used to image these laptops.

Either way, windows still installs the PS/2 Compatible Mouse driver instead.

From the imaged machine, I can update the driver, point it at the same inf files I added to WDS, and it installs fine. So it doesn't seem to be a problem with the drivers.

How can I determine why WDS and/or Windows 7 is choosing the wrong driver for the touchpad?


By default, WDS uses Plug and Play information to determine which driver should be installed. According to the TechNet article ‘Managing Device Drivers for Windows’, the Windows PnP manager ranks the following driver package properties in order of importance:

  1. Signing
  2. Plug and Play ID match
  3. Driver date
  4. Driver Version

WDS also has the ability to use filters and driver groups to limit which drivers are available to be installed as detailed in the TechNet article ‘Managing and Deploying Driver Packages’.

If using driver groups or filters doesn’t solve your issue, there are a couple of alternative methods for you to automate the correct driver being installed. Using the setupcomplete.cmd to ‘Add a Custom Script to Windows Setup’ that installs the driver once Windows setup is complete is one method. Another method would be to use a RunOnce registry key to call the installer.

Finally, using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) would give you more ways to accomplish this in an automated manner. MDT allows you to run ‘post installation’ tasks to install drivers and software after the Windows image is deployed, automatically. This allows you to keep smaller images and deploy drivers and software as needed for individual or departmental needs. MDT works with WDS to allow PXE and multicast deployments, and it’s free. These two videos are a great introduction to MDT and how it can benefit your deployment strategy:

Deployment Day Session 1: Introduction to MDT 2012

Deployment Day Session 2: MDT 2012 Advanced

Hope this helps,

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