Let me start by explaining my rather unusual situation. We have a lot of clients that have anywhere between 10 and 20 PC's and servers (ranging from server2012 back to windows XP). As we would like to keep a virtual copy of avery clients installation we placed a small hyper-V cluster running Server 2012 and when visiting clients we capture their systems with disk2vhd and put those on the Hyper-V server.

In order to be able to recreate some hardware specific scenario's for clients we converted these VHD's to WIM files using imagex. After adding them to the WDS server, we can deploy them to physical hardware just fine. However, the problem is that I created a drivergroup containing all drivers of the physical machine for that type of OS. When deploying the installation it successfully installs and reboots the machine, and for Server 2008 and windows 7 it has installed all the drivers. However, for Windows XP the drivers will just not install. Please note that I did not sysprep the VHD files, because I want to recreate the scenario from the customer as much as possible.

When I login to Windows XP, it prompts me for chipset, NIC and video drivers, but they are all present on the WDS server. I also tried adding all the drivers to the boot image, but this was also unsuccesful. Can anyone shed some light on how I can get the client to install the drivers present in the WDS drivergroups during installation?

I am using Server 2012 with WDS and HyperV roles installed.


1 Answer 1


WDS has never had the ability to manage drivers for Windows XP. The TechNet article ‘What’s New in Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2012 R2’ has a chart that shows that Server 2008 R2 is the first version of WDS to support Driver Provisioning, however the Install Image must be Windows Vista SP1 or newer. This KB article should help (see the RIS Installations section). If you create an $OEM$ folder in the specific image folder on the server, it will copy that folder to the machine being deployed.

Another method would be to use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to deploy Windows XP. You have to use MDT 2012 Update 1, as support for deploying XP was removed in MDT 2013.

One more thing to keep in mind is that the Windows XP End of Support date (April 8, 2014) is fast approaching. If you (or your customers) meet the system requirements, it is strongly recommended that you make the move to a modern operating system such as Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 by then. Check out the Windows XP End of Support page for more information on what to expect and what you can do to prepare.

Hope this helps,

  • Thanks for the information. Can't believe I missed that information. Pushing drivers with the $OEM$ directory structure is a clever idea. Unfortunately my clients are nowhere near ready for upgrading their XP and 2003 boxes as I'm in the manufacturing industry where "proven technology" is the magic word and upgrades cost serious money and downtime. However, I have been able to use the combination of creating a .VHD and converting this to a .wim for my WDS server with ImageX. I will try out pushing the drivers and otherwise will just have to install them by hand I'm afraid. Dec 16, 2013 at 7:27

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