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I am building servers that have loads of devices that windows can't find drivers for. I have the USB with all the drivers plugged in. I have to click each device and update it one by one manually. I need to know how to do them all at once. The only instructions I've found on the internet are for windows 2008 and they don't seem to apply because the referenced DevicePath registry key does not exist in windows 2012. Thanks in advance.

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Physical device management through a command line is something that Windows is still lagging behind in. I'm confident that we will eventually see official device management Powershell cmdlets, but not today. There is an addon Device Management Powershell module but the device driver installation portion of it is marked as experimental, so I'd be very apprehensive about using it in production.

So today, I'd stick with using pnputil.exe for installing drivers from the command line. When used in a script, you can produce repeatable, predictable results.

C:\Windows\system32>pnputil
Microsoft PnP Utility
Usage:
------
pnputil.exe [-f | -i] [ -? | -a | -d | -e ] <INF name>
Examples:
pnputil.exe -a a:\usbcam\USBCAM.INF      -> Add package specified by USBCAM.INF
pnputil.exe -a c:\drivers\*.inf          -> Add all packages in c:\drivers\
pnputil.exe -i -a a:\usbcam\USBCAM.INF   -> Add and install driver package
pnputil.exe -e                           -> Enumerate all 3rd party packages
pnputil.exe -d oem0.inf                  -> Delete package oem0.inf
pnputil.exe -f -d oem0.inf               -> Force delete package oem0.inf
pnputil.exe -?                           -> This usage screen
  • that looks very promising. however, the drivers are spread out in a bunch of directories. does this search sub-directories? – xivix Mar 23 '14 at 18:57
  • Not sure. Try it and see? And if not, use your scripting acumen to feed PnPUtil the recursive directories as needed, or put all your drivers into one directory. This is the sort of thing that a sysadmin works out once, then codifies as a gold image for ease of deployment... – Ryan Ries Mar 23 '14 at 19:16

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