I was wondering if it was possible to set up an unattend file to check the motherboard model and select the appropriate image. We have several images based on each type of computer we have. We did this so that we can create specialized images to maintain drivers specific to that configuration. I would like to automate installation based on this data.

I am new to WDS and would like to improve our process. Any knowledge or help is very appreciated.


You cannot select an "image" based on hardware configuration with WDS. But there are other things you might want to try:

  1. Consider using WDS driver packages with appropriately set filters instead.

  2. You also might go the alternate route and put all imaginable deployment-essential drivers (i.e. network and storage, which both do not come in just a few variants) into the image, leaving all the rest to the scripting framework of your choice, triggered by the answer file you're supplying to sysprep.

  3. If you happen to have machines from a specific brand offering generic driver update / driver installation utilities1, instead of rolling everything on your own, you might consider delegating all the heavy lifting to them.

  4. Or you could have the same thing independent from a hardware manufacturer by using a 3rd party driver autodetect / autoinstall suite. You obviously would need to evaluate how well a specific solution is working for you before buying.

  5. If you consider trading WDS for SCCM, the ENGL imaging toolkit claims to close this gap for SCCM. It also comes with a number of additional features giving you significantly more control over both, the pre-installation and the subsequent package installation environment. Sadly, I don't have any experience with it outside Novell ZCM environments to definitely tell you it's working as neatly with SCCM as it does with ZCM.

1 I know that Fujitsu's DeskUpdate is doing a good job here and can be automated. I suspect that other majors will have something similar in place, you'd need to ask the respective "enterprise" (i.e. not the ones dealing with paper jam clearing issues) support people.

  • Well, that's a bit disheartening. I have the drivers set up on WDS, but sometimes they don't work right. All the other suggestions sound great, but I work for the government and can't implement any of them. I'll see if i can find more driver packages that can fix it. Thank you. – C. Graham Dec 3 '16 at 4:41

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