SOLVED: How to Add Drivers in WDS Windows Deployment Services

OCT 1 2018 UPDATE: See our 2018 updated version of this article HERE.

You could inject drivers directly into your image .WIM files as I have previously explained:

  1. Vista: how-to-inject-drivers-into-windows-pe-2-0-in-5-minutes-or-into-a-windows-vista-image
  2. Windows 7 & 8 how-to-inject-drivers-into-windows-pe-3-0-wim-in-5-minutes-or-into-a-windows-7-or-2008-r2-image

oooorrrrr you can now just add drivers directly to your Windows Deployment (WDS) Server:

  1. Open your WDS MMC, expand the server in question and then expand DRIVERS
  2. Select ADD DRIVER PACKAGE,
  3. Select SELECT ALL DRIVER PACKAGES FROM A FOLDER and browse to a folder that contains your unpacked drivers
    1. Unpacked drivers means that your driver files must be extracted from their .EXE or .MSI or .ZIP file.
      1. If you do not already know how to do this, download, 7-ZIP and start 7ZIP, select your driver package and click the EXTRACT button
  4. In the AVAILABLE DRIVER PACKAGES window just click NEXT
  5. In the DRIVER GROUPS window, make sure you choose, SELECT AN EXISTING DRIVER GROUP.
    1. If you do not select a group your drivers will be in WDS but will NOT be applied to any of your images
  6. In the TASK COMPLETE window you can click MODIFY THE FILTERS FOR THIS GROUP NOW but I would not
    1. If you add a filter, the drivers will only be applied to devices that meet that filter… I want Windows to figure out if it is needed or not.
      1. The default is “…install all packages that match the installed hardware…” which is good with me 🙂

I have confirmed that after these steps are complete, the drivers are sucked into WDS and you original source files can be deleted.  However, as far as I know there is no easy way to migrate these drivers to a new server (should you upgrade in the future) so I would keep them around and use a naming convention that makes sense to you (like DELL-VIDEO-LAT6440) so that you can re-add them to a new server in the future.

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