NOTE: This article and video demonstrate how to load drivers during a Windows 11 installation but the same process is used for Windows 10 and for Windows Server 2016 2019 and 2022.

During the Windows installation process on a brand new or bare metal SSD hard drive, there is only one place in which you have a prompt in the graphical interface to install drivers. That place is during the storage / hard disk / SSD controller screen, So we show you how to source and install the Intel RAID controller drivers (Rapid Storage Controller – RST) that are so common on laptops like the Dell Latitude 5440 that we are demonstrating here.

However there is a much more challenging situation that comes up during Windows 11 installations if it cannot find drivers for your network cards either Wi-Fi or wired. In this situation the windows installation just sits on the Lets Connect You To A Network screen. You cannot go backwards you cannot go forwards and you cannot skip it. You’re just stuck if Windows does not have the drivers for your wired or Wi-Fi cards. So in this video we show you how to easily bring up a command prompt and manually install the drivers from a USB stick during the windows installation process.

0:00 Introduction
1:17 How to Install Intel RAID Controller Driver (RST) During Windows Install
6:00 How to install Wired and WiFi Network Drivers During Windows Install
8:45 Outro

How To Install Drivers During A Windows Installation

  1. Download the required drivers to a USB stick
    • If the drivers are compressed into a .ZIP, .MSI or .EXE file you will need to extract them
    • Locate the .INF and .SYS files then take note of the path to them
  2. At any point after the first reboot, insert the USB stick into the computer with the Windows installation
  3. Press Shift+F10 to launch a command prompt during the windows installation process.
    • in the case of a laptop press Shift+Fn+F10 To bring up a command prompt
  4. Type D: and press the ENTER key to change to your USB stick
    • CD and DIR your way down to the folder that contains the .INF and .SYS driver files
  5. Type pnputil /add-driver *.inf and press the ENTER key to install network or other required drivers during the Windows installation process
  6. After the install(s) is complete, press and hold the power button to power off (yes, crash) the computer
  7. Press the power button again to power up the computer and notice that your drivers have been loaded
  8. Have a nice day!


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