DS7.x/8.x How to add NIC and Mass Storage drivers to Preboot Configurations and/or DeployAnywhere.


Article ID: 180641


Updated On:


Deployment Solution




Why it may be Needed
This is required when drivers are needed that are not already bundled into the WinPE build.

Common Symptom:
The most common manifestation of a missing driver is the inability to boot to WinPE with the error: "Restarting DHCP client service retry 1..." which will repeat 19 times before giving up and booting without network support.  This generally indicates that a driver required for the NIC in the system booting to WinPE is missing, and can't bind correctly to the card, thus can't send a valid DHCP request.

The answer to this depends on the version of Deployment Solution you are using, so select one of the following and then continue to the recompile section, which is shared for both:

1) Deployment Solution 7.1 SP1 and forward
2) Deployment Solution 7.0, 7.1

Deployment Solution 7.1 SP1 and forward (8.x as well)

In 7.1 SP1, development added a console interface to make the process of adding drivers simple. 

  1. In the console, go to Settings | All Settings, and then Settings \ Deployment and Migration \ Driver Database Management.
  2. There are two tabs on this screen: DeployAnywhere and Preboot.   Select the tab of your choice.
    1. The Preboot tab (often overlooked) adds drivers to preboot environments and does essentially the same thing as adding drivers manually into BootWiz (see the next section on adding drivers to 7.0 and 7.1). 
    2. Both tabs write drivers directly to the file system by copying them into custom folders directly.  No compilation occurs until they are bundled into the preboot environment.
  3. Add each driver one at a time and be sure they're added to the list.
    1. NOTE: All versions and types of drivers are included here (Linux and WinPE) but that the column headings can be clicked on to sort the various columns.  For example, you might sort first on name by clicking that column heading, and then type by clicking on that one, and then look for your driver.
  4. Proceed to Recompile the Preboot Environment

Additionally you can launch Win32 GUI to review drivers added to DeployAnywhere DataBase by running:

DriverManager.exe /ddb="\\%SERVERNAME%l\Deployment\Task Handler\DriversDB"

Note that this would not show drivers available in Pre-boot Automation.

Running this executable with following switch would also re-read current driver manifest file and update/re-create it if necessary.

Deploymen Solution 7.0, 7.1

This is the only way to add drivers in the early versions of this product.  This process will still work in later versions if necessary for troubleshooting or other reasons.The method involves work inside and outside the NS7/DS7 console.  It should be noted here that each SBS/PXE site server (DS 7.1) will need to go through this process.  This is because the drivers are not replicated to the site servers.

For DeployAnywhere

  1.  The DA interface is launched from the file system with a relatively long string, as follows:

    1. "\\your_server\Deployment\Task Handler\Ghost\Ghost Boot Wizard.exe" /managedrivers /path="\\your_server\Deployment\Task Handler\DriversDB"  
  2. Add drivers and exit.  The drivers are automatically replicated to all package servers.  No more work is required.

For Preboot Configurations

  1. Find BootWiz.exe in the Symantec Management Agent installation location ".\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\Deployment\Task Handler\Bootwiz".
  2. Run BootWiz and go to the interface and select Tools | Add Preboot Device Drivers.  Note: This is a new option added to BootWiz as of DS 7.1's release.
  3. If you have more than one SBS/PXE server (i.e. NS + Site Server), you will either have to
    • Repeat this process on each SBS server     -OR-
    • Use a SWD job to copy the files added during this process off to other servers.  Doing this is not documented or supported, but essentially it involves finding the folders added via BootWiz (custom folder with drivers), creating a package for them (pattern them after the DeployAnywhere package) and then setting up replication to the correct locations on the other package servers.
  4. Proceed to Recompile the Preboot Environment


Recompile Preboot Configuration:

Now, to get the SBS server to actually pick up the change, BootWiz has to recompile WinPE on the server (and all site servers which have been updated.  To accomplish this, you will need to perform a few more tasks:

  1. In the console, go to Settings | All Settings\Deployment and Migration\Symantec Boot Services (PXE)\Preboot Configurations.
  2. Highlight the menu option you would like to recreate and select 'Recreate Preboot Environment'.  (Do not click the 'Save changes' button)
  3. Update the policies on the Symantec Management Agent for the server(s) on which you wish to recreate the configuration.
    • This can be done manually by opening the Symantec Management Agent settings on the system and selecting 'Update'
    • This will also automatically be done next time the Agent checks for policy updates on schedule (default is every hour).
  4. Boot Disk Creator will run on the server, recreating the configuration with the added drivers.  While it is running:
    • Bootwiz.exe will show as an active process on the Windows Task Manager
    • A folder called "cfg-tmp\<Configuration Name>" will be created in the ".\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\Deployment\Task Handler\Bootwiz".  (The "cfg-tmp" folder should be auto-deleted after bootwiz finishes running).