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SysPrep Phase II - Adding New Hardware

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By: Janis Keim
Posted On: 3/3/2004

SysPrep Phase II:
Adding New Hardware

Are you in charge of managing and maintaining images at your company? Have you successfully configured SysPrep to reduce the number of images, only to find out the purchasing department wants to save money and buy completely different hardware? If you have found yourself in the midst of cost-saving business choices, here is how you can modify the sysprep.inf file to allow for the brand new hardware on its way to your company.

The purpose of this document is to discuss problems that arise when adding new hardware devices into the SysPrep process. Hopefully this will help others, who are faced with the same dilemma, in saving valuable time and resources.

Potential Issues When Adding New Hardware to the SysPrep Process

Two primary issues surfaced while attempting to add new hardware to the SysPrep process.

  1. Issue #1 – User Intervention Required
    Being prompted for interaction during the SysPrep process, caused by multiple INF references in c:\winnt\inf or c:\drivers (which we use at our company) or from multiple installation locations referenced in

  2. Issue #2 – Hardware Chipsets
    Some drivers don’t install correctly during SysPrep process. Drivers for PCI Bus do not install during the SysPrep mini-setup, which in turn prevents proper installation of the Video, NIC, and/or Audio Drivers.

Issue #1 – User Intervention Required

1) Verify Installation Location
  • NOTE: We are a Windows 2000 shop. Windows XP systems will have slightly different steps and screens.
  • Right click on My Computer | Manage
  • Open Device Manager
  • Right click the device in question (NIC is used in this example) | Properties
  • From the Drivers Tab, click on “Update Driver”
  • Click Next to continue
  • Allow the wizard to “search for a suitable driver for my device”
  • Choose “Specify a location”
  • Use C:\Drivers where all drivers are located
  • wizard may find a different installation location as shown below
  • Check the box to “Install one of the other drivers” (shown below)

  • Assure that the driver you want to install is located in C:\Drivers (or a subdirectory). You may see multiple references to suitable drivers with a variety of installation locations. (shown below)

  • If user intervention is required during the SysPrep mini-setup process, for this particular device, the reason lies in the multiple instances of valid INF files.
    a) Each INF may represent a different installation location for that specific driver.
  • Document all INF files listed and their locations.
    a) C:\winnt\inf\oem0.inf
    b) C:\winnt\inf\oem10.inf
    c) C:\winnt\inf\oem7.inf
  • Click cancel

2) Clean Up

  • Manually delete the oem*.inf files, and their associated PNF files, referenced in C:\winnt\inf. (Leave files in recycle bin as a precaution.)
  • To ensure that SysPrep will look for all drivers in C:\Drivers, search and delete all instances of oem0.inf, oem7.inf, etc from the entire registry.
    a) By removing additional installation locations referenced, the SysPrep process can once again be unattended.
    b) This will force PnP to look in C:\Drivers for the installation location.
  • From HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion, highlight the “DevicePath” value.
    a) Clear out all values other than C:\winnt\inf and the location used in the [OemPnPDriversPath] area of the sysprep.inf file. (NOTE: We use C:\Drivers for our SysPrep folder)

3) Remove Device
  • Uninstall the device (NIC) from Device Manager

4) Reinstall Device from Device Manager
  • Right Click Device (NIC) and select Uninstall
  • Right Clickc NetBIOS name | Scan for Hardware Changes
  • Follow installation wizard
  • Configure device to install from C:\Drivers

5) Repeat Process
  • Repeat this process for all devices that prompt for intervention during the SysPrep process.

NOTE: If hard drive space is not an issue and to ensure greater success with SysPrep, we recommend installing all device drivers from one single location. Using a CD-Rom or network location to install drivers could cause potential problems with the unattended SysPrep process.

Issue #2 – Hardware Chipsets

1) Test SysPrep
  • Apply the SysPrepped image to new hardware.
  • From Device Manager, ensure all devices are installed

2) Research
  • For new chipset drivers, go to vendor’s web site or use resource CD if available.
  • Extract those files to a separate folder on the hard drive
    a) These may not always exist as a downloadable file, but an INF file should exist for all new hardware devices.
    b) Place within C:\Drivers folder structure

3) Configuring New Chipsets
  • Right click on My Computer | Manager
  • Open Device Manager
    a) From the View Menu | Devices by Connection
    b) Note devices that are not installed correctly (yellow exclamation point)
    NOTE: In our company, the new hardware had a couple devices that did not install correctly, namely the audio driver and the PCI bus under the processor.
  • Right click device in question (PCI device) | Properties
  • From the Drivers Tab, click on “Update Driver”
  • Click Next to continue
  • Allow the wizard to “search for a suitable driver for my device”
  • Choose “Specify a location”
    a) Use full path for extracted files as referenced in #2b above
  • INF for chipset
    a) When driver is found, note the filename referenced. (This file is crucial in determining additions to the [SysPrepMassStorage] area of the sysprep.inf file)
    b) Note the install location and INF file to add this new chipset into the sysprep.inf file. (This example showed c:\Drivers\infinst\W2k)
    c) In this particular case, the INF file referenced was ich5core.inf.
  • Complete installation

4) Modifying SysPrep.inf
  • From Device Manager, View Menu | Device by Connection as shown below
  • Notice all the different entries listed under the PCI bus

NOTE: This example is specific to an IBM NetVista PC.

  • Open ich4core.inf from the installation location.
  • Snippet from ich4core.inf show below
    ;device descriptions

    INTEL_MFG = "Intel"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_24C0.DeviceDesc="Intel(R) 82801DB LPC Interface Controller - 24C0 "
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_24C3.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM SMBus Controller - 24C3"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_24CC.DeviceDesc="Intel(R) 82801DBM LPC Interface Controller - 24CC "
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_244E.DeviceDesc="Intel(R) 82801DB PCI Bridge - 244E"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2448.DeviceDesc="Intel(R) 82801DBM PCI Bridge - 2448"

  • Compare the instances in the INF file with the drivers listed in Device Manager
  • Copy the following lines out of the ich4core.inf and paste them into the [SysPrepMassStorage] area of the sysprep.inf file.
    1) PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_24C3=c:\Drivers\infinst\w2k\ich4core.inf
    2) PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_24C0=c:\Drivers\infinst\w2k\ich4core.inf
    By configuring the PCI Bus for the new hardware, the audio drivers installed successfully without having to complete this process again.

    Modified [SysPrepMassStorage] area of SysPrep.inf

    Primary_IDE_Channel = %windir%\inf\mshdc.inf
    Secondary_IDE_Channel = %windir%\inf\mshdc.inf

    NOTE: These last six items are specific to the new IBM hardware (NetVista and ThinkCenter) at our company.

    All SysPrep articles could not have been completed without the hard work of several State Street employees. Henry Duong was responsible for working with SysPrep initially, ultimately enabled us to reduce the number of images we were maintaining on a regular basis. Without Darren Kirkland’s expertise in coding batch files and spending countless hours testing, we would not be able to automate the process of renaming a PC and joining the domain. And finally, when Henry departed our Help Desk staff for bigger and better opportunities in the Network Services department, Craig Doolin was instrumental in determining how to add brand new hardware into the SysPrep process. Craig and Darren are currently PC Support Specialists at State Street.

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