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Configure devices and device drivers

Skill: Download and import driver packages

Drivers are packaged together; each driver package consists of all the software components that are needed for your device to work with Windows.

Most drivers are obtained directly by using built-in tools such as Windows Update, but if you are provisioning systems, you might want to deploy the PC with the required drivers already imported and configured.

Download driver packages

Device drivers can be accessed to perform a malicious attack on your systems. Therefore, you should ensure that driver packages are sourced only from reputable locations such as the manufacturer’s own website. You should avoid third-party driver repository websites because some sites repackage drivers and include spyware or freeware products in the installation files.

The built-in Windows 10 driver packages are often just the core drivers created by your device manufacturer and provided by Microsoft through the Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL), which tests and digitally signs the drivers. Video drivers often include additional software support and hardware functionality. For example, drivers sourced directly from NVIDIA or AMD for their graphics cards include the NVIDIA Control Panel or the AMD Catalyst control panel, respectively.

If you are seeking the most up-to-date or even beta version of a device driver, you must download this directly from your device manufacturer. In most cases, you will not need to upgrade your device driver after Windows 10 is installed. If everything is working properly, you probably don’t need to install extra hardware drivers.

If you are a gamer, it can be beneficial to ensure that your graphics card drivers are using the latest versions so that they support the latest PC games.

You should consider downloading new driver packages in the following scenarios.

  • If you play PC games Install the latest graphics drivers directly from your graphics card manufacturer because they are often required to play the latest games. Newer versions can also improve graphics performance.

  • When you need a hardware utility Install the latest version if the manufacturer-provided driver package includes a hardware utility, such as a network configuration tool or ink monitor for your printer.

  • To resolve a bug Bugs can be found in released drivers and will often be fixed in the most up-to-date version.

  • To install hardware manually If Windows Plug And Play does not automatically detect and install the hardware, you might need to download the driver package from the manufacturer and install the device driver.

Deploy driver packages by using the Windows Imaging And Configuration Designer

A new method of deploying customized Windows devices (or applying customizations to an already deployed device) is by using the new Windows Imaging And Configuration Designer (ICD) tool available in Windows 10. This tool is part of the Windows Assessment And Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10, which is available at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=526803.

After you have installed the Windows ADK for Windows 10, you can open the ICD and create a new provisioning package (with the .ppkg file extension), which can then be deployed to the devices requiring customization. You can email the .ppkg file or deploy it physically on a USB drive through Microsoft Intune or Group Policy, or you can build it directly into a new system image if you have not yet deployed the computer.

To deploy a device driver by using the Windows ICD, create a new project but use the following steps.

  1. Click Start, type ICD, and launch Windows Imaging And Configuration Designer.

  2. Accept User Account Control (UAC) if prompted.

  3. Click New Provisioning Package.

  4. On the Enter Project Details page, name the project Deploy Scanner Driver.

  5. On the New Project page, select the Common To All Windows Desktop Editions, click Next, and click Next again.

  6. On the Available Customizations page, expand Deployment Assets and then click Drivers.

  7. In the middle pane, next to the Driver folder path, click Browse.

  8. Browse to your INF-based driver, select the driver, and then click OK.

    The driver .inf file should show up in the Drivers box. (You might need to extract driver files if they have been packaged as .zip or .exe files.)

  9. In the Name box, type the friendly name for the driver, as shown in Figure 3-15.

    FIGURE 3-15

    FIGURE 3-15 Windows Imaging And Configuration Designer (ICD) tool

  10. Select the Force Unsigned Install check box only if the driver is unsigned.

  11. Click Add to add the customization.

This now appears in the right pane. The driver’s descriptive name should appear in the Selected Customizations pane. To complete the process, the provisioning package is created by using the following steps.

  1. On the menu bar, click Export.

  2. Select Provisioning Package.

  3. On the Describe The Provisioning Package page, review the information, modify Owner to be IT Admin, and then click Next.

  4. On the Select Security Details For The Provisioning Package page, click Next.

  5. Choose the default name and location or provide a path and file name for the provisioning package to be created and click Next.

  6. On the Build The Provisioning Package page, review the information and then click Build.

  7. When it is complete, click Finish.

  8. After the provisioning package has been built, use the links provided to locate the created files. You can deploy these files to your remote users on removable media such as USB drives.

Import driver packages

The remote users will import the driver package contained in the provisioning package to their computer by completing the following steps.

  1. Insert a removable drive containing the provisioning package files (in the media root).

  2. Open Settings and then click Accounts.

  3. Click Work Access and then click Add Or Remove A Package From Work Or School.

  4. On the Provisioning Packages page, click Add A Package.

  5. On the Choose A Method page, select Removable Drive from the Add From drop-down list.

  6. Select the package that you want to install and click Add, as shown in Figure 3-16.

    FIGURE 3-16

    FIGURE 3-16 Adding a provisioning package

  7. On the UAC page, click Yes.

  8. On the Is This Package From A Source You Trust page, click Yes, Add It.

    The package will install in the background.