Michael Petersen has a nice new post up on the CoreTech Blog that is something I talk repeatedly about with clients. Only injecting the drivers you NEED, instead of needlessly injecting drivers until you get a working boot image.
It seems to me, people tend to add way to many drivers to their boot images, which in some cases make WinPE unstable, and subsequent make the Deployment fail. It also makes it near impossible to figure out which driver versions/types are actually included, as that info is kind of limited from within the Boot Image node itself …
What I do, is find the exact drivers needed for my WinPE environment to work on the specific model(s), and add only those drivers.. If I Can boot WinPE, and gain access to the network (IPCONFIG) and hard disk (DISKPART – list disk), I do not update my boot image, even if I choose to add a new NIC to the deployed OS itself!
In this example I will use a DELL latitude E6320, because this particular machine has a network driver not already included in WinPE.
The first thing to do is go into the device manager and check which driver the network card is using. I usually do this from the Win7 preloaded OS that comes with the machine (you know! before reinstalling). If this is not an option, you can do something similar from within WinPE using DrvLoad.exe, and wmic, but more about that in a later post!!