Scenario 2: Deploy driver packages using filters to define which clients have access to each driver group

This scenario is not as simple as Scenario 1 because it will require you to test your configuration until the filters are configured appropriately for your environment. You may need to create many driver groups with different filter combinations before you find a configuration that works for you. In general, the more complex your environment is, the more complex your configuration will need to be.

Known issues

  • The filter value must exactly match the client hardware or the install image specifications. The two available operators for most filters are Equal to or Not equal to. Therefore, if the value you specify is one character off (for example, if you omit a period) the filters will not filter the clients as intended. For this reason, we recommend that you create multiple filters to account for all cases. For example, create filters for Fabrikam, Inc. and Fabrikam and so on.

  • When searching through the packages using the MMC snap-in to perform a task (for example, to delete a package), the dialog may be briefly unresponsive if you have hundreds of packages on your server. In these cases, note that you should continue to wait because the server is working on your request. For this reason we recommend that you add no more than 2000 driver packages to a group at time (although there is not an enforced limit).

Steps for deploying driver packages using filters

The first step in this scenario is to create driver groups that have filters. The filters define which computers should have access to the driver packages in that group. You can configure packages to be installed based on the hardware of the client (for example, the manufacturer or BIOS vendor) and the attributes of the Windows image that is selected during the installation (for example, the version or edition). For example, you could specify that the only client computers that should have access to a group are those that 1) are manufactured by Fabrikam, Inc. and 2) select a Windows 7 image during the installation. Once you have your driver groups configured, you will add packages to them, and then you will be ready to boot a computer and install an operating system.

To create driver groups with filters
  1. Open the Windows Deployment Services MMC snap-in.

  2. Expand the Servers node and the node for your Windows Deployment Services server.

  3. Right-click DriverGroup1 and click Disable. You must disable DriverGroup1 because (by default) it does not have filters on it and therefore, it will deploy all packages to all clients.

  4. Right-click the Drivers node and click Add Driver Group.

  5. Type a name for the group, click Next, and follow the instructions to add filters as appropriate for your organization. For a list of the filters, see Driver Group Filters.

  6. On the Packages to Install screen, select Install only the driver packages that match a client’s hardware.

  7. Click Next and then click Finish.

  8. Repeat steps 3-6 until you have created and configured all desired driver groups.

Now that you have configured your driver groups, you are ready to add driver packages to them as described in the next procedure.

To add driver packages to the driver groups
  1. For packages that you have not already added to the server, right-click the Drivers node, click Add Driver Package, and follow the instructions to add the package to one of the groups that you created in the previous procedure.

  2. For packages that are already on the server but are not in the correct group, right-click the desired driver group, and click Add Driver Packages to this Group.

  3. Use the search attributes to search through the packages that are on the server, and then click Add to add them to the group.


    To add a specific package to a group, you can also right-click the package and click Add or Remove from Groups. In the dialog, configure the driver package using the arrows, and then click Apply.

  4. Repeat steps 1-3 until you have added all the packages that you want, and click Close.

  5. If you need to remove a package from a group, click the group, right-click the specific driver package in the right pane. Then you can click Add or Remove from Groups to see a list of groups that you can add it to or remove it from. You can also click Remove from this Group to remove it instantly. To delete the package from the server, right-click the package and click Delete.

Now that you have configured driver groups and added packages to them, you are ready to boot a client as described in the following procedure.

To install the driver packages and an install image
  1. Ensure that all hardware (that you want the driver packages to be installed for) is connected to client computers.

  2. Boot a computer and install an image.

  3. When the installation is complete, open Device Manager on the client computer from the Control Panel and verify that the appropriate device drivers were installed.