Hardware Driver MSI
Has anyone had any joy of adding Drivers to a workstation via MSI? IF so have they got an idiot proof, drool protected guide or a link to one. I have heard murmurings that there is away but I normally get shown a link to some API type kit that even after reading through the documentation I can't quite work out!
I am trying to install a mouse that will help one of our partly sighted students, software goes on fine but of course drivers then want an admin login to install. Not really wanting to go around all the stations to do that!
There is no way that I know of to add drivers via an MSI as the hardware id on each system is different, ie different connection address USB port 1,2,3. The answer I believe is signed drivers that can be copied directly to the windows\inf directory via either an MSI or a script copying to the admin share. Then with the correct settings in the domain security policy (Computer settings> security> user rights assignment> allow loading of drivers) allowing the users group to add drivers for devices it should pick up and install the device automatically like a USB key.
The GP path is only a guide as I am not able to get on our server currently but it is about right. This should make the mouse simply install automatically on any station.
Ta. I think the driver signing is the bit I can never get my head around. is that something that is needed to be done or is it enough if the company has all ready done it so you don't get teh signing error you sometimes get on drivers?
Originally Posted by SYNACK
Yes the company needs to have sent the drivers off to Microsoft to be signed. If they have not been signed Windows will still require administrative privileges to install them no matter what privileges the users have been given in GP.
We had this problem with a product called the ProScope. Sent several emails and they replied that the US$100 cost of signing the drivers was simply to much for them. Because of that we have stopped buying any hardware from them as support is obviously a form of slur to them.
I think it's a *lot* more than $100 to get drivers signed - far too few companies (even big ones!) get drivers signed and I would have thought that they would for the sake of such a small amount of money!
If you set the GP to allow unsigned drivers then they ought to install at machine startup; you need to make sure that the path at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\DevicePath includes the location of the .inf file and everything it needs. This is basically what Sysprep sets up and that allows all the hardware drivers to be picked up by the machine without anyone logged on.
If that works, would it be possible to get a sighted person to plug in the mouse and restart the machine?
You are right it is a bit more, I looked it up US$250 (page 28 of the refferenced document) per product family (eg. XP, Vista, 2k3).
Originally Posted by srochford
Spread this cost out over a minimum of several thousand devices, which their product runs are anyway to keep manufacturing costs down and it seems quite cheap to me. I think that the main reason that they don't do this is because they are forced to make a driver that is actually reasonably stable.
Their main cost is not in the certification but in actually coding a proper driver rather than the unstable rubbish that is quite standard among the offending providers.
Also thanks for the devicepath idea, I had never thought of rebooting the computer to make it install with elevated rights. :-)
Well being a dunce I hadn't realised that it is a MS mouse so I really hope the drivers are signed! So if I create an MSI that just copies the drivers to the right place (say make a package that records me installing the mouse) that should work?
Yes that sounds like it should work, If the drivers that you have aren't signed for your version of Windows there should be some online that are.
You will need to make sure that it is just the files that are copied over to the windows/inf folder as duplication the unique registry stuff with a snapshot will cause some really nasty issues with your clients.
meastaugh1's way below looks like it would be the most robust and future proof way of doing this.
While a simple snapshot may work for capturing WHQL'd drivers, I don't think it's a good idea as you may inadvertently capture files that cause problems later on (eg when the next Windows SP is released).
Microsoft produced a framework to address the issue of installing driver packages with Windows Installer. I've used the DifXApp merge module to install signed drivers successfully.