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Updating Drivers in an Image to work with New Hardware

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By David Souders

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Posted: 21 Sep 2005

ZENworks for Desktops 6.5 SP 1A
Windows XP SP 2

PROBLEM: Updating drivers in single Windows XP SP 2 image to work with new hardware as it comes out. With the latest version of sysprep, just editing the sysprep.inf file and adding the drivers via Image Explorer does not work any longer. It is also a long process to add the drivers and re-sysprep the image.

SOLUTION: Use ZENworks Image Explorer to modify the registry and copy the driver so that sysprep will look at the new driver directories during the discovery process. Here is how you do it.

  1. Get updated ZENworks Imaging CD from Novell Forge to support the new hardware.
  2. Bring down the image on the new hardware and figure out what drivers are not automatically discovered and installed with your existing image.
  3. Make a backup copy of your image file.
  4. Open the Image File using Image Explorer (can be found in public\zenworks\imaging on a server that you installed ZENworks imaging to).
  5. Extract the Software portion of the registry from the image file. This can be found in %*winsysdir%\config in a file called "software".
  6. Load this Hive into regedit. To do this, run regedit and click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. File--> Load Hive. Browse to the file you extracted from the Image in Step 5. When it asks for key name, it really doesn't matter - just choose something. I usually choose SOFTWARE-IMAGE.
  7. You will see the Hive under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Browse under this hive to Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion and Modify the DevicePath value.
  8. Modify the value to include the path to the folder(s) that you will be adding with the drivers for the new hardware. Be sure to include the %SystemDrive% system variable before the path to the folder.
    Ex: my path looks something like this
    %SystemDrive%\tech\GX280\video;%SystemDrive%\tech\GX280\nic; etc
    (Watch out for typos.)
  9. After modifying the devicepath value, unload the Hive. File-->Unload Hive
  10. Close Regedit.
  11. Add drivers and new software file back to the image.
  12. Use Image Explorer to add the drivers to the path you specified in Step 8. Also, delete the %*winsysdir%\config\software file and add the update software file to this same directory.
  13. Save the Image File.
  14. Bring down the image and test it out.

This process has worked for me several times and has saved me a lot of time from having to bring down the image, add the new drivers, modify sysprep.inf, run sysprep again and upload the image.

If you have any questions you may contact David at

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