Migrating to the SCCM UDI for OSD, Part 2a: Driver Handling

Continued from part 1:

Frequent readers of this blog (Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?) will recall my epic series on driver handling under MDT/LiteTouch. For everyone else, you will have to trust me that we came up with an effective and sustainable set of scripts for managing drivers under LiteTouch.

In transitioning to UDI, I hit some pretty serious roadblocks. Notably, UDI does not implement a usable environment variable that can be used to specify the SCCM driver group or package that you want to inject into or make available to your operating system during deployment. Under LTI, we added a stock “Inject Drivers” task sequence step, and used the task sequence variables “DriverGroup001” to specify the path on the deployment share that contained the drivers for the current model of computer.

Under SCCM/UDI, there is no such task sequence variable. Oh sure, the documentation does make reference to a variable “OSDAutoApplyDriverCategoryList” which is used in the “Auto Apply Drivers” task sequence step. But if you set this variable within your running task sequence, it gets ignored by the task sequence step at execution time. While you may find many blogs that provide information to the contrary (by Ben Hunter, no less), my experimentation suggests otherwise. I can see “OSDAutoApplyDriverCategoryList” get set by my script (it shows up in the logs), and then the settings get completely ignored when the driver injection takes place. An MS consultant confirmed this finding, stating that using OSDAutoApplyDriverCategoryList to control driver injection is “impossible”.

“What about using the ‘Apply Driver Package’ task sequence step instead?”, do I hear you ask? Well, that sounds like a good idea, except that ‘Apply Driver Package’ does not support a Task Sequence variable that allows you to set the Driver Package that you wish to apply to the OS. To use this step, you need one ‘Apply Driver Package’ action for each make/model/OS that you support in your environment! To make matters worse, you need to set a condition on each step so that it only runs on a supported model. For us, that means (at present) 75 separate task sequence steps with 75 separate condition statements. That’s a lot of pointing and clicking, and I am not going to do it.

Being the bull-headed guy that I am, I thought that I should be able to script this job out. Probably this was not the best use of my time this month, but I did it anyway, and below you can see the fruits of my labor, such as they are. Programming: the art of doing in 2000 lines of code and 20 hours of work what could have been done in two hours with a mouse and a reference guide.

So here is the UVM SCCM Driver Handling Solution, presented in six “easy parts”… First, we needed to get our drivers into SCCM. After wasting several hours with the SCCM PowerShell cmdlets (boo!), I found the following script which does just what I need using raw WMI calls under PowerShell:


Many thanks to the team at CoreTech for this code. I had to do some lite modifications to get the script to work in our site. The modified code is included in-line, below:

My version changes the import directory format a bit, adds some in-line documentation, and moves the local site variables to the top of the file. I also included a source-tree cleanup command that we used under MDT/LTI that removed useless Dell info files from the import structure. This helped reduce duplicate driver imports under LTI, but it may not be applicable under UDI.

Because of nuances in WordPress, I have had to split part 2 of this post into multiple pages. Driver scripting continues in part 2b:

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