During one of the sessions today (at the Geek Week in Redmond) we talked about drivers and where to find them. This is absolutely nothing “new” or amazing, its more of a “note to attendees” kind of post.
The HP SoftPaq Download Manager from HP. The tools has the ability to download drivers for every business model that is supported into a repository, which you can then export drivers from. It also provides .CVA files that gives you instructions on how to silently execute drivers and tools that needs to be installed as an application. HP also provides .CAB files for some newer models. http://www8.hp.com/us/en/ads/clientmanagement/drivers-bios.html
Dell have a really great webpage with ready made .CAB files, ready for download. It also includes Windows PE drivers, be sure to pick the correct version. A general rule is to NOT add any Windows PE driver unless you really NEED them, in other words. If you get any IP address and you can see the disk using diskpart, you don’t NEED any drivers. http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/enterprise-client/w/wiki/2065.dell-driver-cab-files-for-enterprise-client-os-deployment.aspx
For Lenovo a nice tool is the ThinkVantage Update Retriever. The tool is pretty straightforward, just create a repository folder, download all the drivers for your models. The most important thing here is that you should not grab the drivers from that folder, instead you should use the to tool to export them. http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail.page?LegacyDocID=TVAN-ADMIN
(For fun, search for it and you will ALWAYS find at least one dog… http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=ThinkVantage+Update+Retriever&qs=n&form=QBIR&pq=thinkvantage+update+retriever&sc=5-29&sp=-1&sk=)
For HP Servers the best way I have found so far is to install the HP Proliant in the operating system during deployment using (scripts or MDT/SCCM applications/Packages or in SCVMM as Host Command line post OSD)
That means that I usually don’t import other drivers then Network and Storage drivers in the deployment solution, since the Support Pack will take care of the rest.
The HP Proliant Service Pack: http://h17007.www1.hp.com/us/en/enterprise/servers/products/service_pack/spp/index.aspx
However, you do need Windows PE Drivers and the easiest way to find them is to look somewhere else. You will find them in the HP Scripting Toolkit for Windows.
I have to be honest, I do deploy more HP servers then Dell servers, but when I do I use the standard webpage to download drivers. For servers Dell provides Driver Application Packages, which will install all the drivers for that particular model. Download it and run it as a part of the TaskSequence or do it Post OSD.
What about System Center Integration?
Yes, there are ready made applications for System Center Integration.
For HP it is called Insight Management: https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=IMDVD#7.3
For Dell it is called OpenManage Integration Suite for Microsoft System Center: http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/systems-management/w/wiki/4111.openmanage-integration-suite-for-microsoft-system-center.aspx