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Device driver automatic installation

Posted on 1998-08-13
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I'm currently fiddling with automated Windows 95 builds. Creating the image file and duplicatng it across a network is fairly easy with the range of tools out there. My only real problem concerns drivers. What I would like to be able to do is include device drivers for all our network cards etc somewhere in the build so they'll be picked up and used meaning I don't have to sit there swapping floppies. By default I store the Windows CAB files in C:\windows\options\cabs and install from there. I notice that on a normal machine drivers appear in this directory as new devices are installed so maybe this is the place they should go. But which files should go where?

Any ideas?  
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Question by:nuuki
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Expert Comment

by:andre_heckmann
ID: 1757627
I need to know wich kind of Network card you use in order to look into these files.
Generaly you need to edit the oemsetup.inf file of the driver disks.
You must copy them in your windows installation directory and then change the directories mentioned in the inf-file to the right directory.
This sounds difficult, but is quiet easy.
This is only a comment and no answer, because i don´t know whether it works or not.
Good LUCK !
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Author Comment

by:nuuki
ID: 1757628
Thanks for the idea, I'll try it. I really want to be able to have drivers for network, video and sound devices although I may cut this down if it gets too big. I guess we're talking about 25 drivers in all. I'll try it with one and go from there.

Having said that what files do I copy where. I could create a directory for each driver containing a copy of the driver disk but Windows won't know to look in these. I could put the oemsetup.inf in the CABS directory but then I can only have one of these. How do I tell Windows where to look for the right driver?
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Expert Comment

by:newexpert
ID: 1757629
On startup Windows will look under c:\windows\inf folder for all the .inf files there.  These .inf files tells windows about all the hardware that's ever been installed (hence which device driver to load).  So if you back up that folder and transfer it across Windows will start loading the appropriate device drivers automatically.

FYI: whenever you install hardware the manufacture's .inf file will be copied to c:\windows\inf.  On every startup windows will look through them and load the appropriate files.  If the .inf is found but not the device driver then the Hardware detected dialog appears and will ask for manufacturer's floppy.
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tbaffy earned 130 total points
ID: 1757630
nuuki,

If you are running or have access to the Win95 service pack 1, there is a utility in it called INFINST.EXE.  This utility can be used to place your INF file in the know INFs in the shared Windows path.  Unfortunately, for this to work you must have installed the shared Win95 installation point using the NETSETUP utility.  This will essentially expand all of the Win95 files from thier CABs and place then in a shared network folder.  Once this shared folder is created then INFINST.EXE will work to place the installation information from any vendor INF file into the shared installation path.  I guess this is just a case of trading some server disk space for easier installation of your drivers.


Tom
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