Managing SCCM Driver Environments

March 11, 2016   //   Microsoft System Center, ,

Windows 10 is out and many organizations are slowly making their way towards validating that their applications and systems will function properly with the new OS. Some PC replacement scenarios consist of deploying Windows 10 to new equipment as older PCs and devices get phased out; which is a solid and gradual approach. Other organizations will upgrade to Windows 10 on existing hardware similar to a batched upgrade schedule. Regardless of your upgrade strategy, it is critical to deploy and enforce compliance policies to your newly deployed OS, and to ensure standard configurations across all users and devices.

Upgrade to Windows 10 with System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)

The capabilities and business benefits of SCCM are far reaching, such as managing Windows 10 users with SCCM, but today we will focus on driver management.

When preparing for any new hardware model for Operating System Deployment within SCCM, administrators need to consider the drivers that need to be available in order to complete the Task Sequences successfully.

There are four main components to consider about when working with drivers:

  1. Driver Categories (the category to which imported drivers are applied)
  2. Driver Source Files (the driver setup files that get downloaded from the hardware vendor’s support website)
  3. Driver Packages (the network location from which SCCM places imported drivers and distributes content)
  4. Drivers and Driver Folders (the folders and driver objects within the SCCM console)

With so many different places to manage, it’s no wonder that complexity and confusion can ramp up very quickly!

How to Approach Driver Management

A simplistic approach to driver management is to maintain a 1:1 relationship between these components. In other words, for each model of hardware, you need one driver source folder, one driver package folder, one SCCM driver folder, and one SCCM driver category. Proper driver management provides your environment the greatest level of flexibility and reduces the likelihood and associated risk that changes will negatively affect other hardware deployments.

Need Help Managing SCCM Driver Environments?

Are deployment issues common? Do you get Blue Screens of Death when deploying images to new hardware? Do you have a confusing environment or are looking to start setting up Operating System Deployment from scratch? Simplicity and ease of use are key when managing a robust platform such as SCCM. SWC has extensive knowledge within the entire System Center suite and can help deploy and customize a solution to fit your needs. Contact SWC Technology Partners for a quick assessment.