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I'm proud to announce the release of ENGL Driver Manager 6.0.3.

What's New

This release includes driver analysis enhancements, Windows Server 2016 installation support, bug fixes, and the big news, Symantec Deployment Solution 8.x integration support. Visit the Driver Manager release history and compatibility page for further details. The rest of this article will focus on the new Symantec Deployment Solution integration.

Symantec Deployment Solution 8.x support

Last year we extended Driver Manager to include Symantec Ghost Solution Suite (GSS) 3.x integration support and now we've added integration support for Symantec Deployment Solution (DS) 8.x. Symantec Client Management Suite 8.x and IT Management Suite 8.x are also supported as they include DS.

As Driver Manager does not use Symantec DeployAnywhere it can be safely disabled.

Installation

ENGL Driver Manager can be installed on a Windows server. This could be a Notification Server (NS) or any other server. Running the Driver Manager console will display the Configuration Wizard which performs license activation and configures how Driver Manager integrates with DS to create and read packages.

Driver Manager settings - DS integration



Driver Manager settings - Driver Manager Query Service (DMQS)

Hardware inventory import

Included with ENGL Driver Manager is a Windows command-line utility named DMScanner that can be run manually or silently from a DS task. DMScanner performs a detailed hardware inventory scan on the machine and outputs a file that can then be imported into the Driver Manager console. The imported hardware inventory scan will then appear in the Driver Manager console with the machine manufacturer and model, i.e. Lenovo and ThinkPad W541.

Search for drivers

To search for the best compatible Windows drivers, simply right-click the machine model and select Search for drivers. To include multiple machines models in a search, right-click either the manufacturer or Machines folder. From the Windows Operating System drop-down list, select the required OS version and platform, i.e. Windows 10 (x64).

A query will be sent across the web to ENGL where we'll match the machine manufacturer, model and individual hardware components to the latest compatible drivers for the specified Windows version. Where possible drivers will always be resolved from the machine manufacturer first (i.e. Lenovo), falling back to the hardware component OEM (i.e. Intel) when required.

A list of suitable drivers will be displayed and can be downloaded to the Driver Manager console. If a driver isn't checked (selected), download is not required as Driver Manager has already downloaded that driver before. Drivers will be downloaded directly from the manufacturer or OEM site without any modifications.

Analyse drivers

Once drivers have been downloaded, it's also worth mentioning that drivers can be manually added, an analysis must be performed. During analysis, each driver is extracted and the best installation method is identified, which will be either INF or command-line switches.

Once analysis has been performed, each driver can be optionally configured including the ability to specify an installation order.

Integrate drivers

To integrate drivers into DS, expand the machine model then right-click the driver pack, i.e. Windows 10 (x64), then select Integrate drivers.

Driver Manager will then perform the following tasks:

  1. Copy the drivers to the target UNC path (see Installation settings above). The target path must be accessible by the NS.

  2. NS will be instructed to create an ENGL (driver) package using the naming convention that includes the manufacture, model, OS, platform and revision.

Example ENGL "driver" package "ENGL-Lenovo-ThinkPad W541-Win10-x64-3"

Driver installation

Driver Manager includes ENGL Driver Installer, which simplifies deployment of Windows drivers as part of the OS deployment. A typical DS deployment job will include automation tasks to restore the Windows image and production tasks to configure OS settings and install applications.

Driver Installer will perform the following tasks:

  1. Send the machine's hardware inventory to DMQS and receive the DS (drivers) package GUID.

  2. Determine the nearest DS package server.

  3. Retrieve ENGL driver package content from the nearest package server.

  4. Install drivers as part of a DS client job in automation (critical MSD and NIC drivers only) and production (all drivers).

DS client job running Driver Installer

A DS job can be easily configured to include tasks to run Driver Installer. In automation mode, Driver Installer must be run immediately after restoring the OS so that critical (MSD and NIC) drivers can be injected into the OS. In production mode, Driver Installer must be run to install all remaining drivers.

Benefits of ENGL Driver Manager for Deployment Solution

Whilst Symantec Deployment Solution provides a robust task-driven deployment engine, ENGL Driver Manager saves time and resource by providing a reliable driver management and installation process that is ideal for both single and multi-site organisations.

To request an evaluation or demonstration please visit the Driver Manager home page.