No way to load WiFi drivers in the Rescue Media builder


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flagrange
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No matter what I do, WiFi drivers will never appear in the Advanced/Devices and Drivers tab of the Rescue Media Builder. Also, they never appear nor are loaded in either the Win RE or Win PE 10 environments.

I included a number of screenshots showing that my two LAN drivers always load and work (Two LAN NICs. Why two drivers?  ask Gigabyte). I do know it has once worked on the same system (Win7 x64, Gigabyte GA-X99-UD5 Wifi board, agent Edition v7.2.4898), but unfortunately I didn't take notes of how I made it work - something I usually do. At that time it was critical for me to have the WiFi working as the issue was precisely that both LAN interfaces were softwarewise dead. Restoring without WiFi was therefore impossible.

Based on this long, interesting thread, I also tried to copy the drivers into C:\boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers\64Bit\Wifi or ...\Wifi\VEN_8086_DEV_08B1 folders. They are detected by the Media Builder, but still never appear in the Drivers tab.

C:\ProgramData\Macrium\RMBuilder\BuildDevices.log also confirms that they are seen, but it wrongly claims:
No matching devices in INF: c:\boot\macrium\wa10kdrivers\64bit\wifi\netwsw02.inf

Wrongly, because, see the second screenshot below, this is the driver that loads and works in Windows.

I added a bunch of screenshots to clarify. What should I do to get this work?
Thank you,



In windows, the drivers load and work no problem:


In Win RE or PE10 - I tried Win PE 5 also:


Initially installed drivers in X Drivers Ethernet: the two LAN drivers - the same as what is show in Windows.


From the recovery environment, the 3rd option under the Restore menu, I try to install the driver from a USB key:


It all looks good, confirms no other drivers to install, and that the WiFi driver is ostensibly correctly installed



But no luck: it does not appear in the list of drivers and does not work:


Thank you,
Francois



jphughan
jphughan
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WiFi requires that you build with WinRE from a Windows 10 system.  If you're not running Windows 10, you can't build WiFi-capable Rescue Media.  Just having WiFi drivers present on the Rescue Media isn't enough to gain WiFi support.  The WinRE environment needs some additional frameworks/packages present, but the WinRE environments of pre-Win10 systems would be using pre-Win10 kernels that apparently don't have the necessary support.  And it seems that the WinPE packages downloaded from Microsoft don't either, hence the requirement to build using WinRE and do so from a Win10 system where the WinRE build would be using a Win10 kernel.  Further reading here if you're interested.  Multiple segments of that page mention that WiFi support requires WinRE and a Windows 10 system, or WinRE 10.

Edited 17 August 2020 6:14 PM by jphughan
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While your answer is very clear, I was kind of puzzled because I wonder how I ever managed to restore the Win 7 image on that system, whereas the two NICs were dead.

But then I saw the following, about midway the documentation page/link that you provided:

"[Windows RE] This is the default choice for Windows 7 and above. Windows RE is pre installed with Windows. If available, this option is best suited for your computer, includes WiFi support if built with Windows 10 and requires no further component downloads."


I then realized that the trick is to use a WinRE USB key created on another, Windows 10 machine. Booting the Win 7 machine (connected to the same WiFi) with that key automagically loaded the WiFi drivers and worked immediately! Smile

What I wonder now is: how did the WiFi drivers - which are not the same on the Win 10 machine - get loaded or activated? I assume they were somehow copied or loaded from the recovery partition (the X: drive) of the Win 7 machine, at boot time. What then in case of a recovery where the complete drive of the Win7 machine is gone?

I suspect, based on that other thread (my link above) that it would work to copy the wireless drivers of the Win 7 machine to the \Drivers\WiFi folder of the Windows-10 generated Windows RE key?

jphughan
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WinPE/RE 10 has a fairly substantial library of built-in drivers, so it's possible that the base WinPE/RE environment had appropriate drivers for your Win7 system's hardware.  But even if that hadn't been the case, if needed you could have gotten Win10 drivers for whatever WiFi card is in your Win7 machine, put them into the Drivers folder of the appropriate C:\Boot\Macrium subfolder on the Win10 system where you were building Rescue Media, and from that point forward, Rescue Media Builder on that Win10 system would have baked those drivers into its Rescue Media, even though those drivers pertained to hardware not present on the actual Win10 system.  I use this technique so that I can build Rescue Media on a single PC that will have various network and storage controller drivers needed by various other systems I have.

GO

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