In the release notes of version 7.2.4433 one of the changes is “The driver folders for WinPE/WinRE have been expanded to support multiple architectures and WIM versions.” There is however no further explanation. I have done some investigation and would like to check whether my observations are correct. I might also have found a bug in the new way drivers are handled in version 7.2.4440. For convenience I have numbered my questions.
Until version 7.2.4433 it used to be the case that drivers are inserted into the folder C:\Boot\macrium\Drivers. See Andrew’s answer in this post
for a good explanation. In version 7.2.4433 this folder seems to have been replaced by various folders, one for each WinPE/RE version and bitversion. From my observations I assume that these folders are:
All these folders have subfolders for Disk, Ethernet, USB and Wifi.
1. Is my assumption correct?
2. Can the old folder C:\Boot\macrium\Drivers be completely deleted?
I have been using this to make a rescue CD for all my computers on my main computer. I just placed all the necessary drivers for all computers in the C:\Boot\macrium\Drivers subfolders and the rescue CD included all these drivers. This saves me the hassle to make and have a CD for every computer. I always use Windows PE 10 (WADK) (64-bit) as my base WIM.
3. If my reasoning above is correct is it true that I could now just copy the necessary drivers into C:\Boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers\64Bit subfolders?
4. I have noticed that when I build a boot menu or rescue CD and I manually update a driver by going to Advanced > Devices & Drivers in the Rescue Media Builder the updated driver is placed in the folder C:\Boot\macrium\WinREDrivers\64Bit and not in C:\Boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers\64Bit, even though I have selected as Base WIM Windows PE 10 and even though the status for the device driver temporarily changes from “Compatible device support in WinPE” to “Copy user supplied driver”. When I then build the rescue ISO I can however see that the driver is not included in the folder \Drivers of the boot.wim file in C:\Boot\macrium\WA10KFiles\media\sources. It is also not included in \Drivers of the rescue iso. Furthermore, if after building I go to Advanced > Devices & Drivers I do not get the (expected) status “Driver already present in Drivers folder”, but (again) “Compatible device support in WinPE”. It seems that the driver is always put in the wrong folder C:\Boot\macrium\WinREDrivers\64Bit, but when building the rescue CD or boot menu it searches in the correct folder C:\Boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers\64Bit. However, if I manually place the drivers in C:\Boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers\64Bit I get the status “Driver already present in Drivers folder” and the drivers are correctly included in \Drivers of the rescue iso and in the folder \Drivers of the boot.wim file. So this works. This seems to be a bug. Can you confirm this?
5. After updating to v7.2.4440 I received the message “Drivers need to be added to the WIM. Update boot menu now?”. What is the condition that triggers this message? At one time I also got it when I changed something in C:\Boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers, but another time I did that the message was not shown.
6. Finally, I want to add a request not directly related to v7.2.4440, but to v7.2 in general. As described above I always make a rescue CD that will work on all of my computers. I used to select the option “Check for devices missing drivers on boot”, so that if I ever needed to use the CD on a new or different computer I would be immediately notified of missing drivers that I had not included (yet) on the rescue CD. For that purpose I also included wifi drivers in the Drivers\Wifi folder even though I knew that WinPE does not support wifi, in order to avoid the message that drivers were missing. However, since v7.2 wifi drivers are not loaded into the recovery environment anymore, even though they are included in the Drivers\Wifi folder of the rescue CD. For this reason if I select “Check for devices missing drivers on boot” I always get the message that drivers are missing when starting the CD on a computer with a wifi adapter. This is quite annoying, especially because the message shows the device with its hardware-ID and not a normal device name. Therefore since v7.2 I do not check the option “Check for devices missing drivers on boot” anymore. My preference is however to select this option when making a rescue iso. I have also found that if I manually add the wifi driver from within the rescue environment, the message disappears when manually checking for missing drivers, so it is possible to load wifi drivers. What I would like is for it to be possible that the rescue CD just ignores wifi devices or does load wifi drivers, so that the no missing device driver message is displayed anymore. Just like it was before version 7.2.