Rescue media/environment driver related questions for v7.2.4440


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Pim
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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 In version 7.2.4433 this folder seems to have been replaced by various folders, one for each WinPE/RE version and bitversion.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:
- C:\Boot\macrium\WAIKDrivers\32Bit
- C:\Boot\macrium\WAIKDrivers\64Bit
- C:\Boot\macrium\WADKDrivers\32Bit
- C:\Boot\macrium\WADKDrivers\64Bit
- C:\Boot\macrium\WA5KDrivers\32Bit
- C:\Boot\macrium\WA5KDrivers\64Bit
- C:\Boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers\32Bit
- C:\Boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers\64Bit
- C:\Boot\macrium\WinREDrivers\32Bit
- C:\Boot\macrium\WinREDrivers\64Bit
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.
Edited 28 August 2019 2:34 PM by pimjoosten
Andrew
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Thanks for posting. To answer your questions in order:

1. Yes - you are completely correct. The drivers folder has been split up into WAIKDrivers / WADKDrivers / WA5KDrivers / WA10KDrivers / WinREDrivers for PE 3/4/5/10 and WinRE respectively, and under each of those are separate folders for 32bit and 64bit. This change was made to make sure drivers for the wrong architecture or version of Windows weren't automatically pulled into the rescue media.

2. Yes, C:\boot\macrium\Drivers can be safely deleted. Reflect no longer uses this folder, but doesn't automatically delete it, because it's possible that users might have put files in there that they don't want to lose.

3. Yes, you could just copy all your drivers from C:\boot\macrium\Drivers into C:\boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers\64bit, and they will be included in the PE 10 rescue media.

4. This does indeed sound like a bug. Can you please submit a support ticket at https://macrium.com/support, so that we can collect more information about your system?

5. The "Drivers need to be added to the WIM" condition should always be triggered if, for the chosen base wim, anything has changed inside the relevant drivers folder for that base wim / architecture (if any files were added, removed, or modified). The boot menu should ask to be rebuilt after the 7.2.4440 update, but it should be giving the message "Macrium Reflect edition has changed" rather than "Drivers need to be added to the WIM". When you changed something in WA10KDrivers but Reflect did not ask to add drivers to the boot menu, were you making changes to the drivers inside the WA10KDrivers/64bit folder?

6. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We will release a fix for this issue in a future update to Reflect. In the meantime, as a temporary workaround, if you put the wifi drivers in the Ethernet folder then they should still be loaded into the rescue media. This should prevent the Drivers Missing messages.

Kind regards,

Andrew - Macrium Development

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Pim
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Andrew - 29 August 2019 9:05 AM
Thanks for posting. To answer your questions in order:

1. Yes - you are completely correct. The drivers folder has been split up into WAIKDrivers / WADKDrivers / WA5KDrivers / WA10KDrivers / WinREDrivers for PE 3/4/5/10 and WinRE respectively, and under each of those are separate folders for 32bit and 64bit. This change was made to make sure drivers for the wrong architecture or version of Windows weren't automatically pulled into the rescue media.

2. Yes, C:\boot\macrium\Drivers can be safely deleted. Reflect no longer uses this folder, but doesn't automatically delete it, because it's possible that users might have put files in there that they don't want to lose.

3. Yes, you could just copy all your drivers from C:\boot\macrium\Drivers into C:\boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers\64bit, and they will be included in the PE 10 rescue media.

4. This does indeed sound like a bug. Can you please submit a support ticket at https://macrium.com/support, so that we can collect more information about your system?

5. The "Drivers need to be added to the WIM" condition should always be triggered if, for the chosen base wim, anything has changed inside the relevant drivers folder for that base wim / architecture (if any files were added, removed, or modified). The boot menu should ask to be rebuilt after the 7.2.4440 update, but it should be giving the message "Macrium Reflect edition has changed" rather than "Drivers need to be added to the WIM". When you changed something in WA10KDrivers but Reflect did not ask to add drivers to the boot menu, were you making changes to the drivers inside the WA10KDrivers/64bit folder?

6. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We will release a fix for this issue in a future update to Reflect. In the meantime, as a temporary workaround, if you put the wifi drivers in the Ethernet folder then they should still be loaded into the rescue media. This should prevent the Drivers Missing messages.

Hello Andrew,

Thank you for responding and all your answers. I now know how it is supposed to work.

Regarding question 4:
I have just submitted support ticket? #53784. It was assigned to US support, but I do not know whether that is a good idea, considering I am in Europe (The Netherlands).

Regarding question 5:
I do not recall exactly anymore when I got the messages, that is why I asked what should trigger the “Drivers need to be added to the WIM. Update boot menu now?” message, so that I could check what should happen and compare that with what actually happens. I recall that I did get the "Macrium Reflect edition has changed" message after updating to v7.2.4440, to which I answered No, because I wanted to check the drivers first. But after that I think I also got the "Drivers need to be added to the WIM" message when starting the Rescue Media Builder.
Answering to your question "When you changed something in WA10KDrivers but Reflect did not ask to add drivers to the boot menu, were you making changes to the drivers inside the WA10KDrivers/64bit folder?": I do not recall exactly anymore, but just now I did some more testing and what I found was that it indeed works the way you described it should: if there is any change in the drivers folder I correctly get the "Drivers need to be added to the WIM" message. So I can say it works correctly now that I know how it is supposed to work.

Regarding question 6:
I am happy to hear my preference is how it should work and that a future update will include a fix. Thanks!

Best regards,

Pim


Pim
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Andrew - 29 August 2019 9:05 AM
Thanks for posting. To answer your questions in order:

1. Yes - you are completely correct. The drivers folder has been split up into WAIKDrivers / WADKDrivers / WA5KDrivers / WA10KDrivers / WinREDrivers for PE 3/4/5/10 and WinRE respectively, and under each of those are separate folders for 32bit and 64bit. This change was made to make sure drivers for the wrong architecture or version of Windows weren't automatically pulled into the rescue media.

2. Yes, C:\boot\macrium\Drivers can be safely deleted. Reflect no longer uses this folder, but doesn't automatically delete it, because it's possible that users might have put files in there that they don't want to lose.

3. Yes, you could just copy all your drivers from C:\boot\macrium\Drivers into C:\boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers\64bit, and they will be included in the PE 10 rescue media.

4. This does indeed sound like a bug. Can you please submit a support ticket at https://macrium.com/support, so that we can collect more information about your system?

5. The "Drivers need to be added to the WIM" condition should always be triggered if, for the chosen base wim, anything has changed inside the relevant drivers folder for that base wim / architecture (if any files were added, removed, or modified). The boot menu should ask to be rebuilt after the 7.2.4440 update, but it should be giving the message "Macrium Reflect edition has changed" rather than "Drivers need to be added to the WIM". When you changed something in WA10KDrivers but Reflect did not ask to add drivers to the boot menu, were you making changes to the drivers inside the WA10KDrivers/64bit folder?

6. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We will release a fix for this issue in a future update to Reflect. In the meantime, as a temporary workaround, if you put the wifi drivers in the Ethernet folder then they should still be loaded into the rescue media. This should prevent the Drivers Missing messages.


Hello Andrew,

As I am looking further into how the rescue media process works in Macrium I have got one further question with regard to my question number 6. Is the sole purpose of including the Wifi folder in the drivers folder to avoid the message that drivers are missing? I ask this because in no case does the Rescue Media Builder (RMB) show a Wifi adapter on the tab Devices & Drivers (this behaviour is different from v7.1, which did show Wifi adapters). Therefore, the only purpose for the Wifi folder I can think of is how and why I am using it: to avoid the missing drivers message. Or perhaps was the bug that is going to be corrected with a fix in a future update that the RMB did not show wifi adapters on the Devices & drivers tab? From the text "The vast majority of adapters will be automatically supported and will automatically connect using a WiFi profile copied from Windows during the build process." in the manual it seems that Macrium does do something with wifi adapters when using WinRE, but this must apparently be done in the background, because it does not show any wifi device on the Devices & Drivers tab, not even when using WinRE in Windows 10.

Best regards.

Andrew
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Hi Pim,

The suggestion of adding wifi drivers to the WA10KDrivers folder was just to avoid any drivers-missing messages, yes. However, from what you've described, there is a problem with the Devices & Drivers tab on your Windows 10 system. If Windows RE is selected on the Choose Base WIM tab, the Devices & Drivers tab should show any wifi devices present on the system if any are available.

To help us understand why the wifi adapters are missing, can you please create a WinRE rescue media iso in Windows 10, then create a support ticket (or reopen the previous one) and send us the newly created file C:\ProgramData\Macrium\RMBuilder\BuildDevices.log from that system?

Kind regards,

Andrew - Macrium Development

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Hi Andrew,

Thank you for you answer. I have just submitted ticket #55122. Just like last time it was assigned to US support, but I trust you can change the assignment to yourself.

Best regards,

Pim

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Hello Andrew,

The release notes for v7.2.4473 state a.o. "Manually added wifi drivers were not copied into non-WinRE rescue media builds. This has been resolved.". When using the rescue CD (WinPE 10 x64) I however still get the message that the driver for the wifi device is missing if I check for missing drivers or when the option “Check for devices missing drivers on boot” is switched on. I can see that the wifi drivers are now included in the boot.wim of the rescue CD but, like before, they are not automatically loaded in the rescue environment. If I manually load the driver from within the recovery environment, the missing drivers message disappears.

I also have one further question. Am I right that the folder structure (level) does not matter for drivers to be loaded in the rescue environment? Macrium always uses the folder structure (SI3132 in WinPE 10 x64 in this example) C:\Boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers\64Bit\Disk\VEN_1095_DEV_3132 if I update a driver via the Rescue Media Builder. Can I also insert a subfolder and change it to C:\Boot\macrium\WA10KDrivers\64Bit\Disk\Silicon Image 3132\VEN_1095_DEV_3132 to make it clearer for me for which device a driver is? Will that driver still be used? With this organisation I can keep a library of device drivers in my Macrium download folder for all my computers and desired WinPE versions and architectures with clear computer and device names inserted as folders. I can than just copy the contents of the desired folder to the appropriate C:\Boot\Macrium drivers folder, which makes managing these drivers much easier.

Best regards,

Pim

Andrew
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Hi Pim,

To answer your second question first: yes, you are right - the Disk / Ethernet / Wifi / USB folder structure (and subfolders inside them) is only for convenience. You can add your own subfolders, and the rescue media will recurse through all folders inside X:\Drivers and load any drivers it finds.
 
In this case, though, it sounds as though there is a sequencing issue with this particular driver. I suspect that Reflect is starting up, attempting to load the driver before the networking subsystem has fully initialised, and failing - leaving the device with no drivers loaded for the Unsupported Devices dialog to find. Then, if you manually load the driver later on, everything has fully initialised and the driver loads successfully.

To check if this is the case, can you please launch the rescue media, look at rescuepe.log to see what driver loading was attempted on startup, and see if there is an "Unable to load" line for this particular driver, with an error code?

Kind regards,

Andrew - Macrium Development

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Hi Andrew,

Thank you for your fast reply. I have attached the rescuepe.log. It does not try to load the wifi driver at all it seems.

Following your reply I have another question: what is the normal location for rescuepe.log? In this case I found it in the root of my D: partition, which is my data partition.

Best regards,

Pim


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rescuepe.zip (4 views, 309 bytes)
Edited 25 September 2019 10:18 AM by Pim
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Following my previous post: I found the rescuepe.log on D: while running Windows. Just before I had tested my second new rescue CD (I always make two to be safe). However I now see that the datestamp is around the same time that I logged into my computer, so it might be that this log was not made when I booted into the rescue CD. I am a bit confused now whether this is the correct rescuepe.log and, if not, where I can find it if I use a rescue CD.

Edited 25 September 2019 10:26 AM by Pim
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