Using Modern BIOS to Simplify Driver Management

By Brian Knackstedt| May 18, 2021
If you have spent any time deploying operating systems through Microsoft Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr), you are very familiar with the long process of downloading and importing drivers. This time-consuming and tedious process can leave even the most senior IT administrator frustrated. Computer manufacturers have made some improvements like driver packs and console extensions, but these can often be out of date or come with their own issues. Luckily the team at Microsoft Endpoint Manager has developed some wonderful solutions to these problems.
 
The Driver Automation Tool is an application that searches major manufactures (Dell, Lenovo, HP, and Microsoft) for BIOS and drivers and presents an easy to use catalog. You simply enter the model number and the rest of the process is automated. The tool hooks into ConfigMgr or MDT to automatically download, import, and distribute the drivers. One of the best features is the ability to import the driver as a standard package and skip using the ConfigMgr driver management component altogether.
 
Once you have the Driver Automation Tool in place, the next steps are to simplify your task sequence using a couple of scripts. Unlike previous versions of the scripts that used a custom developed web service, the latest version uses the ConfigMgr Administration Services. This new service is a REST API that you can interact with ConfigMgr over a HTTPS OData connection.
 
Along with this service, you will need an account that has read access to ConfigMgr. The first script (Invoke-CMDownloadBIOSPackage.ps1) is used to detect and download the latest BIOS and should be executed before the apply operating system task. There are a couple of supporting scripts (Invoke-XXXBIOSUpdate.ps1) that are executed next depending on the manufacture to apply the BIOS.
 
The last script (Invoke-CMApplyDriverPackage.ps1) is executed after the apply operating system task and before the first restart. This script will detect the model, then download and inject the appropriate drivers. You’ll never need to look-up the model number and modify the WMI option in the task sequence again.
 
As easy as it is to use this solution, here are a couple of tips to make it even easier:
  • Always use the latest version of the Driver Automation Tool. Manufactures often make changes to their website without warning and the tool needs to be updated when they do.
  • The BIOS and Driver scripts write their own logs to the temp folder. These logs are easy to read and extremely useful when needing to track down any issues.
 
The ConfigMgr community and BDO Digital team are here to help with any questions. Contact us to learn more.