The following procedure describes how to add a device-driver path to an answer file by using Windows® System Image Manager (Windows SIM).

This device-driver path is used to process additional out-of-box device drivers during Windows Setup. Out-of-box device drivers can be copied to a Windows image during the windowsPE configuration pass. In this configuration pass, you can add boot-critical drivers to a Windows image before that image is installed.


Additional drivers can also be added to the Windows installation during the auditSystem configuration pass.

When you select a driver path, you select a folder that contains one or more .inf-type drivers. The folder path is added to the answer file and, during an unattended installation, is referenced to find all drivers in the path and install them.

Only .inf drivers can be added to a Windows image by using this procedure. Drivers packaged as an .exe file or other file types must be installed on a running Windows operating system.

To add a device-driver path to an answer file

  1. Open Windows SIM.

  2. Open an answer file. For more information, see Open an Answer File.

  3. On the Insert menu, select Driver Path.

  4. Choose the configuration pass in which you install the driver. This can be in the windowsPE or the auditSystem configuration pass.


    Adding a driver to the auditSystem configuration pass processes the driver during Audit mode only. Booting to Audit mode is possible only by using Sysprep. For more information about Sysprep, see the Sysprep Technical Reference.

    The Browse for Folder dialog box appears.

  5. Select the driver path to add to the answer file, and then click OK.

  6. The driver path selected is added to the answer file under the configuration pass that you selected. Depending on the configuration pass that you selected, the driver path is included as a list item to one of the following components:

    • Microsoft-Windows-PnpCustomizationsWinPE for the windowsPE configuration pass

    • Microsoft-Windows-PnpCustomizationsNonWinPE for the auditSystem configuration pass


    You can also drag drivers from an Out-of-Box Drivers folder in the Distribution Share pane to the Answer File pane and drop them in either the windowsPE or auditSystem configuration pass, or right-click to add it.

See Also