Beginners guide (Windows XP)

DriverPacks were created for integrating drivers directly into your Windows setup CD, which also happens to make an unnattended installation easier. We are going to assume that you understand the basics of creating an unattended Windows setup CD. Therefore, if you are a complete beginner and want to build an unattended setup CD, we suggest that you first read the excellent tutorials over at MSFN.org.

DriverPacks BASE is an integration program that will take individual DriverPacks (downloaded here or created by yourself) and integrate them into a local 32-bit Windows source for installation on another PC. (installing from the slipstreamed CD or from a RIS networked image.). At the time of this writing, you can use DriverPacks BASE to slipstream the Driverpacks into a Windows 2000, XP or Server 2003 source.

In this tutorial, we will be using a Windows XP Home OEM CD-ROM as source, and DriverPacks BASE 7.04.

Before we start, there are a few items you will need.

  1. Local Windows source (That is a copy of the original Windows CD in a folder on your hard disk.)
  2. DriverPacks BASE
  3. DriverPacks for your hardware — you must not extract them!
  4. Optional: 7-zip (free). (Needed for creating or modifying DriverPacks)

It is highly recommended that you use either nLite or the RyanVM Integrator to integrate all current hotfixes prior to integrating DriverPacks. This will create a secure, up-to-date Windows install with minimal downloads from the Microsoft Update website. Please refer to the above websites for detailed instructions for those programs.

Caution

Once the DriverPacks are integrated into your Windows source, you will not be able to integrate any patches or hotfixes without breaking the DriverPacks. This means that you should run nLite and the RyanVM Integrator before DriverPacks BASE!
The recommended order is:

  1. RyanVM Integrator
  2. nLite
  3. DriverPacks BASE

Step 1: Copy Windows CD to HDD

 First, copy your Windows CD to a folder. You can choose to use or not use nLite or the RVM Integrator on it. Whether you do or not, that folder will be your local Windows source for the rest of this tutorial. In this example, you can see that the copy is located at C:\OEMXP.

Images: 

Step 2: install DriverPacks BASE

Next, put your DriverPacks BASE self-extracting archive someplace convenient (e.g. C:\DriverPacks\). We show version 7.04 here. The numbers mean something. 7 (for 2007) / 04 (April) / XX (if there were a number here, it would mean that the DriverPacks BASE was revised and republished during April). Because there's no such number, this is the initial release for the month of April in 2007.

Then, double-click the DP_BASE_704.exe file and allow it to extract its contents to the folder you picked.

Step 3: download DriverPacks

Now, download any DriverPacks you need for your hardware to the new directory C:\Driverpacks\Driverpacks\.
Note: C:\Driverpacks\Driverpacks\ is a sub directory of the folder where you installed the program DriverPacks BASE.

You can read about the supported hardware list on the download pages and select those you want, or go crazy and download them all! You can still select which you want to integrate later on.

You do not need to extract the DriverPacks. Leave them as *.7z files.

If you have any 3rd party DriverPacks (made by yourself or others), put them in the folder C:\Driverpacks\3rd party Driverpacks\. Check the 3rd party DriverPacks forum, someone else may have already built a DriverPack for your situation.

Step 4: using DriverPacks BASE

Getting started

Now, get back to the folder you extracted the program into, and in there double-click the DPs_BASE.exe program file (with the blue icon, not the 7-zip icon) and get ready for some magic!

On the screenshot below, you can select your language, load any previously-saved settings (.ini) file, go straight to slipstream (if your settings are already set), make a donation (don't be a cheapskate! A lot of work went into this utility), or progress to the next settings step (right arrow). For now, press the right arrow button twice.

Now from the below screen you can select the Windows source directory we created earlier in step 1 (the directory that contains the I386 folder, NOT your C:\Windows\ directory) by pressing the "Browse" button. Select what type of Windows source you are using (typically select "disc" option unless you are using an advanced multiboot Win2k, WinXP, Win2k3 source or a BartPE environment). Then click the right arrow button again. 

Selecting DriverPacks

Next, in the screenshot below, you can select which DriverPacks you want to integrate. If you don't have a DriverPack available, that option will be greyed out.

Which DriverPacks are the most important to you?
That depends on your Windows CD usage. If you plan on making a "universal" install CD for different platforms, just select all the DriverPacks; you never know what hardware you're going to come across!
On the other hand, if you know specifically what hardware you will install Windows on, make sure to read the descriptions for each DriverPack and only select the ones applicable to your hardware (to save space on the CD).
Let's begin with DriverPack Mass Storage. If you previously had to use the F6/floppy method to get access to your hard disk during Windows setup, make sure you select the Mass Storage DriverPack as well as check the "DriverPack MassStorage text mode" option. Text mode integration will ensure that your RAID, IDE or SATA controller is correctly identified and supported by the Windows installer prior to installation. In other words, text mode is required if the Windows installer CD does not recognize your destination hard drive.

(If you're wondering where this weird sounding term — "text mode" — comes from, well, we didn't invent it. Microsoft refers to this portion of setup as the "text mode" part of set up, because there is no modern WIMP UI available, only a text-based UI. But that's enough history for now.)

Select "DriverPack Mass Storage text mode" and you are saying "Bye Bye, Floppy".

The Chipset is a critically important part of your computer. In a non-integrated Windows installation, the chipset driver is normally installed before you install any other drivers.
Graphics is used to ensure correct resolutions are displayed. LAN is used for network connectivity, and who wants to be without Sound? Wireless LAN was also selected. When we chose our DriverPacks for this tutorial, we did not need a 3rd Party DriverPack (Modem came to mind …). If you put any downloaded 3rd Party DriverPack, or DriverPacks you built yourself, in the 3rd party DriverPacks folder and selected to load them, you would not see individual 3rd Party DriverPacks listed here. It's all or nothing, so be careful what you place in the 3rd party DriverPacks folder.
The BASE versioning system will detect and use the latest version if you have more than one copy of a DriverPack in the folders.
Have you made your selection? Press the right arrow button to continue.

Choosing a slipstream method

In the below screen you can select between Method 1 and Method 2. Read the descriptions in the window.
Method 2 is selected by default and for a reason.
When you want to integrate a lot of drivers, method 1 will most likely exceed a limitation present in Windows (a limitation on the number of paths that can be listed), and those drivers that get referenced after this limit is reached, will not be found by Windows.

("Slipstreaming" is Microsoft lingo for "integrating".)

Choosing a method to start the DriverPacks Finisher

Not all drivers are made equal!

 

Some drivers require some special attention, to get installed at all, or because they come with a control panel that requires a separate setup that must be executed (for example the control panels of ATI and nVidia GPUs). That's where the DriverPacks Finisher comes in. It's a small, yet extremely flexible application that should run after Windows has finished installing. It will then finish off the installation (hence its name) by installing control panels and handling edge cases for you — completely automated.

In the below screen you can select when you want the DriverPacks Finisher to run. Read the description for each option. GUIRunOnce is selected by default. If you don't want to set any optional settings, just press the Slipstream! button, otherwise press the right arrow button twice to go to the optional settings.

 

 

 

Step 5: DriverPacks BASE optional settings

Optional settings

KTD

In the below screen you can choose to enable the KTD setting — which stands for "Keep The Drivers". This is beneficial if you plan on swapping hardware (test bed) since this leaves all the DriverPacks uncompressed on your Windows installation (at C:\Windows\Drivers\).
Read the description for more info.
KTD is disabled by default.

QuickStream Cache

Next up is the QuickStream Cache. Read the descripton. It is enabled by default.
Basically, the QuickStream Cache speeds up the integration process for the next time you use DriverPacks BASE. However, if you edited and repackaged your DriverPack Mass Storage, you must clear out the QSC directory (which is where the QuickStream Cache is stored). You will find it easily, in this example it would be present at C:\Driverpacks\QSC\.
Under normal circumstances, the version numbering system will prevent an outdated cache from being used, but it is still wise to clear it when updates were downloaded.

Other optional settings

Here, you can select between ATI Catalyst Control Center or ATI Control Panel integration. This option only applies to ATI graphics cards, and can be ignored for other graphics systems. ATI CCC integration requires .NET framework to be integrated first otherwise the ATI CCC will not install properly.

Step 6: reviewing your settings

Now you get the option to verify your settings. You can export them if desired (to back them up or to share your settings with somebody else). Press the right arrow button to continue.

Step 7: the UpdateChecker

Finally, the built-in UpdateChecker will make sure you are using the most up-to-date DriverPacks. If it finds any new versions, make sure you download them first before you begin the integration.
Press the right arrow button to continue.

Step 8: slipstream!

If all is ready … Mash that "Slipstream!" button and let 'er rip!

Depending on the speed of your PC and the number of DriverPacks you are integrating, the slipstreaming process may take anywhere from 8 seconds to 5 minutes.

If you run into any errors, search the forums before you post your problem. Chances are someone has already encountered the same problem you have and someone else has already found the solution.
If all went well, then build your Windows source into an ISO file (using nLite or RyanVM Integrator), test it in a Virtual Machine (using VirtualPC, or VMWare) but remember that drivers won't install properly in a virtual environment, burn to CD-RW (mistakes are erasable!), and test on real live PC hardware. Make sure to give us feedback on your success/failure. Only your feedback will make these DriverPacks even better than they are now — we obviously cannot test everything for you, because then we'd need to have all hardware in existence.

We hope this tutorial was helpful. If you feel DriverPacks are a worthwhile investment, please donate to the cause.