Slow driver import and package bloat with Configuration Manager 2012 R2 SP1

2017-12-11T11:03:16+00:00 September 11th, 2015|Azure, Cloud, Windows|

System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 SP1 introduced a new issue when importing drivers through the SCCM console.  When running through the driver import Wizard and selecting the folder to import drivers from, the Wizard then takes an age to evaluate the drivers.  For a typical Lenovo T540p laptop driver set, this was taking anything up to 15 minutes to complete this step of the wizard before progressing.

N.B.  Drivers for the Lenovo T540p were not simply imported from the Lenovo SCCM package downloaded from Lenovo’s support site.  Each driver was manually installed on a freshly imaged laptop to confirm suitability and then added to a master driver folder for the laptop model.  This folder was then imported into SCCM.  Incidentally, with the Lenovo T540p, the OSD process for Windows 7 along with Windows 7 drivers completed successfully (albeit a lot slower than normal).  However, for Windows 8.1, the package bloat was such that the all drivers failed to install; presumably because the process timed out.  This was traced to a large number of .inf files within the Intel chipset driver folder.  Once removed and re-imported, OSD for Windows 8.1 completed successfully.

Once the driver import wizard had been completed, drivers imported and added to the package and distribution points updated, the laptop was built using the amended OSD task sequence.  It was here we saw a repeatable and consistent lengthy delay when the driver package was downloading to the device – a lot longer than usual.

Closer inspection revealed a significantly larger driver package than the original master driver source – 5-600MB source compared to 2GB package!

The problem was tracked to multiple folders being created for each .inf in a driver source with a copy of the entire folder placed in each.  As can be seen, this can quickly escalate out of control.

The original fix was hoped to be included in CU1 for System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 SP1 – https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3074857 – but this did not solve the problem.  Driver bloat still occurred after CU1 was applied.  A workaround was to import the drivers using PowerShell and then add the imported drivers to the driver package from within the console.

Microsoft have now released a fix for this issue:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3084586

This hotfix requires CU1 for System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 2 installed.

Hope this helps.