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Using HP Proliant Broadcom NICs in WinPE

June 7, 2012 7 comments

We recently got in a new HP Proliant BL460c Gen8 blade with the HP 530FLB NIC. It’s a great piece of hardware but using the NIC in WinPE is not much fun.  We recently started using MDT to deploy Windows servers now but no matter what I did I could not get the NIC driver to load in WinPE.

Even though the drivers were imported into MDT and I had rebuilt my boot images it would not load.  Finally I ran HP’s driver installation utility from inside WinPE and it came up.  That’s when I discovered that the NIC needs the HP Virtual Bus Device driver loaded before it can load the NIC driver.  Looking at the PnP IDs that the driver supports I noticed they all start with b06bdrv\l2nd instead of the usual pci_<VenID>.  This is because the NIC virtual sits on top of another device. 

So why not just load the HP Virtual Bus Device in MDT?  That’s what I did but the HP Virtual Bus Device is a system-class driver and by default MDT does not copy system-class drivers into the boot images.  image

Sure you can configure it to add them but then your boot images will get much larger.  My solution was to instead put a copy of the HP Virtual Bus Device (evbd.inf) driver into my MDT boot image using the “Extra directory to add” feature in MDT.  I also imported the NIC drivers into MDT as I normally do. 

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Once the boot image loads press F8 to open a new command window. Navigate to the folder you added to the MDT boot image (it should be right off the root) and enter drvload evbd.inf. After a few seconds the driver will load and the NIC should now be active. It’s not an ideal solution but since we don’t deploy a lot of these servers it works for me.  This same process would also apply to some of the other Broadcom NICs used in HP blades and servers like the NC373i and NC382i. 

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Categories: Deployment, HP, MDT, Windows Tags: , , ,
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