Friday, 14 October 2011

Lenovo Driver Installs via OS Deployment

Any tech unfortunate enough to have to visit Lenovo's driver page will agree it isn't the friendliest of places.  Kind of like my home town of Preston at about 2am on a Sunday morning; you only go there if you have to and get the hell out of there as quick as you can - and DON'T make eye contact with anyone!

The naming convention in non existent - unlike their competition such as Dell and HP who have meaningful, descriptive file names for their drivers and respective folders.

If you require a solution to deploy Lenovo drivers throughout your estate then don't despair - there is an answer.

In addition to the handy [yeah, don't do us any favors Lenovo] TVT System Updater tool they provide for individual clients they also developed the "Update Retriever" & "ThinInstaller" as part of their Think Vantage Toolkit (TVT) branded client tool solution.

To configure SCCM to deliver driver updates (it's also capable of MS updates but that's another story) there are a couple of solutions out there but this is the one I settled with:

Assumptions :
  • You have a deployment solution in place already with relevant TaskSequence - if not please see the wonderful WindowsNoob tutorials- big shout out to Niall Brady for this site - it's an invaluable resource to any SCCM tech.
  • You are proficient with SCCM
  • You know the machine type of the Lenovo machine you are using

  • Download the above software and install Update Retriever [UR] locally on your machine or the SCCM server.  Set it up and create a folder to act as the repository for the update and driver files and share it out - mines called "Update Retiever".  Tell UR to download to this folder (follow Lenovo's instructions if your struggling but it's straight forward)
  • Create a package in SCCM for ThinInstaller (TI) from the files that are extracted from the crappy compressed .exe you end up with and within the package create a program as below:
  1. Create a batch file and call it something meaningful like "copyfiles.bat"
  2. Within the batch file use the command: xcopy.exe \\SCCMSERVER\DISTRIBUTIONPOINT\PACKAGENAME\*.* c:\lenovo\thininstaller\ /E /D where SCCMSERVER = your servername/IP of server DISTRIBUTIONPOINT = the folder used for your DP packages (i.e. SMSPKGD$) and PACKAGENAME = the name of the package (i.e. LCT000B8).  This will copy the ThinInstaller software locally to the client as it needs to run from a local folder and doesn't extract and "install" as such.
  3. Create an "Install Software" task sequence entry under "State Restore" that calls the batch file "copyfiles.bat"
  • Create a "Run Command Line" task sequence and call it something like "Run ThinInstaller"
  • Use cmd line: cmd.exe /c thininstaller.exe /CM -search A -action INSTALL -repository \\SCCMSERVER\Update_Retriever  -noicon -includerebootpackages 1,2,3,4 -noreboot *don't forget to change this path to suit your config.
  • Start in: c:\lenovo\thininstaller -this is where the files were copied to.
  • Time-out - 120
This should now enable the client to run ThinInstaller locally and pull over all the relevant drivers for that model.


  1. Hi

    is there a way to ensure that bios update happens automagically during TS?
    I assume it still forces a prompt when running a TS?

    I JUST got thininstaller to work.. like today.. and haven't had a chance to see a physical laptop run the full TS..

  2. Oh .. and I had much more luck using 2 bat files instead of a TS step that just runs cmd.exe /r etc etc.

    I created 1 package with 2 programs.. 1 bat file to copy thininstaller & 1 bat file to run it.

    I had to share the folder with my downloaded drivers (bios) even though it was shared via \\server\blabla\blabla.. when I shared the folder directly and used \\server\bios$ it worked..

    1. Hi Martin,

      Sorry I took a while to reply. I'm so glad this has worked for you. How have you found it? We no longer use it here - another project I spent ages on and got shelved!!


Let me know if this helped.

I'd really appreciate any comments (well, only nice ones) so please feel free to let me know what you think of the blog and also ask for further help...