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#1 [Guide] Integration of drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by Fernando 15.01.2015 14:37

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@ all users, who want to install Win7, Win8.1 or Win10:

Introduction:
When you are going to do a fresh OS install, it is a good idea to customize the original OS image by integrating the things you need or like to use (special drivers, additional hotfixes, features etc). This way you will save time and may avoid some troubles (see below) while doing all this later, that means once the OS is already up and running.
The easiest and safest way to customize an OS image from Win7 up is to use a special tool. My favorite one is NTLite (>LINK<), which has been developed by our Forum member and nLite maker nuhi. The free version of NTLite is able to do all the needed operations for this guide, including the removal and addition of special mass storage drivers like the Intel RST ones.

Here is a guide about how to to do it:


Integration of Drivers
(incl. AHCI/RAID/NVMe/USB)

into a Windows Image
by using NTLite


Guide for Win7, Win8/8.1 and Win10 (32/64bit)


Last updated: 09/05/2017


Changelog:
  • Updated:
    • Parts of the Guide (due to NTLite v1.4)
    • All inserted pictures

General notes regarding this guide:
  • The current guide version and its inserted pictures are based on NTLite v1.4 Build 5537. Although I am trying to keep my guide up-to-date promptly after major NTLite updates, I cannot exclude, that there are some differences between the pictures of this guide and the GUI of your used NTLite version/Build.
  • To demonstrate the procedure how to remove an in-box driver from a Windows Image and how to insert another driver into it, I have chosen a practical example, which may be helpful for Intel RAID users with an older Intel RAID system (up to 7-Series Chipsets), who want to use the best performing "classical" Intel RST driver v11.2.0.1006 named iaStor.sys from scratch instead of the in-box Intel RST(e) driver 12.0.1.1019 named iaStorAV.sys (Win8) resp. v15.44.0.1015 named iaStorAVC.sys (latest Win10 Build).
  • If you are missing anything within the guide or should somewhere find a mistake or a lack of clarity, please send me a PM. Thanks in advance!



I. Preparations

This is what you need:
  1. the latest available Build of the newest stable NTLite version (you can get it >here<)
    It is recommended to choose the tool architecture (32/64bit) to be the one of your host Windows OS (which you are currently running).
  2. the OS image you want to customize (either as ISO file or as content of a bootable OS DVD/USB Flash drive, the "Sources" folder should contain a boot.wim and an install.wim file) and
  3. the desired AHCI/RAID/NVMe drivers and other device drivers you want to integrate into the OS image (usually available >here< or >here<).

Further preparations:
  • Create a new folder outside the OS partition and give it any name (e.g. D:\NTLite-Works).
  • Copy the content of the Windows installation DVD/USB or - if using an ISO file - extract it (by using a tool like 7-Zip or WinRAR) into the just created folder.
  • Install NTLite onto your computer.



II. Working with NTLite

This is what you should do:
  • A. Start NTLite
    1. First steps:
      • Run NTLite.
        Now you will see the NTLite GUI Interface similar to this picture (Note: you can enlarge all screenshots by clicking onto them):
      • If you want to change the language of the NTLite GUI (English is DEFAULT), you can do it this way:
        Click onto the NTLite Menu point "File", choose "Settings", click onto the drop-down menu, which is underneath the word "Language", choose your favorite one and click "OK".
    2. Choosing the target directory:
      • Click onto the "Add" field from the Toolbar, navigate to the folder, where you copied/extracted the original OS image files, and click "Select Folder".
      • After having expanded the "Boot/Setup" string (leads to the BOOT.WIM) on the right hand side, you will see a picture like this:
  • B. Customization of the INSTALL.WIM and BOOT.WIM

    Important infos regarding INSTALL.WIM and BOOT.WIM:
    • The file named INSTALL.WIM (or INSTALL.ESD, if even more compressed and encrypted) is very voluminous, because it contains the complete OS data in compressed form. That is why this file has to be customized, if the user wants to use a special third party driver from scratch or want to avoid the usage of a special in-box driver. Since the INSTALL.WIM may contain more than 1 OS Image Edition (example: Win10 Home and Win10 Pro), you have to pay attention which of them you want to customize. If you want to customize more than 1 image, you have to repeat the procedure with the other one(s) later on (see below).
    • The file named BOOT.WIM contains just the data, which are required for the first part of the OS Setup. Most important are the so-called "textmode/F6 drivers", which are required for the detection of the connected storage/USB disk drives resp. the management of the on-board AHCI/RAID/NVMe/USB3 Controllers at this early stage of the OS Setup. That is why a driver customization of the BOOT.WIM file is absolutely required, if the user wants either to boot off otherwise unsupported hardware or to force the usage of a better storage/USB driver from scratch.
    • Since the storage/USB drivers are in both image files (INSTALL.WIM and BOOT.WIM), both of them have to be customized.

    1. Loading of the desired Windows Image Edition
      • If not already done, expand the NTLite processing folder part "Operating Systems | install.wim".
      • Right-click onto the Windows Image Edition you want to customize (here: Windows 10 Pro x64 "Creator's Update") and click onto the "Load" option.
      • After having finished the loading process, the line with the chosen Operating System Image Edition will look like this:
    2. Integration of the desired drivers into the chosen Windows Image
      (here:Intel RST RAID driver v11.2.0.1006)
      • Click within the leftmost side of the NTLite GUI onto "Drivers" (to find among the "Integrate" options) and then onto the "Add" field from the Toolbar.
        Note: If you click onto the "+" sign of the "Add" field, NTLite will open the Explorer straight ahead. If you click onto the downwards arrow at the bottom of the "Add" field, you can choose between the options "Drivers (INF selection)" and "Folder with multiple drivers". The first option should be taken, if you want to integrate just a specific INF file, which is inside the related driver folder. This way you can skip the later on delition of unwanted INF files (see next steps).
      • Navigate to the folder, which contains your desired driver (e.g. an Intel RAID one), and click "Select Folder".
      • Now you will see the related driver and, after having expanded it, the associated INF files within the middle NTLite GUI window:
      • If you don't want to integrate all offered INF files (e.g. the iaAHCI.inf for the AHCI driver and the iaStor.inf for the RAID driver), you can remove the unwanted INF file by right clicking onto it and choosing "Remove".
      • This procedure can be repeated for other device drivers you want to get integrated into the Windows Image.
    3. Optional: Removal of unwanted in-box drivers from the chosen Windows Image
      (here: Win10 in-box Intel RST(e) RAID driver v13.2.0.1022)

      Info: This step makes sure that your integrated and potentially older driver will replace Microsoft's default in-box driver.
      Warning: Be careful with component removals and read the page warning. By the way: Driver removals are a bit safer than other removals.
      • Click onto "Components" on the leftmost side of the NTLite GUI Interface.
      • Expand (do not uncheck!) on the right hand side the section "Drivers", then the related sub-section (here: "Storage Controllers") and at last the sub-sub-section, where the related INF file is listed (here: "Intel Corporation | iaStorAV.inf").
      • Uncheck the listed INF file you want to remove (here: "Intel Corporation | iaStorAV.inf").
        Note: If the desired removal should fail due to a "LOCKED by the HOST machine" message (this is an NTLite feature to prevent the creation of an unbootable Windows LIVE medium), you should click onto the "Compatibility" button, which is shown within the Toolbar while working on the removal of "Components". Then uncheck the "Host Machine", which is listed within the section "Machine support (Hardware lists)" and click onto "OK".
      • After having done this, in my example the middle NTLite window looked like this picture:
    4. Optional: Using other NTLite features
      • At this point you have the possibility to add Windows hotfixes and Windows features (like .NET 3.5) into the loaded Windows Image Edition.
    5. Selection of additional NTLite tasks regarding other Image Editions
      • Click onto "Apply" on the leftmost side of the NTLite GUI.
        After having done that, you will get a totally changed picture. In my case it looked like this:
      • At this point you have the option to multiply selected tasks to other INSTALL.WIM and BOOT.WIM Image Editions with the result, that they will be executed automaticly by NTLite (later on after having pressed the "Process" button). So you don't have to load each Image Edition separately and to repeat the process manually.
        This is what you should do:

          [li]Expand the "Image Process queue" in the middle of the NTLite GUI. Now you will see a list with different tasks.
        • Expand all sub-sections of the listed tasks, which you want to be executed by NTLite.
          This is the related screenshot I got:


          As you can see, some tasks are already checked and greyed out. In my example it are the tasks "Remove - Components" and "Integrate - Drivers" for the already loaded INSTALL.WIM Image Edition 1 (here: Windows 10 Pro).
        • Now you can select the desired Windows Image Editions, which should be additionally processed and can choose the related tasks by checking the blank box in front of them.
          Important: Don't forget to check the related tasks for the BOOT.WIM Image named "Windows Setup", if you want to insert or remove any AHCI, RAID, NVMe or USB driver.
          Optional: If you want to get the same tasks executed with another INSTALL.WIM Image Edition (here: Win10 Home), just check the related tasks.
          This is how the related NTLite GUI should look, if you want to get the same tasks done with the "Windows Setup" Image as with the INSTALL.WIM Image Edition(s):
        • ISO file creation: If you want to get an ISO file at the end, you should now check the option "Create ISO", which will be done by NTLite as the final step after having executed all the other tasks.
  • C. Execution of the Tasks by NTLite

    Tip: Before starting this task you should temporarily disable your currently running Antivirus Software to speed up NTLite's work.

    • This is what you have to do:
      • To execute and finalize all previously checked tasks, you just have to press the round "Process" button from the Toolbar and confirm it by hitting onto the "Yes" button.
      • Now NTLite will execute automaticly one after the other all the requested customization tasks (and additionally the creation of the ISO file, if you had checked the option).
        You can see the progress within the right NTLite GUI window. If you are using the Free version of NTLite, you may have to hit "OK" after NTLite has completed all tasks regarding a certain Image.
      • If everything worked fine, you will get this final success picture:
    • Finalization
      • Provided, that you don't need an ISO file or got it already, you can now close the NTLite GUI.
      • You will find the unmounted customized OS image within the previously chosen NTLite processing folder (e.g. D:\NTLite-Works).
      • If you should need an ISO file with the customized OS image, look into chapter D.
  • D. Optional: Creation of an ISO file
    • Automatic procedure:
      • If you have checked the "Create ISO image" option according Chapter B, that means before clicking onto the "Process" button, you will immediately get a popup window, where you can choose the storage destination, the name of the ISO file and its label.
        The ISO file generation itself will be automaticly done by NTLite as last step, that means after having finished all other tasks.
      • If everything worked fine, you will get the above shown final success picture.
    • Manual procedure:
      • If you should have forgotten to check the "Create ISO Image" option before having clicked onto the "Process" button, you can get the ISO file nevertheless.
        This is what you have to do:
        • If you have already closed NTLite, re-run it.
          This is what you will see:
        • Right-click onto the shown NTLite-Work folder and choose the option "Create ISO image".
        • Choose the name and the storage location of the ISO file and click onto the "OK" button.


Managing the ISO file containing the customized OS Image
  1. You will find the customized ISO file within the storage folder you had chosen.
  2. Now you can either burn a bootable DVD or create a bootable USB Flash Drive with a tool like Rufus.
  3. Install the OS and enjoy the performance and stability of your system by having integrated the "best" drivers for your special system.

Good luck!
Fernando

#2 RE: [Guide] Integration of AHCI/RAID drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by nuhi 16.01.2015 22:18

Fernando, great guide! It will come in handy for easily integrating drivers, and more importantly to assure which driver version is used by the system.

Also this is a great forum in general, my go-to place to update (or downgrade) specific drivers to best possible.
Fernando and I go a way back, I'm glad that we can have fun again.

Thanks,
nuhi

#3 RE: [Guide] Integration of AHCI/RAID drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by Fernando 16.01.2015 23:22

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Hello nuhi,

it is a great pleasure for me to welcome you here as a member of the Win-RAID Forum!
Thank you very much for your kind words.

Best wishes and greetings
Dieter (alias Fernando)

#4 RE: [Guide] Integration of AHCI/RAID drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by Nemo 18.01.2015 14:40

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Hi Fernando,

My brother has got a Lenovo X220 Laptop with win7-x64 Pro on it.
(ICH9-M; Controller Intel(R) Mobile Express Chipset SATA AHCI Controller (iaStor.sys/v11.2.0.1006, iaStorV.sys/v8.6.2.1014)).

I hope to get my X220 in a few days and want to install Win8.12-x64 ProWMC.

Do you recommend the procedure described above for my X220?
Recommended Intel driver?

Regards, Nemo

PS: Thanks for the hint on win-lite.de!

#5 RE: [Guide] Integration of AHCI/RAID drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by Fernando 18.01.2015 15:12

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Hello Nemo,

I am glad to meet old friends like you here - welcome at Win-RAID Forum!

Zitat von Nemo im Beitrag #4
Do you recommend the procedure described above for my X220?
Yes, but the removal of the iaStorAV.sys will not be necessary, because you probably will run the notebook in AHCI and not in RAID mode.

Zitat
Recommended Intel driver?

If I were you, I would integrate the Intel RST driver v11.2.0.1006 WHQL.
Once the OS is up, you can update to a modded Intel RST(e) AHCI driver (latest recommended: v12.9.4.1000 mod), if you should be not satisfied with the latest "classical" Intel RST driver.

Kind regards
Dieter (alias Fernando)

#6 RE: [Guide] Integration of AHCI/RAID drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by grml4d 19.01.2015 10:41

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Zitat von nuhi im Beitrag #2
Fernando, great guide! It will come in handy for easily integrating drivers, and more importantly to assure which driver version is used by the system.
Also this is a great forum in general, my go-to place to update (or downgrade) specific drivers to best possible.
Fernando and I go a way back, I'm glad that we can have fun again.
hi nuhi ;']
nice to see you here, i am your msfn-observed&edited friend aka sixcentgeorge ;']
all your posts are very clean.... if i should compare yours and mine : black matter against the bing-bang...
beside that i hope your post counter to rise and shine [ from Mr G in hl2....] Mr Nuhi [ or should i say Neuilly [ its the highest money place near paris , previous president was mayor of tthis town , where the mother of children of current french president and minister is having her home...] ?]

i hope you laughed and be back here where some guys are very good in windows and mobos

#7 RE: [Guide] Integration of AHCI/RAID drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by Nemo 22.01.2015 01:51

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Zitat von Fernando im Beitrag #5
... If I were you, I would integrate the Intel RST driver v11.2.0.1006 WHQL. ...

Hello Fernando,
Thanks for your advice.
Before my X220 arrived yesterday, WinToolkit helped me to prepare an USB stick with all Updates for Windows 8.12 ProWMC according to my thread on Win-Lite.de and all actual updates and the mentioned Intel driver.
The installation was successful.

Kind regards
Nemo

#8 RE: [Guide] Integration of AHCI/RAID drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by megatron 03.02.2015 02:01

Did anyone else have trouble getting the update list into windows update downloader? I watched a youtube vid and then read a guide and learned you need to double click the update list. It doesn't make it obvious when the actual website skips this small tip and the icon is just plain white. I think it needs to be written on the website itself. I fully expected that the + sign would allow me to point to the file on my hard drive.

It seems insignificant but I'd rather not have wasted more than 30min trying to figure that out.

#9 RE: [Guide] Integration of AHCI/RAID drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by megatron 04.02.2015 18:16

On the install.wim I had 3 missing drivers which is fine, but on the boot.wim I have 17. This may be a reason why my last ISO on USB stick was not loading windows setup, could have been an unchecked storage controller driver too. I wouldn't need these drivers yet till it boots windows desktop. The guide just talks about iastorav which is needed in boot.wim and install.wim.

#10 RE: [Guide] Integration of AHCI/RAID drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by Fernando 04.02.2015 18:45

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Zitat von megatron im Beitrag #9
On the install.wim I had 3 missing drivers which is fine, but on the boot.wim I have 17.
The reason is, that the install.wim natively contains much more drivers than the boot.wim. The detailed hardware detection and the installation of the appropriate drivers takes place, when the OS Setup already works with the install.wim. The boot.wim just needs the so-called F6 drivers for the detection and management of the boot drive (with your OS image) and the system drive, where the OS shall be installed.

Zitat
The guide just talks about iastorav which is needed in boot.wim and install.wim.

No, my guide can be used for the integration of all drivers (not only the F6 ones), but the integration of an F6 driver into the boot.wim and install.wim may be absolutely necessary to get the OS proper running with the desired AHCI or RAID driver.

#11 RE: [Guide] Integration of AHCI/RAID drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by daddioj 02.03.2015 03:03

wow i have not seen Nlite in years!! glad its still around. XP days it was the greatest

#12 RE: [Guide] Integration of AHCI/RAID drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by Fernando 02.03.2015 09:18

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@ daddioj:
Welcome at Win-RAID Forum!

Zitat von daddioj im Beitrag #11
wow i have not seen Nlite in years!! glad its still around.
There are still a lot of XP users, even with brandnew hardware.

Regards
Dieter (alias Fernando)

#13 RE: [Guide] Integration of AHCI/RAID drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by EmmaRoyd 26.03.2015 23:51

xp 32bit works a treat on amd a88x fm2+ kaveri

#14 RE: [Guide] Integration of drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by megatron 30.03.2015 06:52

"Optional: Let NTLite create an ISO file as final step"

To make this guide more idiot proof, I would say that creating an ISO image is not optional. Or if its optional at this point (I read optional as ignore) then an additional step should be written in the case you didn't make an iso while the image was loaded.

I saw the option in the program to "create iso" after I had finished compiling the image, but I loaded the image again to tick the appropriate box as I had used that method before and it worked.

This wouldn't have happened if I was not trying to skim read.

#15 RE: [Guide] Integration of drivers into a Win7/8/10 image by Fernando 30.03.2015 13:25

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Zitat von megatron im Beitrag #14
"Optional: Let NTLite create an ISO file as final step"
To make this guide more idiot proof, I would say that creating an ISO image is not optional. Or if its optional at this point (I read optional as ignore) then an additional step should be written in the case you didn't make an iso while the image was loaded.
An option is an offer, but neither something to ignore nor a "must do".
Some NTLite users may just want the customized image files, but don't need an ISO file. Furthermore even users, who want/need an ISO file, have the option either to let NTLite do the job or to use a third party imaging tool like UltraISO. So there is no need to start the NTLite processing from scratch, if you want an ISO file, but forgot to check the related NTLite option.
To avoid future problems I have renamed this step to "Optional, but recommended: Let NTLite create an ISO file as final step".
Is this ok for you?

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