A. Windows has a DevicePath registry setting that tells it where to look for drivers (and, with Windows 7, it also checks with Windows Update). You can update this DevicePath to look in locations other than the default of %SystemRoot%\inf. To add a network path, do the following:

  1. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe).
  2. Move to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.
  3. Double-click DevicePath.
  4. Add the new location after the existing one with a semicolon separating them. For example, your entry may become

  5. %SystemRoot%\inf;\\savdalbfs01\drivers
  6. Click OK and exit the registry editor.

You don't want to do this manually on a large number of machines, so you can push this update with a script or custom group policy template.