File Version Equals Rule

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Hi again, in this blog post I will discuss how you can use the file version equals rule to verify the driver versions for all your hardware in your computer.

Enterprise pc’s usually have a small group of particular hardware and then a windows SOE (standard operating environment) is developed so that windows looks and behaves the same across all computers in the business.

The advantage of this is that once the hardware and software is confirmed working, then it will work for everyone in an organisation. If a problem is detected it will normally effect everyone and can then be resolved for everyone at the same time. The alternative is that every computer will be having once off errors and support would be a nightmare.

These days with free tools like MDT even small to medium size business can take advantage of the reduced support costs associated with standardising configurations.

When integrating a new computer into the SOE a lot of testing to performed to confirm that all the hardware is working as expected. Normally all the hardware is updated to the latest drivers from the vendor and then the functionality is tested. For example with a laptop video drivers will be tested to confirm that the image is displaying properly on the standard monitor’s connected to the docking station and connected to the external video ports. If there are multiple video ports then they will all be tested to confirm that they are working as expected. The laptop will be connected to a projector to confirm it can output the image successfully. Another example is that the network driver for the wifi, will need to confirm that it can successfully connect to different wireless access points. It is not uncommon for there to be an issue with some of the functionality of the hardware with a particular driver version, and multiple drivers will need to be tested to confirm that it is working as expected.

Now after all that testing the end user (if they have the rights) or IT support staff could come along and update all the drivers to the latest versions, which could potentially create an issue. A support ticket would then be created about the particular issue they are having.

System Integrity Inspector software can be used to confirm not just that the driver is the correct tested version but can confirm all the settings in the SOE, greatly reducing the time troubleshooting issues.

To confirm that the network driver is the correct version first you need find the driver file for the hardware. If you go into system information, and click on components, you can see all the hardware in the computer. If for example you click on Network and then adapter you will see the main driver file listed.

You can use this information to create a file version equals rule in System Integrity Inspector and then you can use this rule along with other settings you want to test to run on individual systems to confirm that they are compliant with the SOE.

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