Driver Feed Advisor

Driver Feed Advisor


Driver Feed Advisor (DFA) is a command line tool designed to provide an accurate path for the machine from which it is run for the K2000 Driver Feed.  This tool can be run in several different ways through the K2000, K1000, or standalone.  Note that when this tool is utilized from the K1000 or standalone it will reach out to service.kace.com and download the newest version of drvstr.cfg.  This file is part of the tools used by the K2000’s Driver Feed.  However, when utilizing DFA from the K2000, this file is not downloaded as it will use the version of drvstr.cfg currently on the K2000 (which may not be up to date).  Learn how to update your Driver Feed tools with the following Knowledge Base article:https://support.quest.com/kace-systems-deployment-appliance/kb/118804/



As a standalone tool, simply open a command prompt in the location of the executable and type driverfeed_advisor.exe.  The driver feed path of the current hardware and Operating System will output directly to the console as well as write a log file to %systemdrive%\ProgramData\Dell\KACE.



You can also take advantage of DFA from the K1000.  Using a combination File Synchronization or Scripting, Custom Inventory, and Reporting you can produce a concise list of all Driver Feed paths required for the devices and Operating Systems in your environment.


In order to run DFA remotely from the K1000 you will first want to push the executable to all of your Windows devices.  Scripting is the quickest method as it does not require a K1000 Agent check-in in order to run.  The following instructions will walk you through creating a script:


1.      Within your K1000 Admin UI, navigate to Scripting > Scripts

2.    From the Choose Action dropdown select New

3.    On the Script Detail page enter the following information:

a.    Name: Copy Driver Feed Advisor

b.    Enabled: Check the box

c.     Type: Online K-Script

d.    Deploy: None

e.    Operating Systems: Uncheck Select Specific Operating Systems and Select Windows

f.      (Alternate) Operating Systems: Select specific Windows OSes for deployment

g.    Windows Run As: Local System

h.    Notify: None

i.      Schedule: None

j.      Dependencies:  Select New Dependency and navigate to driverfeed_advisor.exe

k.    Tasks: Select New Task

l.      Under On Success, select Run a batch file

m.  Script Name: copy_dfa.bat

n.    Batch file: xcopy driverfeed_advisor.exe %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\dell\kace /y

o.    Wait for Completion: Check the box

p.    Click Save Changes under the Batch Script

q.    Click Save to complete your Script

4.    To run your Script on demand, navigate to Scripting > Run Now

5.    Select Copy Driver Feed Advisor from the dropdown

6.    Under Labels select a label of Windows devices you wish to deploy to or manually select a group of devices

7.     Click Run Now

8.    Click Save


Once the Script has completed you may progress to the next step in order to create the Custom Inventory rule necessary to collect the output from DFA.  Custom Inventory allows you to gather information about devices that the Agent does not already gather.  In this instance, we will be running DFA silently and collecting the console output and displaying that in Device Inventory. 


1.     Within your K1000 Admin UI, navigate to Inventory > Software

2.    From the Choose Action dropdown select New

3.    On the Software Detail page enter the following information:

a.    Name: K2000 Driver Feed Path – CIF

b.    Publisher: CUSTOM

c.     Supporting Operating Systems:  Select the Windows Operating Systems you wish to have this Custom Inventory running on

d.    Custom Inventory Rule:

ShellCommandTextReturn(%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Dell\kace\driverfeed_advisor.exe /k2name:kace2000)

e.    NOTE:  After the /k2name: enter the name of your K2000

f.      Click Save

4.    Click back into your new Custom Inventory record and note the ID# at the end of the URL.  You will need this later for reporting.

5.    Within your K1000 Admin UI, navigate to Inventory > Devices

6.    Select a few devices that you know already have DFA

7.     From the Choose Action dropdown select Force Inventory (NOTE:  Do not perform this function on large numbers of devices)

8.    Once the inventory cycle has completed, navigate into one of your selected devices

9.    On the Device Detail page, locate the Software section and expand Custom Inventory Fields

10. Your new Custom Inventory should now show the Driver Feed path for that device

11.  Check a few other device/Operating System combinations to make sure that Custom Inventory is working as intended


Now that you have Script and Custom Inventory setup, you will want to make sure that all your desired devices get DFA and then complete a Custom Inventory cycle.  This might take a few days to ensure that all devices have completed both actions.  Once you are satisfied with the amount of data gathered, it is time to take advantage of your K1000s reporting capabilities!  While you can definitely pull the Driver Feed information out of the K1000 using a Wizard based report, we are going to use a custom SQL report to process and filter our information into a useful report.


1.     Within your K1000 Admin UI, navigate to Reporting > Reports

2.    From the Choose Action dropdown select New (SQL)

3.    On the Report Detail page enter the following information:

a.    Name: K2000 Driver Feed Paths – Total Devices

b.    Description: K2000 Driver Feed Paths gathered by Driver Feed Advisor.  Displayed and grouped up by Manufacturer, Model, and Operating System combination.  Also displays total # of devices per Driver Feed.

c.     Category:  Select New Category and type: K2000 (or select K2000 if you already have that category)

d.    SQL:  Copy the following custom SQL













e.    Find the line that ends with SOFTWARE_ID = 'XXXX' and modify the ID# to be the ID# of your Custom Inventory. (Note that your ID# may be more or less total digits).

f.      Click Save

4.    Find and run your report!




Driver Feed Advisor can be utilized by the K2000 as well inside a K2000 Boot Environment (KBE).  To use DFA within a KBE, use KBE Manipulator or later to have driver feed advisor automatically inserted and run.  The output will show up in the startnet.cmd command window and output a file to x:\windows\temp.


When DFA is run manually within a KBE, it needs the /kbe switch: driverfeed_advisor.exe /kbe.

This switch tells DFA to load the registry of the operating system on the hard drive and find out what version of Windows is currently installed on the drive, and use that information to determine the path.  If no operating system is found then the text ‘OSNotFoundonLocalDrive’ will show in place of the KACE operating system path.  If this happens, or if you have an older version of Windows on the drive and want to see the path of a different Windows Operating System, then you can use one of the switches below.


/wxp = Windows XP

/wvista = Windows Vista

/w7 = Windows 7

/w8 = Windows 8

/w81 = Windows 8.1

/w10 = Windows 10

/w2k3 = Windows Server 2003

/w2k8 = Windows Server 2008

/w2k12 = Windows Server 2012


So an example command line for a Windows 10 Driver Feed path would look like:

driverfeed_advisor.exe /kbe /w10. 


Note that the architecture used within the Driver Feed Path is gathered based on what KBE you are running DFA within. 


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