There’s nothing more frustrating than needing to deploy an operating system to computers from your Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) server and receiving the error, “A connection to the deployment share (\\mdt\DeploymentShare) could not be made.” In this article, I’ll discuss several causes of this error, along with solutions to get you back up and deploying faster.

Kyle Beckman

Kyle Beckman works as a systems administrator in Atlanta, GA supporting Office 365 in higher education. He has 17+ years of systems administration experience.

Unless you’re creating offline media with the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) for your operating system deployment (OSD), you’ll probably run into network issues at some point because the clients you deploy have to access the MDT deployment share. This typically results in the error, “A connection to the deployment share (\\mdt\DeploymentShare) could not be made,” along with something more specific to help in tracking down the error. Here are a few of the most common errors I’ve encountered, along with solutions to fix them.

Network drivers ^

This one may sound totally obvious, but I’ve wanted to beat my head against the desk a few times when dealing with getting the right drivers for a system. If your MDT server doesn’t have the right drivers for a NIC, you may see, “The following networking device did not have a driver installed,” followed by a hardware ID.

The following network device did not have a driver installed

The following networking device did not have a driver installed.

Intel, Broadcom, and all the other network card manufacturers are really bad about making minor revisions to their hardware that require an updated version of the driver. Worse yet, some OEMs like to use the new chipset, especially in their non-Enterprise business/small business brands. The new network chipset driver is sometimes backward compatible with older revisions, and sometimes it isn’t. When in doubt, I always start with the OEM’s web site to see that I have the latest driver they’re supporting. That tends to resolve it 90% of the time. When it doesn’t, I’ll usually go to the network card manufacturer’s web site or do a search on the hardware ID to track down a current driver. Many times, the hardware manufacturer will have newer drivers than your OEM has.

Right drivers, wrong OS ^

Are you still deploying Windows 7? Are you using MDT 2013? If so, don’t forget that MDT 2013 uses Windows PE 5.0, which uses the same drivers as Windows 8.1.

If you deploy Windows 7 with MDT 2013, the computer boots into Windows PE 5.0, lays down the WIM file, injects drivers, and then reboots into Windows 7. Windows PE 5.0 may not require network drivers for a particular network chipset, but because Windows 7 doesn’t have the hardware drivers included, you’ll receive the “The following networking device did not have a driver installed” error right after Windows boots and realizes it doesn’t have the right driver installed.

Really fast modern hardware ^

If you’re deploying an OS to very new hardware running fast SSD drives, you could run into a problem I had recently. When the system booted into Windows for the first time, I received the error, “DHCP Lease was not obtained for any Networking device! Possible Cause: Check physical connection.”

DHCP Lease was not obtained for any Networking device! Possible Cause: Check physical connection.

Letting the deploy finish netted a nice yellow warning screen. I really prefer the Success screens that aren’t yellow.

Deployment Summary Success – DHCP Lease was not obtained for any Networking device!

Normally, I leave systems unattended when they are deploying because there’s no reason for me to sit and watch them. When I checked on this system, it had an IP address from the DHCP server. When I restarted the OS deploy and watched the system, it was receiving an IP address—just not fast enough.

As it turns out, the culprit was a combination of fast hardware and network setup. In this case, the DHCP server wasn’t on the same broadcast domain and was using an IP DHCP helper address so the systems on the network could get IP addresses. This introduced a delay that, coupled with the new/fast hardware, caused problems for OSD.

To fix this, you can make a simple edit to the LiteTouch.wsf file in the Scripts folder of your deployment share. Find “Function ValidateDeployRootWithRecovery” in the file and add “wscript.sleep 5000” to the file, as shown in this screenshot:

Edit LiteTouch.wsf to add wscript.sleep 5000

Edit LiteTouch.wsf to add wscript.sleep 5000.

I used 5000 (5 seconds), but your mileage may vary depending on your network and computer hardware. Feel free to set that number lower or higher depending on your experience. In my case, 5000 (5 seconds) fixed it every time and wasn’t enough of a delay to slow me down considerably.

DHCP issues ^

Various issues with your DHCP server can also cause the error, “DHCP Lease was not obtained for any Networking device! Possible Cause: Check physical connection.” If you’re using a dedicated network for OSD of new machines, check that your lease duration is set fairly low. You really don’t need a three-day lease for a system that isn’t going to be on that network for more than an hour or so. And, check the size of your address pool and ensure that it is large enough. If you have to deploy 75 machines and only have an address pool of 50 addresses with a lease time of three days, you’re going to run into problems.

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  1. Jago 2 years ago

    This small bit of code is a life saver!! This code also works with MDT 2013 Update 1.


  2. Josh from MMA Offshore 2 years ago

    thanks you sir, you're a legend for working this out and posting. WDS has really annoyed me with new hardware and the 'wscript.sleep 5000' I'm hoping will resolve the pesky "A connection to the deployment share could not be made" WDS error. I know the drivers are there as this error only appears on the WDS restart during the installing applications task sequence.

    FYI - I'm building new HP EliteOne 800 G2 i7 PC's with Samsung PRO SSD's and 8 gig of DDR4. These PC's fly along and the error has cropped up.



  3. Yan 2 years ago

    Thanks a lot!!!


  4. Paul 1 year ago

    So if Windows 7 is being deployed by mdt 2013 (using the windows 10 adk, so actually winpe 10, not 5 in this scenario) we'll need to download the windows 7 drivers for a model and import them, but also the Windows 10 drivers? Or just download the win10 network /usb drivers and import into the winpe wim, and the Windies 7 drivers only are ok as far as the inject drivers step goes during imaging?




  5. Tom 1 year ago

    Another option for this error or any other MDT2013 Error. Open Deployment workbench>Right click your deployment share(above applications) select Update deployment share and Completely regenerate the boot images. Then after it is completed open Windows deployment services. Find your Boot image>right click then select replace boot image. Replace with the boot image from your deployment share. The path is usually E:\MDTShare. Or a folder that was named creating your deployment share. Once in the share select Boot. Then Select LiteTouch_x64.wim and continue. Once done the issue should be resolved.


  6. Jonathan 11 months ago

    Hey Kyle,

    I am trying to deploying Windows 7 x64 to an intel NUC (D34010WY) model. It boots into PE and goes through the task sequence and deploys the windows 7 image - and just as it reboots into windows 7 and prepares the desktop, I get this same error message every time.

    "A connection to the deployment share (\\ServerName\ShareName$) could not be made. The following networking device did not have a driver installed. PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1559&SUBSYS_20548086&REV_04"

    So I know this is driver related, but I have attempted to inject drivers for both windows 7x64 and windows 10x64 for that Network card into both the winPE x64 and D34010WY folders in the Out-of-Box Drivers section in MDT 2013 Update 2, and nothing seems to make the difference. I've probably added too many drivers at this point, but i'm not sure what the problem is, so i just started adding drivers everywhere.

    Any insight you can give would be greatly appreciated!

    One more bit of detail. After adding drivers, I have always updated the deployment share and replaced the boot image in WDS and restarted the WDS service, but still with no luck.




    • Author
      Kyle Beckman 10 months ago

      Definitely a driver issue. Windows 7 is using a different driver than the Windows PE image that you're booting off of. It sounds like your Windows PE image has the right driver, but your Windows 7 image doesn't. If you're able to manually install the driver and continue the OSD process, you just need to get the driver injected during the OSD task.


  7. Danyaal 10 months ago

    Hi Kyle,

    I have been going mad for the past few weeks with a networking issue within my deployment.

    So, I am trying to deploy Windows 7 using MDT and WDS. When I PXE boot, and entered user credentials for the very first time it worked and the task sequence progressed and client computer successfully deployed. However, ever since this when I tried deploying again when entering user credentials I get an error saying 'invalid network path'. I have tried everything to fix this. I've regenerated the share, created a completely new one and even started it completely from scratch but it won't seem to get past user credentials after the first time.

    Any ideas would really be helpful! 🙂


  8. Ro 1 month ago

    Hi Kyle,

    I am trying to deploy Win10 Enterprise on a Surface Pro 4 and I am getting the "DHCP Lease was not obtained for any Networking device! Possible Cause: Check physical connection."

    However, when i'm opening the Device Manager I still see that there are plenty of yellow exclamation marks under "other devices" and the Ethernet Adapter is one of them.

    Am I looking at a missing driver issue or at my-hardware-is-too-new issue?



  9. hussein 3 weeks ago

    hi,Im trying to deploy WIN10 prox64 bt i'm getting "invalid credentials network path was not found" .

    Your help will b much appreciated?thanks


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