As a work around I used a Surface Ethernet Adapter (any USB Ethernet should work as long as you have it in WINPE and inject it in the task sequence before it tries to apply the OS) and a USB boot drive. This got the image deployed. I was missing 4 drivers NIC, NFC, and two others. I pointed the device manager at the extracted driver .cab from Dell and pnp detected and installed the missing drivers.
The problem with using a USB ethernet adapter, is that SCCM ties the MAC address to all clients that use that adapter. The only way I know of at the moment to correct this is after the client is imaged and the SCCM client is registered, is to manually uninstall and re-install the SCCM client. I don't really like having to remember to do this and all of my machines wind up remote and not easily accessible.
It's been suggested to me that using Win Pe 5.1 fixes the drvload issue, currently copying up my Wim to SCCM to test this. Will let you know how I get on
Solution for you guys, as helped by dell support:
1) Install Windows ADK (www.microsoft.com/.../details.aspx), selecting WinPE
2)Take the WinPE.wim file from the install directory (C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\en-us) and place in an easy to remember directory
3)Download the drivers direct from intel (https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/23073/Network-Adapter-Driver-for-Windows-Server-2012-R2) and run the installer.
4)Extract the network drivers from the temporary folder that is created. You are looking for the NDIS63 and 64 folders
5)Copy these drivers to an easy to remember location
6)Using DISM mount WinPE and import the network drivers from the driver location
7)Unmount the WinPE Wim image, and from there import into SCCM 2012
8)Apply the Image to the relevant task sequence and boot
My issue is a bit different I guess. By downloading the drivers from Intel and injecting them into my WinPE boot package I am able to PXE boot. The problem I'm running into is after the PE phase, the NIC driver doesn't get installed either from the package I made from the Dell .cab or from the driver package I built based on the Intel download.
With respect to the .cab files, we ensure we include only well tested versions of drivers. Based on the environment they run, drivers present different issues hence we only include drivers that are tried and tested. We will make a working driver available as soon as possible. Meanwhile glad to know there are some workarounds available.
As always we are here to listen to your issues and provide solution on a timely fashion.