How To: VMWare and Windows Deployment Services

In an attempt to make this as easy as possible, here is the quick and dirty on how to get your virtual machines to boot and see the WDS server. This documentation covers both the creation of boot and capture images.

It is assumed that you have a working WDS server and are familiar with the administration (adding boot images, capture images, etc.) and that you have the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) installed on the WDS server.

Step 1. Acquire the VMware network drivers

The easiest way to do this is launch the VMware Tools installer on a virtual machine. On the VMware Server Console file menu, select VM, then select Install VMware Tools (if the installer automatically starts, just cancel and then browse the CD). Copy the contents of the D:program filesVMwareVMware ToolsDriversvmxnetwin2k folder (where D: is your mounted CD drive in the virtual machine) to a folder on the WDS server (in this case to c:vmnetdrivers directory). The files will be, vmware-nic.inf,, vmxnet.inf, and vmxnet.sys. Or you can just download them here

Step 2. Prepare the WDS server for image servicing

mkdir c:mountedimages

Step 3. Disable the boot.wim image in WDS

Open the WDS console and locate the boot image that you want to add drivers to in the WDS image store. Right-click, select “disable”

Step 4. Mount the boot.wim image

Open a command prompt and path your way to the waikToolsx86 directory and type the following:

imagex /mountrw D:RemoteInstallBootx86Imagesboot.wim 2 c:mountedimages

Note: This command should be all on one line (blog text justification). The number two (2) designates the image number within the wim file. There are two images in the default boot.wim. One contains a generic winpe 2.0 image and the second contains the binaries and is bootable. This is required for the command to complete.

Step 5. Add the vmware drivers to the image

You will need to get to the peimg.exe command which is in the waikToolsPETools folder. From the command prompt that you already have open, type:

cd ..PETools

To add the first of the two required drivers type:

peimg /inf=c:vmnetdriversvmxnet.inf c:mountedimagesWindows

Note: c:wmnetdrivers is the folder on the WDS server where you copied the contents of the win2k directory from the virtual machine’s CD rom drive in step 1.

To add the second of the two required drivers type:

peimg /inf=c:vmnetdriversvmware-nic.inf c:mountedimagesWindows

Step 6. Unmount the image

From the command prompt that you still have open, you will need to get back to the waikToolsx86 folder. Type:

cd ..x86

imagex /unmount /commit c:mountedimages

Step 7. Re-enable the image in WDS as a boot image

In the WDS console, right-click the boot image you previously disabled and select “enable”. Restart WDS server once the image add completes.

You can now test by pxe booting to the WDS server and select the boot image you just patched.

The final piece to this entire procedure will be to add the ability to capture your VM’s back to the WDS server for re-deployment later.

Step 8. Add the image as a capture image

On the boot image that you just re-enabled in step 7, right-click and select “create capture boot image”. Or, you can use your current capture image and follow the same steps to add the drivers. Restart WDS server once the image add completes.

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