Add VMWare Network Drivers to Server 2008 Core

So, in a recent install of server core (2008) on our vmware cluster, I noticed that network driver support for the default enhanced vmxnet card is, of course, not included. Adding the drivers is very straight forward though and this is the process I followed. First, you will need the drivers contained within the default windows.iso file included in the vmware esx installation. You can find the windows.iso file in the /vmimages/tools-isoimages/ folder on the root of the esx server.

Assuming you’ve logged into your esx server you will need to copy the windows.iso file to the datastore of which you installed the server core installation. In our case, we run four clustered esx servers and the datastore is named esx4.local. 

A simple cp /vmimages/tools-isoimages/windows.iso /vmfs/volumes/esx4:local/ did the trick. Once this is completed, mount the iso file in Virtual Center, selecting the windows.iso file from the local esx datastore.

Next, path to the following directory: D:program filesVMwareVMware ToolsDriversvmxnetwin200864bit  (where D: is the CD drive).

To install the drivers you need to run the following: pnputil -i -a vmxnet.inf 

You should see the following output: 

If all went well you can run a simple ipconfig /all to view your ip configuration if you have DHCP configured on your network, otherwise run: netsh interface show interface to see that you have a “Local Area Connection” listed.

Set the ip address to static: netsh interface ip set address “Local Area Connection” static

Set dns: netsh interface ip set dns “Local Area Connection” static [ipaddress of your dns server]

That’s it. Next I will post my adventures in promoting this server to the first domain controller in a forest…stay tuned.

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