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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Using WDS for VMware Server Deployment

The goal was to follow this excellent walk-through -- -- to capture and deploy a Windows XP image (as a test) from and to a guest in the free VMware Server.

Everything went real well except for a few stumbling blocks.

First, I found out through much googling that it's acceptable, even preferred to run the WDS on a separate server than the DHCP server. Perfect. My DHCP server is a CISCO router anyway. For some reason I thought they had to be on the same server and a Windows one at that.

Then, I had to setup the guest to use the right nic. Again, I found out that I need to run Manage Virtual Networks as Administrator (on Vista) or else the Automatic Bridging options are greyed out.

Then I learned through a few threads on social technet that the reason the Windows Deployment Services Image Capture Wizard would freeze after checking the Upload image to WDS server checkbox and entering the server name is because the network connection is not setup. I hit shift-F10 and did ipconfig, and there was no network. The solution is to export the currently loaded boot image from the WDS to a temp directory. Then make sure you have WAIK (for Vista) installed on the WDS or another server to which you copy the wim file image. Then copy all the files from C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\Drivers\vmxnet to c:\temp\vmxnet. Then C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>imagex /mountrw c:\capture\capturebootimage.WIM 1 c:\image
C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>peimg /inf=c:\temp\vmxnet\*.inf /image=c:\image\Windows
Then C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>imagex /unmount /commit c:\image
Then copy back the image, and reimport it into the boot images of WDS, naming it something like "Boot image with VMXnet drivers." Then when you PXE boot choose that image from the menu.

This same process has to be done for the deployment image. But this time, since you are using the Vista boot image, the command has to be run from a Vista or later OS apparently, or else you get PEIMG failed to complete the operation with status code 0x800703fb. when attempting to inject the drivers. I managed to inject the drivers by installing WAIK on a Windows 7 Ultimate VM, with VMware tools installed, from which I injected the vmxnet drivers. Be sure to do c:\windows\system32>imagex /mountrw c:\temp\boot.wim 2 c:\image -- Note the "2." Evidentally, there's a second image in the boot.wim that came with the Vista sources, which contains the WDS image. Note that the boot.wim file was copied from the Vista 32 DVD sources NOT the Windows 7 sources. The latter will not work.

1 comment:

  1. "The goal was to follow this excellent walk-through -- -- to capture and deploy a Windows XP image (as a test) from and to a guest in the free VMware Server."

    Hey, that's my site. Everytime I think I'm going to shut that site down or take the tutorials down, I find someone who found it useful. So it stays up !