Using VMware Tools drivers on Windows PE (Preinstallation)
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Using VMware Tools drivers on Windows PE (Preinstallation)


Article ID: 344180


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


Even though VMware Tools does not support the Windows Preinstallation environment, you can take advantage of specific VMware Tools drivers, such as vmxnet2 (enhanced), vmxnet3, and pvscsi by creating a customized ISO.


VMware ESXi 4.0.x Embedded
VMware ESX 4.0.x
VMware ESX 4.1.x
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Installable
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Installable
VMware ESX Server 3.5.x
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Embedded


To create a customized ISO:
  1. Install Windows 2008 and install Windows AIK (Automated Installation Kit) on a virtual machine.

    Note: The preceding link was correct as of October 30, 2013. If you find the link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.
  2. Click Start > All Programs > Microsoft Windows AIK > Windows PE Tools Command Prompt to open the Windows PE Tools command prompt.
  3. Run this command to create a Windows PE build environment in the WinPE folder:
    • In 32bit – copype x86 C:\winpe-x86
    • In 64bit – copype amd64 C:\winpe-amd64

  4. From the Windows PE command prompt (c:\winpe-x86 or c:\winpe-amd64), run this command to mount winpe.wim to the mount folder:

    dism /mount-wim /wimfile:file_path\boot.wim /index:1 /mountdir:file_path
  5. Install VMware Tools on Windows 2008 and copy the entire contents of the C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\Drivers\vmxnet, pvscsi and vmxnet3 folders to the C:\Drivers folders on the virtual machine.
  6. Run this command at the Windows PE Tools command prompt to copy the vmxnet, vmxnet3 (enhanced), and pvsci drivers:

    dism /image:C:\winpe-x86\mount /Add-Driver /driver:C:\Drivers /recurse

    dism /image:C:\winpe-amd64\mount /Add-Driver /driver:C:\Drivers /recurse

  7. Run this command to save the changes to winpe.wim:

    dism /unmount C:\winpe-x86\mount /commit

    dism /unmount C:\winpe-amd64\mount /commit

  8. Run this command to overwrite the boot.wim with the customized winpe.wim on the ISO:

    xcopy C:\winpe-x86\winpe.wim (C:\winpe-x86 or C:\winpe-amd64)\iso\sources\boot.wim /y

    xcopy C:\winpe-amd64\winpe.wim (C:\winpe-x86 or C:\winpe-amd64)\iso\sources\boot.wim /y
  9. Run this command to create the custom ISO image:

    oscdimg -n -h -b C:\winpe-x86\ (c:\winpe-x86 or c:\winpe-amd64)\iso (C:\winpe-x86 or C:\winpe-amd64)\winpe-x86.iso

    oscdimg -n -h -b C:\winpe-amd64\ (C:\winpe-x86 or C:\winpe-amd64)\iso (C:\winpe-x86 or C:\winpe-amd64)\winpe-x86.iso


Note: DISM syntax may change from one version of Windows to another. For the latest, see (Microsoft) Modify a Windows image using DIS.

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