Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is a technology I have been using for a long time, and is by far one of my favourites. I had a recent requirement to deploy a captured WDS image into a new VMware virtual machine. On doing so I was presented with a driver error, as the VMnet drivers that VMware utilises are not included in the Windows 7 boot.wim file as you would expect. To deploy an image to a VMware virtual machine we need to customise the boot.wim file to include the relevant VMnet drivers. To achieve this, perform the following steps.
1. Obtain a copy of, or use your existing boot.wim file. You can obtain a copy of the boot.wim file from the Windows 7 operating system installation media.
2. Place the obtained boot.wim file on the root of your workstations C:\ drive, so for example, C:\boot.wim.
3. On your C:\ drive create a new folder name “mount”. This will be used to open the contents of the WIM so that we can inject the VMware drivers.
4. Download a copy of the VMnet VMware drivers from here. We will be injecting these drivers into our WIM image. Once the download is complete, extract the drivers folder and place it also on the root of your workstations C:\.
5. Download and install the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) for Windows 7 onto your workstation. This can be downloaded direct from Microsoft here.
6. Once you have downloaded and installed the relevant WAIK, navigate to WAIK start menu entry and launch the “Deployment Tools Command Prompt”.
7. When the command prompt loads, enter the following command to mount the WIM file for modification without quotes:
“dism /mount-wim /wimfile:c:\boot.wim /index:2 /Mountdir:c:\mount”
8. Once the boot.wim file has mounted, we can now inject the VMware drivers. To perform this run the following command without quotes:
“dism /image:c:\mount /add-driver /driver:c:\vmnet\ /recurse”
9. Once both of the VMnet drivers have been successfully injected, we then need to commit the changes and unmount the image. To perform this run the following command without quotes:
“dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:c:\mount\ /commit”
10.Upload the unmouted image to your WDS server and then add it as boot image via the WDS console.
Your all done, you should now be able to use both WDS deployment and capture images in VMware virtual machines.