Windows Preinstallation Environment (PE) is a lightweight operating system based on the Win32 platform essentially created as a replacement for MS DOS. Although it is not a standalone operating system, Windows PE is essential for certain workstations and servers. You can employ certain features from your VMWare server in Windows PE by creating a custom ISO image containing the specific files from the VMWare server and by then replacing the Windows PE boot file with the ISO image.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Click "Start" and select "All Programs." Navigate to the "Microsoft Windows AIK" program folder and click "Windows PE Tools Command Prompt." The command prompt will appear.
Input "copype x86 C:\winpe-x86" into the command prompt. This creates a Windows PE environment in the WinPE file folder. Note that you need to input "copype amd64 C:\winpe-amd64" if you are running a 64-bit operating system. See the "Tips" section for further information if you are running a 64-bit operating system.
Input "imagex /mountrw winpe.wim 1 mount" into the command prompt and press "Enter." This places the "winpe.wim" file in the mount folder.
Click "Start" and navigate to the following folders:
C:\Program Files\VMWare\VMWare Tools\Drivers\vmxnet
C:\Program Files\VMWare\VMWare Tools\Drivers\pvscsi
C:\Program Files\VMWare\VMWare Tools\Drivers\vmxnet3
Copy the contents of each of the folders to the of the "C:\Drivers" folder.
Input "peimg /inf=c:\drivers*.inf c:\winpe-x86\mount\window" into the command prompt and press "Enter." This copies the necessary drivers to "winpe.wim."
Input "imagex /unmount c:\winpe-x86\mount /commit" into the command prompt and press "Enter." This saves the changes.
Input "xcopy c:\winpe-x86\winpe.wim c:\winpe-x86\iso\sources\boot.wim /y" into the command prompt and press "Enter." This overwrites your current boot file with the "winpe.wim" file.
Input "oscdimg -n -h -bc:\winpe-x86\etfsboot.com c:\winpe-x86\iso c:\winpe-x86\winpe-x86.iso" into the command prompt and press "Enter." This creates the customised ISO necessary to use the VMWare tools in Windows PE.
Tips and warnings
- If you are running a 64-bit operating system, replace all instances of "C:\winpe-x86" with "C:\winpe-amd64".
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