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
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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