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VMWare NIC driver for WinPE to support MDT CAPTURE function

    Question

  • Hello,  I have been using the same physical workstation and a VMWare Virtual Machine to capture my "standard" Windows 10 Pro 64bit image for the past year.  When I get ready to capture it from my running VM I access my imaging server (S2H in my case), and run the LiteTouch.vbs script as I have always done.  When the process gets to the Sysprep step it will copy scripts to the VM and reboot, then it starts the capture process.  Today when I executed this process and it got to the end of the SYSPREP step it popped up a "Windows cannot access \\s2h\lti$ (lti is my deployment share name) and a follow-up screen stating "Install a driver for your network adapter".  This has never happened before today. 

    There are three network adapters on my physical workstation, An Intel NIC driver and two VMWare virtual NIC drivers (see screen shot).


    Except for our managed Windows updates I have not made any hardware changes to my physical workstation that hosts the VM and I have not changed anything in the WinPE configuration. I have joined my VM to our domain a few times to get certain Windows and other updates but no major changes I can think of.

    If you could help me figure out what the problem is and how to fix this I would appreciate your input.






    Wednesday, May 09, 2018 2:09 PM

All replies

  • Are you including synthetic VMware drivers in your WinPE images? You could also try using a different VMware network adapter.

    Cheers,
    Anton

    Vacuum Breather Blog | Wing Commander Saga | Twitter

    Note: Posts are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. If posts are helpful please don't forget to rate them as "Helpful" or as "Answer".

    Wednesday, May 09, 2018 2:31 PM
  • Thanks for the response Anton,  I don't think I have ever added VMware network adapter drivers to my WinPE boot image. The last time I captured an image was in February and I had no issues. I do not know if something has changed since that time which would cause the problem I have now.

    Do you know what steps I can take to see what network drivers are installed in my WinPE image?  

    Mike





    Wednesday, May 09, 2018 2:50 PM
  • Basically I simply export drivers from a VMware Tools ISO, import them into the MDT deployment workbench and then use Johan's guide for driver management to create corresponding selection profile and associate my boot images with the VMware drivers. It should be noted that I am using the vmxnet3 network adapter (which is a requirement for Horizon Cloud environments instead of the default network adapter) meaning that importing network drivers is a requirement as WinPE does not carry necessary drivers.

    Cheers,
    Anton

    Vacuum Breather Blog | Wing Commander Saga | Twitter

    Note: Posts are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. If posts are helpful please don't forget to rate them as "Helpful" or as "Answer".

    Wednesday, May 09, 2018 3:28 PM
  • Thanks again Anton.  When I followed the instructions for downloading and extracting the VMware drivers it does not extract anything but instead starts an installer to install the tools utility.  

    Have you any idea why I would need the VMware vitrual NIC drivers for my WinPE boot WIM now when I did not have an issue with this about two months ago when I last did a Capture?  

    Mike

    Here are two screen shots showing the OOB drivers for my WinPE images, only one of them(the x86 version) has a WMWare NIC driver and it was probably installed there by my co-worker before me (who created and managed this MDT system).



    Wednesday, May 09, 2018 4:09 PM
  • Right. Could you check which VMware network adapter you are using? Based on your original post I assumed you are using VMware workstation (which, by default is using the e1000 interface, while ESXi defaults (I assume) to vmxnet3 (you are already including a driver for the latter in your x86 image)). Are you using an x86 or x64 image for your capture? Either way, you could grab the latest and the greatest vmxnet3 driver using the KB article I posted above and include it in your boot images (assuming, of course, your VM is actually using the vmxnet3 adapter).

    Cheers,
    Anton

    Vacuum Breather Blog | Wing Commander Saga | Twitter

    Note: Posts are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. If posts are helpful please don't forget to rate them as "Helpful" or as "Answer".

    Thursday, May 10, 2018 4:33 PM
  • Thanks again Anton,  I am using WMWare Workstation 12 Player (the paid version).  The VM I use to capture shows an Intel 82574L Gigabit Network Connection for it's Network Adapter.  I followed the article links you gave me but as I stated above I was unable to extract anything from the VMWare tools ISO,  when I attempted to extract it an installer launched and prompted me to install the tools to my computer, which I did not want to do. Do you know of another method I can use to "grab the latest and the greatest vmxnet3 driver"? 

    

    Thursday, May 10, 2018 7:35 PM
  • Although the command line starts the installer, it shouldn't make any changes to the system aside from extracting contents of the EXE to the folder you specified. In my case, I just extracted the contents of the EXE to the C:\Extract folder with drivers ending up in the C:\Extract\VMware\VMware Tools\VMware\Drivers folder. However, the network adapter your system is using is actually Intel e1000e, which should be fully compatible and not require any additional drivers. Personally, I had better experiences with using a vmxnet3 adapter, which does require drivers when being used in WinPE and you could try going down that route by modifying the vmx config file which contains VMs hardware configuration.

    Cheers,
    Anton

    Vacuum Breather Blog | Wing Commander Saga | Twitter

    Note: Posts are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. If posts are helpful please don't forget to rate them as "Helpful" or as "Answer".

    Thursday, May 10, 2018 9:21 PM
  • Thanks again Anton,  have you any ideas why my existing configuration would stop working after it's been working for the past 11 months or so?  Anything you can think of that can point in in a direction to trouble shoot my existing problem?

    "Personally, I had better experiences with using a vmxnet3 adapter, which does require drivers when being used in WinPE and you could try going down that route by modifying the vmx config file which contains VMs hardware configuration."

    When you mention modifying the vmx config to use the vmxnet3 adapter would you please explain a little further what this involves?  

    Mike


    Friday, May 11, 2018 12:42 PM
  • No idea. I haven't tested the e1000 adapter with the latest ADK. I am using the VMware Workstation, but I modify default system config to use vmxnet3 adapter instead.

    It is fairly straight forward: locate your vmx file (typically located in the VM's folder), make a backup, then open the file in Notepad and look for the ethernet0.virtualDev line. Change it to:

    ethernet0.virtualDev = "vmxnet3"


    Cheers,
    Anton

    Vacuum Breather Blog | Wing Commander Saga | Twitter

    Note: Posts are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. If posts are helpful please don't forget to rate them as "Helpful" or as "Answer".

    Friday, May 11, 2018 12:54 PM
  • Okay, thanks again.  I will try this and see how it goes.  Your modify default system config  takes me to your home page, is there a particular section there you are pointing me to regarding this issue?
    Friday, May 11, 2018 1:56 PM
  • Hello again Anton,  I am finally getting around to dealing with this issue again and following your instructions to extract the vmware vmxnet3 drivers so I can add them to my WinPE boot images,  however when I run the VMware-tools-10.2.5-8068406-x86_64.exe on my physical host machine it stops execution and states that it can only be installed on a virtual machine.  I do not want to install these tools onto the VM that I capture the image from so how else can I get these drivers?  Is there an ISO I can download and mount on my physical workstation in order to extract them that way?

    I appreciate your help.

    Mike


    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 1:28 PM
  • Unfortunately, the only way to extract the drivers I am aware of is via the method outlined in the VMware's KB article. I took the liberty to upload both SCSI and NET driver to my OneDrive though: https://1drv.ms/f/s!Aj0_RUmmdtLojO1UT9txew-zuADBhA

    Cheers,
    Anton

    Vacuum Breather Blog | Wing Commander Saga | Twitter

    Note: Posts are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. If posts are helpful please don't forget to rate them as "Helpful" or as "Answer".

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 2:21 PM
  • Thanks again Anton,  when I downloaded the zip file with the vmxnet3xx files it generated an error message:

    Sorry, there was a problem downloading some files from OneDrive. Please try again.
    vmxnet3ndis6.inf_override.ia64 - https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=e8d276a649453f3d&id=E8D276A649453F3D%21210650&action=Download&authKey=!AE_bcXsPs7gAwYQ

    so I downloaded this one separately.  What is this "vmxnet3ndis6.inf_override.ia64" file supposed to be applied to?

    Mike

    Thursday, June 14, 2018 1:05 PM
  • I am assuming it is an MDT generated file because the vmxnet3 driver does not support ia64 architecture as indicated.

    Cheers,
    Anton

    Vacuum Breather Blog | Wing Commander Saga | Twitter

    Note: Posts are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. If posts are helpful please don't forget to rate them as "Helpful" or as "Answer".


    Thursday, June 14, 2018 1:30 PM
  • With the VMWare tools executable, you can extract the .exe via

    VMware-tools-10.2.0-7253323-x86_64.exe /X

    (this unpacks to the %TEMP% folder, look for the newest directory with a GUID name in the %TEMP% folder which by default is \Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Temp)

    This folder should contain a "VMWare Tools64.msi" along with a couple of Visual C++ Redistributable libraries.

    Unpack the MSI be creating an "Administrative Installation"

    msiexec /A "VMWare Tools64.msi"

    Click "Next" and then chose the directory in which the installer will be unpacked

    you'll find the drivers at VMware\VMware Tools\VMware\Drivers beneath the unpack directory.

    Friday, June 22, 2018 8:06 PM
  • As far as why your configuration quit working ... have you by chance stepped up to WinPE 1709 or WinPE 1803 in that time?
    Friday, June 22, 2018 8:07 PM