WDS using VMWare Workstation
Posted on 2008-11-02
I have setup a PC running Windows 2003 Server and am running VMWare Workstation 6. I have created a guest OS using Windows 2003 Server Standard Edition and have configured AD, DNS & DHCP on this guest server.
I then created two further guest machines, on one I installed a copy of Windows XP Pro for use as a reference machine to create an XP WIM. I created the second VM guest but didnt install an OS on it as I wanted to use this as the target workstation on which I would blat my XP image.
I then installed and configured MS AIK 1.1 and WDS as per the step by step on TechNet. I created boot images using the vista DVD as per the instructions in the help files which were pretty poor to say the least. I managed to eventually capture a WIM of my XP reference machine using the default WINPE.wim file and typing wdscapture rather than using the capture boot image created per the WDS help files as it didnt load networking correctly despite me following the same process and adding my VMWare nic drivers.
Anyway I can now see my Windows XP image on the WDS and have been trying all day to get my target VM to PXE boot properly using the Discover Image that I created. Interestingly if I PXE boot my IBM T43 laptop it loads up properly and I get as far as the language selection screen in the boot image! (I didnt want to go any further for fear of blatting my laptop by accident :-))
So I have two different issues:
Firstly if I run both the 2003 AD DC with WDS and the Target VM for the XP image on the same laptop I can PXE boot ok but wdsclient gives me an error saying that it cant connect to the WDS check firewall and ports etc.. (if i press SHIFT&F10 at this point and run ipconfig it shows that i have an IP and that i can ping the WDS) (Read somewhere that it might be an issue with the network loading after WDS has initialised but have no idea how to deal with this)
Secondly, after discovering that my IBM laptop could PXE boot to the WDS and get past the loading of the network I decided to move the target XP machine to another installation of VMWare Workstation 6 on a separate physical PC leaving the WDS /AD DC running in VMWare Workstation 6 on the main PC. This made things even worse, I now cant even PXE boot to the WDS, it times out and just hangs on TFTP...
I have tried disabling all my firewalls, messing around with the VMWare virtual network settings and after 9 hours im at a loss. I just cant seem to pull a WIM from a WDS running in one VM to another VM with a blank HDD.
(Please note I also tried editing my VMX file to force the target VM to use the Intel E1000 nic instead of the default AMD nic and this only made things worse. When I do this the VM wont PXE boot at all weather the WDS is on the same tin box or not.)
I am hoping that after scouring the web all day reading forum after forum and finding snippets of information that someone else can advise me on how to get WDS to work properly in a VMWare environment.
Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated