Boot WinPE on VMs without virtual media or PXE

Deploying VMs from templates harks back to the bad old days of disk imaging.  But using “baremetal templates” ensures your virtual hardware configuration is consistent (choice of NIC, choice of array controller, disk is thin provisioned etc..).  So make a baremetal template that boots straight into WinPE. Then you get consistent VM hardware config without maintaining disk images.

Create VM template or factory image with WinPE on harddisk

Create VM with required virtual hardware configuration

  1. Boot from MDT/WinPE ISO,
  2. partition disk,
  3. copy D: to C: (D is the win WinPE ISO)
  4. shutdown
  5. Disconnect ISO
  6. capture VM to template

F8 from WinPE to get command prompt

select disk 0
create partition primary size=2000
select partition 1
robocopy d:\ c:\ mir
wpeutil shutdown

Makes 2GB partition for winPE (partition will be blown away during MDT build process anyway)

Then remove CD from VM hardware settings.

Then convert VM to template (admin rights in virtual center required)


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