Missing Network Card when booting a MDT 2008 WinPE image within VMWare.

As per usual, make sure that you back everything up before making changes to your system. I am not responsible for your stuff ups!

I was attempting to deploy an image created with MDT 2008 (Microsoft Deployment Toolkit) to a VMWare virtual machine. After PXE booting my WIM image, Windows PE did not have a network card present that could talk to the deployment server (It worked first time using Citrix XenServer!)

Here is my test environment;

I have created two virtual machines on a test VMWare ESXi box.
VM One has Windows 2003, MDT 2008 and Windows Deployment Services.

VM Two is the VM I am attempting to build via MDT installed on VM one.

After mucking around with injecting the vmware drivers, changing the network card type and recreating WIM’s ad infinitum, I found out the the VMX file for the test VM was missing a couple of essential entries.

Adding the following lines worked for me;
ethernet0.startConnected = “true”
ethernet0.virtualDev = “e1000”
ethernet0.addressType = “generated”

I made the changes, uploaded them using the data store browser, started the VM, and voila!


3 thoughts on “Missing Network Card when booting a MDT 2008 WinPE image within VMWare.

  1. I have a doubt… Add those lines… Where? In the unattended.txt? In the sysprep file? In a configuration file in the vm? I´m having the same problem as you, the only difference is that the wds is not installed in a vm…


    1. Hi Guille,

      You make the change in the .vmx file for the virtual machine in question.
      If you use the datastore browser, you can copy the file locally to your PC, make the change and then copy the file back up.
      Obviously make sure that you have shut the VM in question down first!



  2. Hello!

    i had same problem, did some thinking and thanks to you i came to a more comfortable solution:D

    Using esxi client change the network card type in virtual machine configuration from “flexible” to “e1000”.

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