Provision a machine by booting into a WinPE environment and then install an operating system using a Windows Imaging File Format (WIM) image of an existing Windows reference machine.

The following is a high-level overview of the steps required to prepare for WIM provisioning:

  1. Identify or create the staging area. This should be a network directory that can be specified as a UNC path or mounted as a network drive by the reference machine, the system on which you build the WinPE image, and the physical endpoints of the physical machines that are being provisioned.

  2. Ensure that a DHCP server is available on the network. vRealize Automation cannot provision machines by using a WIM image unless DHCP is available.

  3. Identify an existing virtual or physical machine to use as your reference machine or create a reference machine. For vRealize Automation requirements, see Reference Machine Requirements for WIM Provisioning.

  4. Using the System Preparation Utility for Windows, prepare the reference machine's operating system for deployment. See SysPrep Requirements for the Reference Machine.

  5. Create the WIM image of the reference machine. Do not include any spaces in the WIM image file name or provisioning fails.

  6. Create any custom scripts you want to use to customize provisioned machines and place them in the appropriate work item directory of your PEBuilder installation. See Specify Custom Scripts in a PEBuilder WinPE.

  7. Create a WinPE image that contains the vRealize Automation guest agent. You can use the vRealize Automation PEBuilder to create the WinPE image. See Create a WinPE Image by Using PEBuilder. You can create the WinPE image by using another method, but you must manually insert the vRealize Automation guest agent. See Manually Insert the Guest Agent into a WinPE Image.

  8. Place the WinPE image in a location accessible to the physical machines you intend to provision and record the address.

    Table 1. Required Location

    Scenario

    Location

    HP iLO

    Place the image in a web-accessible location.

    Dell iDRAC

    Place the image in a location available to NFS or CIFS.

    PXE provisioning

    The appropriate location is determined by your PXE server configuration.

  9. Gather the following information so that tenant administrators and business group managers can include it in their blueprints:

    • The name and location of the WinPE ISO image.

    • The name of the WIM file, the UNC path to the WIM file, and the index used to extract the desired image from the WIM file.

    • The user name and password under which to map the WIM image path to a network drive on the provisioned machine.

    • If you do not want to accept the default, K, the drive letter to which the WIM image path is mapped on the provisioned machine.

    Note:

    You can create a build profile with the property set WimImagingProperties to include all of this required information. This makes it easier for tenant administrators and business group managers to include this information correctly in their blueprints. Optionally, you can also add the property set SysprepProperties and prompt tenant administrators and business group managers to specify or overwrite settings in the SysPrep answer file.