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 virtualization host on which machines are 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 or create the reference machine within the virtualization platform you intend to use for provisioning. For vRealize Automation requirements, see Reference Machine Requirements for WIM Provisioning. For information about creating a reference machine, see the documentation provided by your hypervisor.

  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 a WinPE image that contains the vRealize Automation guest agent. You can use the vRealize Automation PEBuilder to create a WinPE image that includes the guest agent.

    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.

  7. Place the WinPE image in the location required by your virtualization platform. If you do not know the location, see the documentation provided by your hypervisor.

  8. Gather the following information so that you can include it the blueprint:

    1. The name and location of the WinPE ISO image.

    2. 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.

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

    4. 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.

    5. For vCenter Server integrations, the vCenter Server guest operating system version with which vCenter Server is to create the machine.

    6. (Optional) For SCVMM integrations, the ISO, virtual hard disk, or hardware profile to attach to provisioned machines.


    You can create a property group to include all of this required information. Using a property group makes it easier to include all the information correctly in blueprints.