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. The staging area 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 where you build the WinPE image.

    • The virtualization host where you provision the machines.

  2. Ensure that the network has a DHCP server. vRealize Automation cannot provision machines with a WIM image unless DHCP is available.

  3. Identify or create the reference machine in 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.

    • Create any custom scripts you want to use to customize provisioned machines and place them in the appropriate work item directory.

    • If you are using VirtIO for network or storage interfaces, you must ensure that the necessary drivers are included in your WinPE image and WIM image. See Preparing for WIM Provisioning with VirtIO Drivers.

    When you create the WinPE image, 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 your hypervisor documentation.

  8. Gather the following information to include in 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.