Using WinPE 4.0 on VMware ESX 3.x, 4.x

Posted: May 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

Beginning from SCCM 2012 Sp1 / MDT 2012 Update 1 WinPE boot images will be based on the Windows 8 kernel. All boot images are upgraded to WinPE 4.0 which comes with some new hardware requirements. Unfortunatly, VMware ESX 4.x and older natively does not support the Windows 8 kernel or Windows 8(.1) does not support old hardware (http://windows.microsoft.com/nl-nl/windows-8/what-is-pae-nx-sse2). For VM’s to succesfully install and boot up you will need to apply a work around. For this you will need to make some changes to the VM configuration file. Add these lines to the file:

bios440.filename = “path/to/bios.440.rom”  –> if file in folder of vm only bios.440.rom
mce.enable = TRUE
cpuid.hypervisor.v0 = FALSE
vmGenCounter.enable = FALSE

Note that using an alternative boot rom is officially not supported. However, you’re albe to try getting a support statement for your specific environment. You can download the bios rom file here: http://communities.vmware.com/servlet/JiveServlet/download/2139717-98102/bios.440.rom

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