Kace Imaging - Capture UEFI Partions VM Workstation

I've always captured my images off of a VM. It's easier for me to update by loading a snapshot, and running MS updates. When we received some Surface's I realized I could no longer do this given my current setup. Reading around it seemed the only way to maintain these was to capture the image off the actual device. Which took too long for me. I used VM Workstation 9.0.3 build-1410761 in this.

First create your KBE as you usually would for Win 8. After you create it download the bootable .iso under Deployments>Boot Environments. After you download the .iso mount it to show all the files. I used http://www.slysoft.com/en/virtual-clonedrive.html to accomplish this. Format a USB, and copy these expanded files to the USB.

Second create a VM. Edit your .vmx file with notepad to include this line.

firmware = "efi"

This will allow UEFI. Create your VM as you normally would choosing to install an OS later. Power on your VM to BIOS. You will see it will try and boot, but it will fail. Plug in your USB at this time, and make sure your USB is connected to this VM (VM>Removable Devices>"USB Drive">Connect (disconnect from Host)). Shut down the VM. When powering back on select "Power on to BIOS". From there select your USB with your KBE on it. This will boot to the K2.

From there I used a scripted install to get Win 8 on the VM. Customize the image the way that you need it (Metro/MS Updates etc.). I then placed my unattend.xml along with a .bat file that runs sysprep under "C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep". Make sure your USB is still connected to the VM, and not the host. At this point I take a snapshot with todays date. After the snapshot is complete I run the .bat that runs sysprep, and then shuts down the VM.

After the VM has shutdown power it back on again. Make sure to "Power on to BIOS". From there select your USB again, and boot to the K2. Once it's booted, capture your image as you normally would.

Once the image has uploaded I used the default "Create UEFI Partions" and "Format C:" for the preinstall tasks. As a mid-level I have "Apply UEFI Partitions". After the post install tasks have been assigned image your machine as normal.

Doing it this way has helped me keep my images current. Every couple of months I simply load my snapshot, run MS updates (unattend.xml turns auto updates off), and then run my .bat file the syspreps it.


  • Thanks for the input!! - brunocardoso 10 years ago
  • Have you ever tried doing this in vsphere? - nlieschke 10 years ago
    • I have not, but would assume you still can since it's still a VMWARE product. I found the firmware=efi portion on a VMware site. - dugullett 10 years ago
  • It's interesting, the process is pretty much the same, however, with vm hardware version 8.0 you can select EFI as a boot mode under the VM properties. Other than that I would assume it's a matter of presenting your KBE. I have presented a bootable ISO and USB, no luck as of yet though.

    I can get it to work in vmware workstation, however, I thought it would be handy if I could get it working in my vsphere environment.

    I'll let you know if I get it working. - nlieschke 10 years ago
    • Yeah it's saved me a ton of time. My images are already current as of yesterday (patch Tuesday). I've recently added an SSD for my VMs. It helped a lot. - dugullett 10 years ago
  • hmm...I'm running here with a laptop and only have 30gb free after a clean up. I think I need to upgrade. - nlieschke 10 years ago
  • I have it working with vsphere 5.1. If you want to use the Paravirtual adapter you will have to rebuild your KBE with the appropriate storage driver.

    I am just using a crude USB in a single host method for KBE booting. I have set up a DRS rule so that any VM which requires KBE booting will stay on that particular host. - nlieschke 10 years ago
  • Did you have any issues with the scripted install on the VM? I keep getting to a point where after the driver have been prepped i get hit with the error "windows cannot locate the disk and partition specified in the unattend answer file"

    Same setup works fine on a physical machine. Its driving me nuts. Same issue with windows 7 & 10 - Daikonran 8 years ago
    • I do not do scripted installs really. Are you creating the partitions in your unattended file, or letting a preinstall task do it? - dugullett 8 years ago
      • Ah, I asked cause above you mentioned that you used a scripted install.

        I was until now using the preinstall tasks which worked fine, but since i hit this issue, i decided to make a custom unattend. Will be testing it out tomorrow. - Daikonran 8 years ago
      • Oh. I did a scripted to begin with to build my image. I left it as attended, and manually went through the setup.

        It's been a while since I've wrote this. I will say I am still using this process even with Windows 10. - dugullett 8 years ago
  • My only challenge with VM Workstation was booting KBE downloaded from k2000. It is very odd that mounting the ISO directly to VM did not boot in UEFI but did boot in Legacy. The only way to boot the KBE was to create a bootable USB and force disconnect from host as stated above. - jessedoestech 7 years ago
    • What version of Workstation are you using? I'm using 11, and have not had any issues mounting the iso. I just boot to CD after it is mounted. - dugullett 7 years ago
  • I am seeing the exact same thing, it wont boot off the K2000 boot media that works on all the physical computers. Short of PXE there has to be an easier way. I even mounted the KBE ISO from the datastore and its connected at startup, wont boot EFI only BIOS which the disk for Win 10 is EFI so I am stuck. Anyone have a easy fix for this? - BucketheadFan 6 years ago
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