Friday, December 17, 2010

How to use MDT 2010 + WDS with VirtualBox

I wanted to setup a virtual lab with a Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 server and a PXE client in Virtual Box. I finally got it to work !

The main problem is that the Intel PRO/1000 network card in VirtualBox does not seems to work with PXE (I dont know why) and the PCnet-FAST adapter is not supported (by default) in Windows PE (and no driver available in x64).

My solution is to simply define 2 network adapters in your virtual machine (the PXE client) :


PXE will use the first adapter (PCnet-FAST) and Windows PE will use the Intel PRO/1000 because it doesn’t know about the other one (no driver).

Here’s a step-by-step guide :

Ensure that the boot order of you VirtualBox machine allow it the boot from the Network :


You should also check that APIC is ON (Windows PE wont boot without it).

Boot you virtual machine, a screen like this should appear :


Open your "Windows Deployment Services” (WDS) console and approve the new pending device :


To avoid confusion in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) I prefer to use the Computer UID instead of the MAC address to identify the computer (because we have two network adapters). To get the Computer UID at this stage, open “Active Directory Users and Computers” and display the properties of the new Computer object that WDS created when you approved the pending device.


On the Remote Install tab, copy the ‘Computer’s unique ID’ without the bracelets {}.

Open the ‘Deployment Workbench’ and create a new computer in the database (Advanced Configuration)


Enter a description and paste the ‘Computer’s unique ID’ in the UUID field. Complete the computer configuration the match your MDT setup (Assign a role or a TaskSequenceID).

That's it, reboot your virtual machine and your deployment should start.

Note : This article does not cover all your MDT/WDS setup, you have to install and configure those by yourself before using this solution. But if you used MDT before that should not be a problem.