Deployment Tips – How to add VMware VMXNET3 drivers to Microsoft Configuration Manager

In this short blog I want to show how to import VMware VMXNET3 Windows drivers into Microsoft Configuration Manager (aka ConfigMgr aka SCCM aka Microsoft Endpoint Manager).

There are multiple ways to provision VM’s running on VMware platform, we can use built-in functionality in vCenter, use templates, deploy OS manually or use 3-d party products like Ansible, MDT, SCCM etc.

While Server/Virtualization teams prefer to create and maintain Windows OS templates using their tools of choice, the Desktop/Frontend teams quite often rely on Microsoft Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr for short) which is a wildly adopted Enterprise Device Management solution with large footprint at a lot of our customers.

To be able to use Configuration Manager OS Deployment Task Sequences we need to import VMware VMXNET3 Window drivers into because VMXNET3 driver is not included in standard Windows build.

Assumptions

This article assumes:

Get VMware Tools

Download latest version of VMware Tools from:

Side note – the latest available version on the OSP package repository might be slightly older then on Customer Connect.

You can choose to download ZIP file containing the installer for your specific processor architecture or a ZIP file containing ISO file which includes both x86 and x64 installers.

Customer Connect downloads
OSP repository

I’m used to work with ISO file because it fits most use cases and in this blog I will be using ISO file with VMware Tools version 12.1.5 obtained from Customer Connect.

Extract VMware tools

Follow this steps to extract the downloaded content:

step 1 – download ZIP file containing the ISO

step 2 – extract ISO file from ZIP

step 3 – extract contents of the ISO to a folder, for example C:\Temp\VMware\Tools

extracted binaries

Unpack VMware tools

We need to extract contents from setup.exe to get the drivers. To unpack the setup file run setup.exe with /A parameter, for example

setup.exe /A c:\drivers\extracted /s /v/qn

After executing the above command the contents of the installer will be extracted to the folder C:\Drivers\Unpacked.

And all the drivers will be located in C:\Drivers\unpacked\VMware\VMware Tools\VMware\Drivers

For our purpose we need Win10 folder located in C:\Drivers\unpacked\VMware\VMware Tools\VMware\Drivers\vmxnet3

Copy the contents of the Win10 folder to your driver repository, in this blog we’ll use \\cloudworkspace.blog\SCCM\Driver Sources\VMware\VMXNET3\v.1.9.11\x64

Import drivers into Configuration Manager

In the Configuration Manager console go to the Software Library, expand Operating Systems and click on Drivers. After that click on “Import Driver” in the ribbon.

Provide the path to the driver sources, in this case \\cloudworkspace.blog\SCCM\Driver Sources\VMware\VMXNET3\v.1.9.11\x64, and click on Next

Configuration Manager will scan the provided path to gather information about all drivers stored in the provided path. After scanning is completed the wizard will give the overview of discovered drivers where you can eventually choose which drivers to import or to skip.

In our example there is only one driver, so we just click on Next.

Device drivers must be added to a driver package before they can be used. We can use Driver Import Wizard to add a newly imported driver to an existing driver package or create a new driver package. In this example we’ll create a new driver package for the VMware drivers. To achieve this click on “New Package

In the “Create Driver Package” wizard provide the name of the new driver package, path where your driver package will be stored and optionally manufacturer and driver model. Click on OK to get back to the Driver Import wizard.

Name – VMware VMXNET3 v.1.9.11

Path – \\cloudworkspace.blog\SCCM\Driver Packages\VMware\VMXNET3\v.1.9.11\x64

Click on Next.

When you import a device driver into Configuration Manager the wizard also offers the possibility to add this driver to a boot image. In our example we are not going to add the driver to any boot image, so just click on Next.

Review the information in the Summary window and click on Next to proceed with driver import and package creation.

Depending on your infrastructure the process can take some minutes to complete. Upon completion you can close the wizard and VMXNET3 driver is ready to use.

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