VMware PVSCSI under WinPE

(note this is a guest post from Tenox)

I needed to use Windows PE with paravirtualized SCSI driver under VMware. Most blog posts I came across mention the same very wrong thing: grab pvscsi driver folder from VMware Tools location and insert to WinPE .wim file using dism /add-driver. Wrong, on two levels!

First of all the mentioned folder C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\Drivers\ contains only one subfolder “hgfs” and does not contain pvscsi, vmxnet3 or mouse drivers. In order to find the required drivers you need to extract contents of the VMware Tools CD Image (windows.iso). Once you can grab setup.exe you need to extract it’s contents to a separate folder using a special switch. There is a KB article how to do it exactly.

Unfortunately above does not work either. Even with the pvscsi driver correctly inserted in to the .wim file, diskpart was still unable to see disks attached to PVSCSI controller. After some research I’ve found that one must have so called text-setup mode driver for it to work correct. For example if you are installing Dell PERC driver it will come with characteristic txtsetup.oem file.

Fortunately VMware distributes text-setup drivers on a floppy disk image formerly called vmscsi.flp. My VMware Workstation has a file called pvscsi_windows2008.flp under “C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation\Resources” folder. Upon mounting the floppy image a correct pvscsi driver with txtsetup.oem showed up and I was able to copy and insert it to WinPE .wim file using dism /add-driver. Now I can see my paravirtualized hard disks.


I’m not going to go in to detail how to add these drivers to a .wim file as you can find it elsewhere on the web pretty easily.

One thought on “VMware PVSCSI under WinPE

  1. Thanks. This is still very useful guide.

    Latest VMware Workstation includes PVSCSI driver which is compatible with Windows Server 2012 R2 and vmxnet3 driver I got extracted from VMware tools setup. These drivers can be imported to SCCM so it can be used to install virtual servers with these devices (or generate templates like I using it).

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