[Last Reviewed: 2019-02-20]
If you attempt to PXE boot a virtual machine using VMware Fusion, you might see this error:
Some quick research showed that I’d have better luck using the ‘vmxnet3’ network adapter rather than the default ‘e1000e’ adapter. I had no problem adding the vmxnet3 to our WinPE image, but… it was Friday. Read-only Friday. How could I image this machine before the weekend?
Here’s a workaround you can try. It assumes that your WinPE image already has Intel Net drivers. We’ll add a second NIC. The default NIC, using e1000e, will be used during WinPE; the secondary NIC, using vmxnet3 will be used for PXE. Once your VM has been created and VMware Tools has been installed, you can remove the second NIC.
- Create your Virtual Machine as usual, then open your VM settings
- Add another network adapter (be sure they are both set to “Bridged Networking”)
- Close VMware Fusion, and navigate to where the VM is stored on disk (the default is ~\Virtual Machines). Right-click on your Virtual Machine and select “Show Package Contents”.
- Find the .vmx file in that folder. Right-click and open it with your text editor of choice.
- Look for the line ‘ethernet1.virtualDev = “e1000e”‘ — change e1000e to vmxnet3
- Save your changes, close your text editor, then re-open VMware Fusion
- If your OSD process requires a TPM, now you can turn on Encryption and then add the TPM (don’t do this before you edit the .vmx file, otherwise it will be encrypted!)
- Under Startup Disk, select “Network Adapter 2” as your default
- Power on your VM and OSD away!
Once OSD completes, install VMware Tools and then you can remove your 2nd network adapter.
Enjoy your new virtual machine! Come Monday you can add that vmxnet3 driver to WinPE. ☺️