I have spent way too much time on this and wanted to save others the trouble.
I needed to add drivers for a new system into my boot.wim file for PXE booting a system so it could get a WDS image deployed to it.
To add drivers to the file, you can do a more manual process by using the DISM command in a command prompt.
I am normally a command prompt guy but in this case I’m happy to use a GUI tool for it called DISM GUI.
For starters I made a backup copy of my boot.wim just in case. Mine was stored here: D:\RemoteInstall\Boot\x86\Images\boot.wim.
Don’t keep your backups in that folder as they will show up as a boot option. I put it in the root of RemoteInstall.
Calling it something like boot_backup.wim will suffice. Never touch this until you are sure! From there I made a copy of that one and called it boot.wim but kept it in that location. I did that for later when I replaced my previous boot.wim.
Back to inserting the drivers… I did the usual process of mounting boot.wim under my selected mount point. When you do this, the default index is 1 (keep this in mind!). The 2nd tab allows you to specify your nic driver folder. I always leave recurse checked and also force unsigned. You just click Add drivers and let it work. When done, on the first tab, click dismount and give it time. You can then exit.
At that point you have to right click your boot image in WDS and select Replace. Pick your new image. When done, click finish and restart your WDS service. (If you don’t do this, when you PXE boot you will see duplicate options.)
In showing you all this, there is a step I haved learned you need to check before you make your changes.
WIM files can actually contain more than one image and each has an index number. You need to confirm you are adding drivers to the right index number.
You can find out with a command prompt with this command:
dism /get-wiminfo /wimfile:”d:\remoteinstall\boot_backup.wim”
The output will look like this:
Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Details for image : d:\remoteinstall\boot_backup.wim
Index : 1
Name : Microsoft Windows PE (x86)
Description : Microsoft Windows PE (x86)
Size : 807,716,855 bytes
Index : 2
Name : Install an Image
Description : Install an Image
Size : 6,634,542,951 bytes
The operation completed successfully.
In my case, the one I want to work with is actually #2. I spent a lot of time adding drivers to #1 and not understanding why my PXE boot kept complaining it couldn’t access the network. This is the error I kept getting:
“WdsClient: An error occured while starting networking: a matching network…..”
It simply means the image doesn’t have a valid driver for the nic. I find the standard one for the OS from the manufacture (in this case Dell), works fine.
In case anyone noticed, I am doing this with a 32-bit boot image (x86). The reason is grandfathered in as I started using WDS for imaging when some systems only supported 32-bit. I used to keep a 64-bit Install(boot).wim in my PXE list but noticed that I could stil install 64-bit images by booting with the 32-bit boot image. At that point, I removed the 64-bit option from my list to clean it up and avoid confusion.