I had setup VMWare Workstation 14 on a Windows 10 Pro host. Within a VMWare Virtual Machine, I spent a lot of time creating a Gold/Maintenance "Windows 10 Pro Standard" install, and configuring a standard desktop session. I was creating the standard desktop under an administrative user "userlogin1". At the time I was unaware that there was a standard "Administrator" login with Windows 10 Pro, that ImageAssist can use for the purpose of creating a standard desktop, and then in ImageAssist you can specify to use that Administrator login as the default "User Profile". But regardless, I used ForensiT's User Profile Wizard, to copy the userlogin1 profile that I setup as a standard desktop, to my default profile.
The above worked quite well. I then cloned the final Windows 10 Pro Standard Gold desktop, to two other virtual machines, that I then used as a "Graphic Gold/Maintenance" virtual machine, and also a "Engineering Gold/Maintenance" virtual machine. Each with their own different applications, beyond the "Standard Gold/Maintenance" image.
My Windows 10 Pro install was using the 1703 edition of Windows. And then we decided to install 1709, and that's where the problems began. It is apparently imcompatible with some older versions of Trend Micro anti-virus, which we were running. And the symptoms is during the Windows 10 1709 upgrade, Windows 10 will just constantly reboot - or it will fail the install and return to the prior version (a very slow process).
I decided to delete my three virtual machines and then restore the three WIM images I created using ImageAssist.
But what I discovered, is that VMWare Workstation 14 (and earlier versions) are not compatible with booting to a WindowsPE (aka WinPE) USB Boot Disk - which is what the ImageAssist USB Boot Disk uses. I had attempted to create three "blank" virtual machines, and boot to the ImageAssist USB Boot Disk on each - but no go. Even after phone calls with VMWare, I found I was now stuck without any supported way, to restore my three images on VMWare's Virtual Machines.
After much trial and error, I found a work-around to this problem, that I thought others may appreciate.
There are lots of docs online about using Elmar Hanlhofer's "Plop Boot Manager", which you can burn to a CD/DVD as a bootable ISO file on your CD/DVD ROM, which VMWare Workstation is compatible with. And after booting to the Plop Boot Manager, it then lets you boot to a USB Drive. Which in this case, was my ImageAssist USB Boot Disk. And wallah, that worked! However there are some specific settings in the VMWare blank Virtual Machine that I had to make, in order to get this to work. In addition, you must first create the Plop Boot CD.
Follow these general guidelines to install Plop:
Follow these general guidelines to create a blank Virtual Machine:
Next, here's the steps for how to boot your machine:
I hope all the above steps/tips helps someone else who may be looking how to boot a Dell ImageAssist USB Boot Disk, using a VMWare Workstation 14 Virtual Machine.
Thank you for sharing the detailed information. ImageAssist also provides the option to create an ISO of the USB. To do so, run the USB creator from a command line as follows:
c:\Program Files\Dell\ImageAssist\USB_Drive_Creator.exe /iso
This is documented in the FAQ's section of the users guide
Tyler, is there any reason the ISO is not available for download alongside the ImageAssist installation download? It would save a lot of time for us who use the ISO to not have to make it ourselves.
DIA does not offer an ISO of the DIA PE because it is dynamically created based on the host Operating Systems settings which it is built on, e.g. language, region, etc. If you require an ISO for your company’s needs, you can launch the USB Drive Creator Tool with the “/iso” switch, and it will build an ISO file saved @: “C:\Dell_RESTORE_ISO.iso”.