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Windows update forces VMWare driver update

Derek Benak


I thought I would start here first since this only affects my PVS images.


I am using PVS 2012 to deploy Windows 2019 server on ESXi 6.5. When I run Windows update, it keeps pushing the "VMware, Inc. - net -" driver update, and I cannot prevent it from installing. This causes the image to BSOD during boot after installation.


I have the latest version of VMWare tools (11.1.5) and I have the GPO setting "Do not include drivers with Windows updates" enabled, yet it keeps appearing when I check for Windows updates.


The only fix is to reverse mount the image and re-install VMWare tools


Has anyone else seen this? Is there any other way to prevent this from downloading and installing?





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Thanks for your reply


I don't let/want Windows to update any virtual machine drivers. Windows seemed to be forcing on my computer, ignoring GPO settings. However, I think I fixed the issue.


With the image reverse mounted

I disabled the GPO setting "do not include drivers..." and rebooted

Then I enabled the GPO setting "do not include drivers..."

 I repaired vmware tools and rebooted

I reset Windows update (deleted Windows\softwaredistribution folder) and rebooted

Then I checked for updates and it didn't offer the driver this time.


Hopefully it stays gone this time


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I've encountered this many times,  Following is how I get around it.  You have to essentially add another nic and have it boot from it so that it doesn't break the streamed image. 

1.  Boot in private mode

2.  In Vcenter add an E1000 network adapter.  windows will recognize and install the browser

3.  Power off and record mac address of vmxnet3 and the mac address of the new E1000

4.  Change the mac address in PVS that matches the new E1000

5.  In VCenter, on the device, force it to boot to the BIOS setup screen and in the BIOS change it to boot from the E1000

6.  Start Device and install Windows patches

7.  Once you are finished your install, shutdown the VM

8.  Remove the E1000 from the device in VCenter

9.  In PVS change the mac address back to the Vmxnet3

10.  Reboot the device then uninstall the E1000 (you won't have to change the boot order because it will revert back to the vmxnet3).   It's probably hidden so you'll have to unhide devices.


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