How to Perform Reverse Image in Provisioning Services to upgrade NIC Software

When a Provisioning Services Target Device for Windows is booted from Provisioning Services (across the network), it is not possible to perform any software updates that affect the network stack, since the network stack changes will drop the connection to the vDisk.

The following provides a list of known network affecting software that periodically requires updating, this is not necessarily a complete list:

  • Hypervisor Tools/NIC Drivers (e.g. VMware Tools, XenServer Tools, VirtIO, etc.)
  • Provisioning Services Target Device Software for Windows – If the Provisioning Services Target Device Software for Windows is version 7.6.1 or newer, then reverse imaging is no longer needed to update the Provisioning Services Target Device Software. In this case, create a new maintenance version of your vDisk, boot it, and run the new Provisioning Services target device installer to do an in-place upgrade.
  • Windows 10 SAC releases upgrades
  • Antivirus definition updates
  • Firewall/Network security software

To update network stack-affecting software, you must first convert (clone) the Provisioning Services vDisk to a traditional virtual machine local disk. The process to convert from vDisk to local disk is sometimes called Reverse Imaging. Once booted from local disk (without going through the network), you can do whatever you want with the NIC. In this state, it’s just a regular virtual machine and no longer connected to the Provisioning Services server.

After Provisioning Services target device software is uninstalled and the system is rebooted to local disk, proceed to upgrade hypervisor tools, NIC driver, Provisioning services target device software, Windows 10, or update antivirus definitions.

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