First of all this is not a Citrix-supported configuration so use at your own risk! This procedure is being provided as a guide to assist those who are using WinPE to deploy systems and want the improved performance of the paravirtualized network driver.

In this post, I will cover how to successfully build a Windows 8 Pre-installation Environment boot disk with XenServer 6.5 paravirtualized drivers installed.


  • The installation bundle is extracted in the local path E:\Citrix\
  • The driver path after extraction is E:\Citrix\6_5_PE_install\installer\pe
  • The ADK8.bat in the install bundle scripts directory has the following pre-configured destination for the resultant WinPE ISO c:\pedisc\pe8-%3.iso. The path needs to be created or the script edited to place the ISO in a path that does exist.
  • The WinPE build directory is c:\windows8-x86 (created in step 5 below)

Step-By-Step Process

  1. Download  and install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows® 8
  2. Download the XenServer 6.5 PE install bundle
  3. Extract the install bundle ZIP file.
  4. Start the ADK Environment as Administrator using “Run as Administrator”
  5. Create the WinPE build environment issuing the command:C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\copype.cmd x86 C:\windows8-x86
  6. Run the ADK8.bat issuing the following command:
    Usage: ADK8.bat <wim file> <driver folder> [x86|x64]E:\Citrix\6_5_PE_install\installer\pe\scripts\ADK8.bat C:\windows8-x86\media\sources\boot.wim E:\Citrix\6_5_PE_install\installer\pe x86
  7. Copy ISO to ISO storage repository
  8. Boot VM using newly created ISO
  9. Verify that PV driver is loaded by issuing the ipconfig /all command and looking for “XenServer PV Network Device” in the description field of the network adapter.NOTE: You will not see an optimized message in XenCenter and will not have power control options since the agent is not installed/running.

Additional Information

The XenTools included in the install bundle are from XS65E002.

The latest PE scripts can be found on GitHub

Unfortunately performing an administrative install of the official driver package and then placing them in the scripted directory structure does not  work consistently. This is why the install ZIP is provided in the process above since the drivers are pulled directly from the build directory before the MSI is built. An example of the command to administratively extract the drivers from the MSI is:  msiexec /a “D:\citrixxendriversx86.msi” /log c:\drvpe\admin.log

The log contains the path where the drivers were placed. I am only providing it here in case someone wants to try making it work my experience has been the process fails with the extracted drivers.