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Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to Create a Windows PE Disk



This tutorial does not cover every possible scenario, nor is it intended to. It's pretty basic but, if followed, will create a usable Windows PE disk based upon Windows 7. I'm using Windows 7 professional.

Here's How:

Start by downloading the Windows Automated Installation Toolkit

You'll find online documentation here:

Downloadable documentation here:

and the readme here:

Once you have the WAIK downloaded, either burn it to disk, or mount it using your preferred ISO mounting application, and install. 

I used Virtual Clone Drive for mounting the ISO, available from:

Once installed, open the AIK Command prompt:
Start – All Programs – Microsoft Windows AIK – Deployment Tools Command Prompt

Begin with a cleanup:

Code:
dism /cleanup-wim
Run the copype.cmd script:

Code:
copype.cmd x86 c:\winpe

NOTE:
the syntax for this command is:

Code:
copype.cmd <architecture> <destination>
so you'll need to change “x86” to “amd64” or “ia64” for those architectures. Also, my chosen destination is “c:\winpe” but you can create your folder elsewhere if you want. Just keep in mind that this tutorial uses “c:\winpe” in the examples, so you'll need to adapt that to your choice of destination. The command creates the necessary folder structure within the destination folder.

Now, copy and rename the base image:

Code:
copy c:\winpe\winpe.wim c:\winpe\iso\sources\boot.wim
Mount the wim file:

Code:
dism /mount-wim /wimfile:c:\winpe\winpe.wim /index:1 /mountdir:c:\winpe\mount
Add imagex to the system32 folder so it is pathed:

Code:
copy "c:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\imagex.exe" c:\winpe\mount\windows\system32

NOTE:
I didn't add any additional packages or drivers to my Windows PE, however I am including the following two steps for those who might need them.
You can add additional packages by using the following syntax:

Code:
dism / image:<path_to_image> /add-package /packagepath:<path_to_package>
Drivers can be added using the following syntax: (The recurse switch causes the command to add all drivers within the path including those in subdirectories.)

Code:
dism /image:<path_to_image> /add-driver /driver:<path_to_driver> /recurse
Unmount the finished wimfile:

Code:
dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:c:\winpe\mount\ /commit
Copy the finished wimfile:

Code:
copy c:\winpe\winpe.wim c:\winpe\iso\sources\boot.wim /y
Create a bootable iso file:

Code:
oscdimg -n -bc:\winpe\etfsboot.com c:\winpe\iso c:\winpe\winpe.iso
Close the Deployment Tools Command Prompt.

Browse to c:\winpe\ and right-click on winpe.iso and choose Open With – Windows Disk Image Burner to burn the iso to disk.

You now have a usable Windows PE disk. Mine has proven invaluable since I support a herd of over 200 Windows boxen and frequently need to image machines.

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