WinPE 2.0: Lessons on capturing images

25. April 2007 15:33 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

This past two weeks I have been working on a deployment that involves technologies like PXE, WinPE, Windows Deployment Services, the Windows Automated Installation Kit, and others. I was stuck for a while with WinPE, having issues when trying to capture a Windows image using the WDS Capture disk.

Most of the issues I had were driver-related. When I started, neither the network nor the hard drive of the machine (SATA drivers!! argh!!) were available to WinPE.

So, I did the following:

  1. Get the storage drivers from Intel’s website. You can download them from here. Make sure you download the Vista version of the drivers.
  2. Unpack them on a temporary directory. In my case I ran:
             iata621_enu.exe -A -PF:\intel
  3. Mount the Capture WinPE 2.0 wim image (generated through the WDS console) to a directory:
             imagex /mountrw d:\temp\capture.wim 1 d:\temp\wpe
  4. Copy the file C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\imagex.exe to d:\temp\wpe or where you mounted the wim image).
  5. Now, add the drivers to the WinPE image with the following command:
             peimg PF:\intel\*.inf d:\temp\wpe\Windows
  6. Unmount the WinPE wim image:
             imagex /unmount /commit d:\temp\wpe
  7. Add the WIM image to WDS. On the console, select Windows Deployment Services->Servers->->Boot Images->(Right Click)->Add Boot Image, and browse to the WIM you just unmounted
  8. Boot the target machine using PXE and make sure it loads the correct WIM image
  9. Ok, so here is where I had issues:
    • First, the WDS Image Capture Wizard didn't list the SATA drives. Turns out the driver loaded correctly, but for some reason it couldn't see the drive.
    • If you run into an issue where the driver won't load, try using the drvload command from the WinPE command prompt..
  10. Because of those issues, I had to fall back to the command line. To do this, press Shift-F10 in the Capture Wizard, and that will open a command prompt.
  11. Once in the command prompt, create the image using imagex:
             imagex /capture c: c:\myimage.wim "My Image" /compress maximum
  12. With the image created, map a network drive on the server, and copy it back:
             net use i: \\\share * /user:
  13. Copy the image back to the server (I: drive)
  14. Turn the machine off.
  15. Enjoy your newly captured image!!!!