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IcemanND

[GUIDE] Creating WIM images of Windows XP for system deployment using

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When you ran the diskpart commands are you sure you did the ACTIVE command? Usually the one everyone forgets or misses. You can run dist part, select the disk and set it to active without wiping the drive.

Diskpart

select disk 0

active

exit

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hmm, had to manually set the partition to active. I don't think I missed a step, but I must have. It's all good now.

Thanks.

<EDIT> had this open, and didn't see your post Ice :) Thanks though bud!

Also, THANKS again for all the help!!!

It worked perfectly, all applications I tested, and drivers. Now onto making my live disk image, and we will be set to go.

Edited by DaveWI

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Great resource here! I just found this place after being taxed with finding a new deployment method for the company... we currently use some unattended installs with scripts that nobody currently knows how to edit...

So... I've read through this entire thread and the guide and have a few questions that I'm sure will be easily answered by this crew:

1. Can I take xpsp3 source files... load up on a machine, manual clean install, load up drivers, base corporate software, etc... and then make a base image file for future deployments using Windows PE/WIM image?

2. If the answer to #1 is yes, I'm assuming it would be platform specific? Which isn't a huge deal to me.. we try to limit our platforms to 1 desktop and 2 laptops at a time... so if I have to make 3 images a year, so be it..

3. Can I slipstream updates into my WIM file but loading the base image on a machine, then loading the latest updates and then re-saving the WIM file over the old one? I just want to reduce the hassle of SMS having to load a ton of updates post imaging.

4. I followed the guide to create a cd that I can boot off of... it works as far as I can tell.. it comes up with a background and a command prompt... with WPEINIT as the last thing run... but how do I get NIC drivers installed so that I can connection to my other machine to actually save the image?

Thanks much

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4. see the guide for instructions on loading drivers, drvload (inf path)

1-2. You can make an image as desbcribed but you need to run sysprep to prep the machines for the destination systems, especially if you are using SMS. Once the machine shuts down after running sysprep you can capture your image. It depends upon the hardware how machine specific the image is. I have images I have successfully deployed to laptops and desktops, just have to have the drivers available.

3. I'm assuming you are using XP, if that is the case there isn't a built in way to add updates to the image. You could create your own method to install updates post imaging, i.e. have a folder in the image the updates go in, then on first boot have a script check the folder for updates and install each update it finds. Then all you would need to do is mount the WIM and add the update files to the folder. Or if you have WSUS and point your system at it you could manually (or via script) kick off automatic updates to download and install.

By the way this process will also work for Vista, but then you have the addititional option of being able to add updates to the WIM from the commandline, it is a feature of Vista and using WIMs with it.

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Thanks for the quick reply!

Regarding the drivers... I read about the 2 different methods but was a bit confused as to how that all fits into the boot cd creation procedure. Is it possible for me to embed a couple different nic drivers right to the boot disk that I could then load using the drvload method? I just wasn't sure how to go about adding them to the cd.

If I had to guess at the procedure... I'd try this:

imagex /mountrw c:\winpe_x86\winpe.wim 1 c:\winpe_x86\mount

xcopy "C:\drivers\net\broadcom100" c:\winpe_x86\mount\drivers\net\broadcom100

xcopy ...etc... with another nic driver

Then after you boot off the disk run this:

Drvload c:\winpe_x86\mount\drivers\net\broadcom100, any other drivers that are needed, etc, etc.

Am I on the right track? Obviously before I can make an assessment of if this will be the correct tool for me to use, I'd like to connect up to a host machine and save and image, additionally, I'd like to download that image to a machine as well... to be sure that I can make it all work with our hardware.

It's unfortunate that I can't slipstream the updates in the load... :( Yes it is XP for the time being but Windows 7 will be coming down the road at some point, once they figure out a few issues with our Oracle system. I can potentially utilize one of our programmer's time to make a script for me every so often to kick off all the updates. We don't have WSUS and our SMS server is sometimes slow to react for the update push.

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That is one method, but you can also use PEIMG to put the drivers in the boot WIM. Remember, the PE is actually an operating system, and you can service it (ie install packages, programs and drivers) when it is offline/not booted. If you end up having a lot of different drivers to load, it may reduce boot time.

As far as XP images go, it depends on your licensing. You can sysprep the images before capture OR you may just be able to run the SID Changer on the machine instead. You'd have to test which option is best for you because sometimes SID Changer can break some account related functions like Task Scheduler and IIS for example. I create XP images (not too much anymore) and keep hardware specific images just to be safe from possible problems. My control criteria for XP images are the motherboard, video card (if no onboard video), HAL, Service Pack and BIOS version.

Lastly, I hope your Broadcom drivers work, some Broadcom NICs do not work in WinPE.

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That is one method, but you can also use PEIMG to put the drivers in the boot WIM. Remember, the PE is actually an operating system, and you can service it (ie install packages, programs and drivers) when it is offline/not booted. If you end up having a lot of different drivers to load, it may reduce boot time.

As far as XP images go, it depends on your licensing. You can sysprep the images before capture OR you may just be able to run the SID Changer on the machine instead. You'd have to test which option is best for you because sometimes SID Changer can break some account related functions like Task Scheduler and IIS for example. I create XP images (not too much anymore) and keep hardware specific images just to be safe from possible problems. My control criteria for XP images are the motherboard, video card (if no onboard video), HAL, Service Pack and BIOS version.

Lastly, I hope your Broadcom drivers work, some Broadcom NICs do not work in WinPE.

FWIW, changing the SID isn't necessary. Also, using anything other than sysprep to change the SID is unsupported by MS.

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I was using the broadcom driver folder just as an example... We are an HP shop... just glancing over, my current laptop uses an Intel 82566MM Gigabit nic for wired and intel 4965ag wireless... looks like I just use an e1000 driver driver for the wired nic.

As for loading them offline, I'm fine with that too... but will the PE actually pick which drivers to load or give me a choice? It would be sweet if it automatically found the nic and pulled the driver from the cd without me having to train my admins how to load the driver manually after it has booted... but it's not mandatory.

And regarding sysprep, I'm familiar with it... at my former company, I used Altiris for workstation deployment, we would always sysprep the base machine just prior to making the image.

I just wish there was a bit more documentation for the MS deployment options.. most the "guides" are useless.... this is the first one that actually seemed to be accurate and has some continued support. I've loaded deployment toolkit 2010 and nlite and have not had much success in loading a machine. I did manage to get the mass storage drivers loaded, but haven't been successful in getting the rest of the drivers to load automatically.

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Also another question... what nic driver am I looking for in particular? I tossed all the drivers I have for the HP NC6400 laptop nic onto a flash drive... I can access the flash drive from the machine i want to image, while booted in PE... but when I try to do the drvload, it fails no matter which directory I point it at. I have winxp32, xp64, ndis2, 2k, etc...

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Vista driver needed. PE2 which is what you created is based off of windows Vista.

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If he is using SMS/SCCM a SID change is necessary as the GUID that SMS/SCCM uses is partially based off of the SID and SMS/SCCM do not like duplicate GUIDs. You could kinda get away with it in SMS but SCCM is much less tolerant of duplicate GUIDs.

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Vista driver needed. PE2 which is what you created is based off of windows Vista.

Thank you!

Let's say I get this WIM to upload to my workstation... can I then import it into Deployment workbench and make a fancy unattended DVD with application choices and the whole she-bang?

Every other attempt I've had with loading a clean OS install from the deployment workbench ended in blue screens... at least with HP hardware, I did get one to load on a dell... but no drivers actually loaded, so it definitely needed some major tweaking.. but with the HP's, that doesn't even work for me.

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I have never used the Deployment workbench so I can't speak to that but I can think of no reason why it would not work.

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I have never used the Deployment workbench so I can't speak to that but I can think of no reason why it would not work.

Woot, I was finally able to get a driver to load and get an IP! WIM uploaded and now I added it to deployment workbench... loading up a dvd now.. Lets hope this works!

Thanks much for all your help! Even if the workbench doesn't work, at least now I know that I am able to load up a single machine and save off an image of it for future deployments! A little taste of success today, which is nice!

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