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WinPE2 WIMs & XP Recovery Console


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Hello, Quick question to see if anyone else has come across the same issue. I've been deploying a .WIM image with support for varying models of PC for almost a year now (all Dell Optiplex GX240 to 760, and another all hp d510 through to dc7900) but only recently came across an issue - any PC which has been imaged through WinPE using Diskpart & ImageX won't work with the XP Recovery Console installed (winnt32.exe /cmdcons). Booting to the Recovery console at the boot screen results in "Disk Read Error, Press CTRL ALT DEL". If I use a traditional Ghost type image it's fine.

I haven't had chance to try it yet, but I suspect fixmbr might be the solution, but i do wonder why XP works fine but the console does not.

It isn't the uberbug or command console being installed before sysprep issue either.

I've found a useful looking tool - mbrfix which can be run from WinPE, which is great if it works, but do Microsoft not offer an official tool, it's pretty bad going, what's Best Practice™? I will try bootsect.exe /nt52, but if XP is working then id've thought that wont help.

What about people deploying XP WIMs from WDS? Sticking to MS tools, they'd have to boot from an XP CD to recovery console and run fixmbr for every PC if they wanted the recovery console to be installed.

Thank you for reading.

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WinPE 2.x is designed for Vista and newer operating systems. They do not use MBR but BCD. You can run BCDedit to fix a boot issue.

You'd have to customize your PE to run a program to fix the MBR at some point in deployment.

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bootsect.exe /nt52 z: /force

The above solved the problem, bootsect.exe can be found in the Windows AIK directory if you do a search, or is on the Vista/S2008 DVD.

I have now incorporated it into the batch file I use to image, something like:

Diskpart /s Disk0.TXT

bootsect.exe /nt52 z: /force

imagex /apply myimage.wim 1 z:

wpeutil reboot

Where Disk0.TXT Contains something like:

Select Disk 0


Create Part Pri

Format FS=NTFS Quick

Assign letter=z



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