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Vista install through PE

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I've been using a computer for Vista testing that is incapable of booting Vista installation from a flash drive. It WILL boot pretty much anything else from usb, but sadly not vista :wacko:

Anyways, I've been looking for a command to install Vista from the hard drive, like what is used with windows XP:

i386\ winnt32 /syspart:c: /tempdrive:c /unattend:winnt.sif

but, I can't find anything on the subject. This computer can boot bartpe from USB, so I figured I could just throw Vista on the same key.

Thanks for the help,


Edited by KevinGT
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Hi KevinGT,

Currently I am testing deployment of Vista from network share and use the "setup.exe /unattend:unattend.xml" commandline.

I have made a share and copied the complete Vista (Enterprise) DVD to the share. I boot the client with WinPE 2.0 and then run the above commandline from the share. If you need more information please let me know and I will post more.




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I have had the same boot issue with WinPE2 (Vista) when trying to boot off a flash drive. WinPE1 (XP) boots fine from a flash drive, WinPE2 does not. However, I can place WinPE2 on a bootable CD and boot just fine.

With our devices, the problem is in the BIOS which sucks.


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There is a workaround that I've found. Install bartpe on a usb flash drive so that you can boot off of it. Then, get Windows Server 2003 SP1 PE and make it an iso. Delete the bartpe.iso on your flash drive, replacing it with the iso you made from the Windows Server PE, and rename it to bartpe.iso.

This Windows PE, version 1.6, supports installing Vista from PE, and boots just as bartpe would. If your computer only boots using USB 1.1, loading the Windows Server 2003 PE (renamed to bartpe.iso of course) can take upwards of 20 minutes.

But, it works :thumbup

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Thumb Drives are convenient way to boot PE, but there is still a lot of systems out there that do not support the various modes of operation and booting from them. Also some Thumb Drives just are not bootable as you all should be aware of.

I have found the best method is to boot from CD as it's tried and tested. Map a drive to a share on a server form within the PE2 env then usually have a base vista wim file and deploy using the imagex tool

ie: net use y: \\server\share <pass> /user:<some user>

imagex /apply y:\<my wim file> 1 c:

Hope that is some help



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It is very easy to create a bootable USB Flashdrive. It is described in the Windows AIK manual. you need to make a partition on the USB Drive from within Vista in order for the BOOTMGR to be added to the flashdrive.

If you try to do this from within WXP, you need to use the bootsect.exe tool to write the vista bootsector to the USB flashdrive. If this is ok, you only need to copy some files from the winpe source and boot from usb flash drive.

If someone want more I can provide more details. Please let me know.




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