Windows PE

Since we are now on Campus Agreement, we have access to “Windows PE”, the Microsoft bootable 32-bit OS for system installation and maintenance.

Lots of work to get everything going. Let us start with a 2k3-ee WinPE install:
note: turns out my 2k3ee sources are corrupted… bummer! Switched to SE, since it really makes no difference…

  1. Download Windows PE, 2005 edtion from microsoft licensing site (Password ID and login info provided by Nicole Chittenden, former manager of CA at UVM).
  2. Extract PE package. In my case, to F:WinPE
  3. Extract Server 2k3 EE to local hard drive – slipstream SP1 into the directory
  4. at shell, cd to F:winpewinpe, run

    mkimg.cmd d:2k3-ee-sp1 c:winpe-2k3-ee

    (this builds a WinPE installation using the 2k3 server source to the directory specified.)

  5. Now, add Microsoft ADS support files to the WinPE image: Add the files Adssupport.dll, Imglib.dll, and Imgdeploy.exe to a directory of the Windows PE build folder. These files can be found in the Program FilesMicrosoft ADSBin and C:Program FilesMicrosoft ADSnbsrepositoryDeploymentAgent directories where the ADS imaging tools are installed. (note that the MS documentation is a bit off on the location of these files).
  6. note: If networking will be required when booting to a subnet without DHCP support, a static address will need to be configured in the winbom.ini files of the WinPE image. I added the following to assist in the generation of the Catalyst images:

    Gateway =
    IPConfig =
    StartNet = Yes
    SubnetMask =
    WinPEFirewall = On

  7. Finally, create an ISO to burn to CD. Again at the F:winpewinpe shell, run:

    oscdimg -n d:winpe-2k3-ee d:winpex86-2k3-ee.iso

Now let’s build a WinPE for XP Pro.

  1. Extract XP Pro CD (SP2 integrated) files to the local hard drive.
  2. at shell, cd to F:winpewinpe, run

    mkimg.cmd d:xppro-sp2 c:winpe-xppro-sp2

    (this builds a WinPE installation using the XP Pro source to the directory specified.)

  3. Note that for XP, we will want to perform the additional step of adding some NIC drivers. We have a bunch of these alrady available on our RIS server. Start by copying our current XP NIC drivers from the production RIS server to a local directory (in our case, D:drivers-xp):


    Again at the F:WinPEWinPE shell, perform the following:

    drvinst.exe /inf:d:drivers-xp d:Winpe-xppro-sp2

    Note that this procedure will only work for non-PNP drivers, UNLESS we do a special WinPE build enabling it (mkimg /PNP)

  4. Finally, create an ISO to burn to CD. Again at the F:winpewinpe shell, run:

    oscdimg -n d:winpe-xppro-sp2 d:winpex86-xppro-sp2.iso


Norton1 LiveUpdate server complaints

LiveUpdate complaints from the end-users… cannot run LiveUpdate, LiveUpdate logs indicate a specific file was “unavailable on the server”.

FTP into does reveal that the file is not actually there. The quick fix here is to resynch the LiveUpdate directory from SYmantec. To do this:

  1. On Norton1, Launch “LiveUpdate Administration Utility”.
  2. Go to Tools>Options, then select “Retrieve new and previously downloaded updates”, then “ok”.
  3. Click “retrieve”, wait for the process to complete.
  4. Change the previously set option back to “New updates only”.

Now test out LiveUpdate to see if the missing file has been restored.