WinPE: Building from the Windows Vista AIK Beta

So, workstation image capture is now performed using “XImage.exe” (soon to be renamed ImageX.exe). Although multiple capture methods are supported, use of Windows PE 2.0 is encouraged.

I obtained the February CTP of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK). This contains several utilities for working with and creating Windows “WIM” image files, and also includes WIMs for Windows PE 2.0.

Here is the process I am working on for building a bootable Windows PE image:

  1. Install the Windows AIK
  2. cd %ProgramFiles%Windows AIKToolsx86 (this directory contains all of the CLI tools for WinPE image building)
  3. mkdir winpebuildbuild
  4. ximage /apply boot.wim 1 c:winpebuildbuild (this extracts image index “1” from the boot.wim in the AIK directory to the specified build directory. All of the WinPE files are now available on the local NTFS drive)
  5. To install additional network drivers to the PE build:
    peimg /inf=[path to NIC driver INF] c:winpebuildbuildwindows
  6. copied “ximage.exe” and all other .dll files from the working AIK directory to c:winpebuildbuildwindowssystem32
  7. Now save a copy of the working build directory, as the next step will make irreversable changes to the build directory:
    ximage /capture c:winpebuildbuild c:imageswinpe1.wim “Custom Base Image” /compress /max
    (this captures the build directory to a WIM file “winpe1.wim” with descriptor “Custom Base Image”, using maximum image compression to save drive space.)
  8. Now we prepare the build directoryfor capture. This step optimizes the build, but also prevents future use of the “peimg /inf” command:
    peimg /prep c:winpebuildbuildwindows
  9. Now we generate a WIM file of our customized build:
    ximage /capture c:winpebuildbuild c:winpebuildboot.wim “WinPE Image with VMWare Drivers” /boot /compress max
  10. In the next steps we create a separate directory structure which from which we will build a bootable .ISO WinPE image:
    mkdir winpesources, mkdir winpeboot
  11. copy bootmgr c:winpe
  12. xcopy /cherky .boot c:winpeboot (relative to the working x86 AIK directory) (these three steps add files necessary for building a bootable ISO to the directory structure)
  13. ximage /boot /export /compress max c:winpebuildboot.wim 1 c:winpesourcesboot.wim (copies the custom WIM to the new directory scructure… I wonder if I could just use “xcopy”?)
  14. oscdimg /n / c:winpe c:winpe.iso (creates a bootable ISO from the boot.wim using the boot code in “”.)

AARGH! It just does not work still! No networking is available when I boot to WinPE!!!!


One thought on “WinPE: Building from the Windows Vista AIK Beta”

  1. Hmmm… the failure of networking to function on this WinPE instance appears to a a driver problem. If I instead boot to my physical host (Dell Optiplex GX620 with b57 NIC), networking functions “just fine”.


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