MDT 2012 – The Ultimate WinPE Boot Media

This week I went to rebuild our MS DaRT Emergency Rescue Disk media.  While looking into the available tools to automate injection of our LiteTouch / MDT Deployment Workbench driver store into the DaRT boot media, I discovered something interesting in the MDT 2012 RC1 release notes… MDT 2012 supports the addition of DaRT into the LiteTouch boot media.  Once complete, you will have boot media that will support LiteTouch deployment, Standard WinRE recovery tools, and MS DaRT tools.  Too cool!  Some hours of work and a few gotchas later, it is done.  My LiteTouch media contains LiteTouch scripts, WinRE, DaRT, and PGP command line utilities.  Best of all, rebuilding of the media is sustainable.  Here is how it is done:

  1. Making WinRE available in LiteTouch boot media:
    In the Operating Systems section of the workbench, create a DEV folder.  Add to this one operating system with source files for each architecture that you need boot media for (i.e. amd64 and x86).  The OS version must match the version of WinPE used by the AIK on your build system.  (e.g. If you are using the Windows 7 AIK, you need current Windows 7 sources in the deployment share.)  To avoid trouble, make sure that these are the only operating systems with source files for this version of the AIK (e.g. You can have Vista source files if you need them, but keep only one Win 7 source so you will know which boot.wim is being used to generate your LiteTouch media).
  2. Adding DaRT:
    Follow the directions in the MDT help to install and activate the DaRT tools into the deployment share.
    In the deployment share CustomSettings.ini, set the variable:
    This will insure that the workbench will generate a combined WinRE/DaRT image.
  3. Adding PGP:
    To make PGP tools available, use the PGPPE tools to apply pgpwde.exe to the boot.wim in the 32-bit operating system source files that you created in step 1, as follows:
    pgppe.exe /vista [pathToOSSource] [pathToPGPFiles]
    This will install PGP tools into both the Windows Setup and WinPE images in the stock boot.wim.  When you generate LiteTouch media from the Workbench, the PGP tools already will be present.
    Documentation on the use of PGPPE can be found here:
    and here:
    (The first article contains corrections to the second article.  Note that PGPPE now is part of a standard PGP Desktop install, and does not need to be downloaded separately).

Of course, there is a lot more going on with MDT 2012 than just boot media changes… more on that later.