How to deploy Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment from an RIS server by using PXE-enabled clients

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SUMMARY

This article describes how to deploy the Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) from a Remote Installation Services (RIS) server for a Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) start.

MORE INFORMATION

There are two methods that you can use to deploy Windows PE from a RIS server. The first method uses a RAM disk device to deploy Windows PE from the RIS server. The second method deploys a Windows PE image from a Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows Server 2003 CD-based image. You must use this second method only if you have older versions of Windows PE or if you do not have a Windows Server 2003-based RIS server. This second method opens many file handles from the RIS server. Therefore, this method reduces the performance of the RIS server when you start multiple instances of Windows PE. You may also experience time-out errors.

For more information about how to deploy Windows PE from RIS Servers, see the latest Winpe.chm file. This file is included with the Windows PE CD and with the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) CD.

Before you use the methods that are described in this article, you must make sure that you have the following items:
  • A customized Windows PE International Organization for Standardization (ISO) image that is created from the Windows PE CD or from the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) CD.
  • A RIS server that is running Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1).
  • A Windows PE CD or an OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) CD.

Method 1: Deploy Windows PE from a RIS server by using a RAM disk

  1. On the RIS server, locate the \RemoteInstall\Setup\Language\Images folder.
  2. Create a subfolder for Windows PE. For example, type the following at a command prompt:
    drive:\Cd \RemoteInstall\Setup\English\Images md winpe
    Note In this step, drive is the placeholder of the hard disk drive on which RIS is installed. Language is the language of the Windows PE image.
  3. Create a subfolder in the \Windows PE folder that is named Platform, where platform is i386 or amd64. For example, type the following command at the command prompt: md winpe\i386
  4. Copy the customized Windows PE .iso image file that you created earlier to the Windows PE\Platform folder, where platform is i386 or amd64. For example, type the following command at the command prompt:
    copy drive:\Work\Winpex86.iso drive 1:\RemoteInstall\Setup\English\Images\Winpe\i386
    Note drive is the placeholder of the hard disk that contains the Windows PE image. Also, drive 1 is a placeholder for the hard disk partition on which RIS is installed.
  5. Create a subfolder in the \Windows PE\Platform folder that is named Templates. For example, type the following command at the command prompt:
    md winpe\i386\templates
  6. Locate the Platform folder of the Windows PE image, and then copy Ntdetect.com and Startrom.com to the Windows PE\Platform\Templates folder. For example, type the following commands at the command prompt:
    drive:\ cd \winpe\i386 copy ntdetect.com
    drive 1:\RemoteInstall\Setup\English\Images\winpe\i386\templates copy startrom.com
    drive 1:\RemoteInstall\Setup\English\Images\winpe\i386\templates


    Note In this step, drive is the placeholder of the hard disk that contains the Windows PE image and drive 1 is a placeholder for the hard disk partition on which RIS is installed.
  7. Copy the \Platform\Setupldr.exe (not Setupldr.bin) file from the Windows PE image to the \Windows PE\platform\templates folder, and then rename Setupldr.exe to Ntldr. For example, run the following command at the command prompt:
    copy setupldr.exe drive 1:\RemoteInstall\Setup\English\Images\winpe\i386\templates\ntldr
    .

    Note In this step, drive 1 is a placeholder for the hard disk partition on which RIS is installed.
  8. Create a text file that is named Winnt.sif in the \Windows PE\Platform\Templates folder by using the following text.
    [SetupData]
    BootDevice = "ramdisk(0)"
    BootPath = "\platform\System32\"
    OsLoadOptions = "/noguiboot /fastdetect /minint /rdexportascd /rdpath=%INSTALLPATH%\%MACHINETYPE%\<bootimage>"
    
    Architecture = "platform" 
     
    [RemoteInstall]
    Repartition = No
     
    [OSChooser]
    Description = "brief description"
    Help = "longer description"
    LaunchFile = "%INSTALLPATH%\%MACHINETYPE%\templates\startrom.com"
    ImageType = Flat
    Version = "5.2 (0)"
    
  9. Start a RIS client, and then select the operating system image that you created.
Notes
  • RAM disk method supports only x86 and x64-based Windows PE ISO images. For Itanium (IA-64)-based Windows PE ISO images use Method 2.
  • You can put the i386 and amd64 folders within the same folder on a RIS server. For example, you can create the following folder structure:
    \RemoteInstall\Setup\English\Images\Winpe\i386 \RemoteInstall\Setup\English\Images\Winpe\Amd64
  • You can give the Winnt.sif file any name that you want as long as the file name extension is .sif.
  • The "Repartition = No" entry in the Winnt.sif file avoids a warning from the Client Installation Wizard (OSChooser) about the disk being erased.
  • The text for the "Description" and "Help" entries can be any information that you want to include.
  • The "LaunchFile" and "ImageType" entries must not change.
  • Restart the client, and then go into PXE startup. After you log on, select the Maintenance and Troubleshooting option in the Main menu. "Windows PE in RAMDisk," or whatever other description exists in the .sif file, appears as an option. Select this option, and then press ENTER.

    The computer starts Windows PE by using the RAM disk.

Method 2: Deploy Windows PE from RIS server in legacy flat method

  1. On the RIS server, type the following command at a command prompt:
    RISetup.exe –add
    When you are prompted for a source, point RISetup to the Windows operating system CD that you want to use. The choice of the Windows operating system depends on the version of Windows PE that you add to the RIS server. For Windows PE 2004, use Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2. For Windows PE 2005, use Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition Service Pack 1.
  2. Browse the location where RISetup installed the image. For example, the location may resemble the following:
    \\Server_name\Share_name\REMINST\Setup\Language\Images
    Note In this step, the Server_name placeholder represents the RIS server name. The Share_name placeholder represents the name of the shared folder that contains the image. The Language placeholder represents the language version of the image.
  3. Open the platform subfolder in the image that you created, where platform represents i386, amd64, or IA-64.
  4. Open the Platform folder on the CD or network share that contains Windows PE files, where platform represents i386, amd64, or IA-64.
  5. Copy the contents of the Windows PE Platform folder to the platform folder of the image that you just opened.
  6. When you are prompted to overwrite the files, click Yes to all.
  7. Open the Templates folder in the Platform folder to which you copied Windows PE Platform contents.
  8. Open the RIStndrd.sif file in a text editor. On the line that starts with OSLoadOptions, add the /minint option.
  9. Copy the drivers (*.inf and *.sys) for the network adapter to the Platform folder that was created by RISetup.
  10. Stop and start the BinlSvc service on the RIS server. For example, type the following commands at a command prompt:
    net stop binlsvc
    net start binlsvc
  11. Start a RIS client, and then select the operating system image that you created in step 1.
Notes
  • If you do not copy the network drivers to the Platform folder, you may receive the following error message:
    The operating system image you selected does not contain the necessary drivers for your network adapter. Try selecting a different operating system image. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator. Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit.
  • If you use Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)-enabled Windows PE images, make sure that the share that contains the Windows PE image is marked as read-only. Otherwise, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Tester (WBEMTest) may report error 0x80041014. This will make sure that other clients that connect will not error out when they try to enable WMI.
  • The maximum number of simultaneous installations that can be performed from a RIS server is 75.
  • We recommend that you disable Setupapi logging when you use this method. For more information about how to disable Setupapi logging, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    822570 You experience long Startup times when you start WinPE by means of a Remote Installation Services server

Add Windows PE to the RIS Maintenance and Troubleshooting tools

You can add Windows PE to the list of tools that are available in the Maintenance and Troubleshooting section of the Client Installation Wizard. When you add Windows PE to the list of RIS tools, you specify that the Windows PE is used for installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting tasks instead of being used as a desktop operating system.

To add Windows PE to the list of RIS tools, follow these steps:
  1. In the Templates folder of the Windows PE image, find the RIStndrd.sif file.
  2. Open the RIStndrd.sif file in a text editor.
  3. In the [OSChooser] section, change the ImageType = "Flat" entry to ImageType = "winpe".
  4. Move the Winbom.ini file from the Platform folder of the Windows PE image to the root folder of the image.

    Note If you do not follow this step and run the factory.exe command together with the -minint switch or the -winpe switch, Windows PE displays a dialog box that asks you to restart Windows PE after it starts.
  5. Open the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), right-click the domain or organizational unit that you want to use, and then click Create and Link a GPO Here.
  6. In the New GPO dialog box, type a name for the Group Policy object (GPO), and then click OK.
  7. Right-click the GPO, and then click Edit.
  8. In Group Policy Object Editor, locate and expand the following container:
    User Configuration\Windows Settings\Remote Installation Services
    .
  9. In the right pane, double-click Choice Options.
  10. In the Choice Options Properties dialog box, under Tools, click Enabled, and then click OK.
  11. Close the Group Policy Object Editor.
  12. In GPMC, click the domain or organizational unit to which the GPO that you created earlier is linked.
  13. In the right pane, click the GPO that you created, and then click Move Link Up until the link order for the GPO is lower than any GPOs that have conflicting settings.

    The GPO with the lowest link order takes precedence over GPOs with higher link orders.
Notes
  • Only Windows Server 2003-based RIS servers support this procedure.
  • Although the Windows PE image appears in the Maintenance and Troubleshooting section of the Client Installation Wizard, it does not appear on the Tools tab of the Remote-Installation-Services Properties dialog box on the RIS server.
  • The default settings of the Default Domain Policy GPO on a Windows Server 2003-based domain disable all options except Automatic Setup in the Choice Options Properties dialog box. To override the default settings, make sure that the GPO that you create has a lower link order than the Default Domain Policy GPO.

Properties

Article ID: 304992 - Last Review: December 11, 2006 - Revision: 10.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
Keywords: 
kbenv kbhowto kbsetup KB304992

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