Tip

Create a custom copy of a Windows PE CD

Windows PE 2005 (a.k.a. 1.6) has been released. And now you want a working custom Windows PE CD that has Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), scripting support and loads into a RAM drive. And you want it to run from a CD-ROM? No problem! Follow the instructions below to get a working custom copy of Windows PE 2005 as an ISO file in a matter of minutes. And of course, you can always update and customize it as much as you want (the scripts and the ISO that is!).

  1. Create a folder called WindowsPE in the root of your C Drive.
  2. Within this folder, create the following folders:
    Win2k3
    Winpe
    Work
  3. Copy the entire contents of your Windows 2003 SP1 CD into the C:WindowsPE\Win2k3 folder.
  4. Copy the Winpe folder from your Windows PE 2005 CD\download in to C: \windowspe\WinPE folder.
  5. From your Windows PE 2005 CD\download copy the SERVERSP1-REMOVELIST.TXT file from the samples folder in to the C: \windowspe\winpe folder.
  6. In the C:\windowspe folder, create the following text files and save with a CMD extension. Put the following code into the relevant files:
----------------------------------
File: buildopt.cmd
File contents:
c:
cd\
cd windowspe
cd winpe
Buildoptionalcomponents.vbs /S:c:\windowspe\win2k3 /D:c: \windowspe\winpetmp /Q
-----------------------------------
File: MakeISO.cmd
File contents:

c:\windowspe\winpe\oscdimg -lWinpe2005 -h -n -o -bc: \windowspe\winpe\ETFSBOOT.COM
c:\windowspe\winpetmp c:\windowspe\winpe2005.iso
------------------------------------
File: MakePE.cmd
File contents:

c:
cd\
cd windowspe
cd winpe
MKIMG.CMD c:\windowspe\win2k3 c:\windowspe\winpetmp /WMI /NOWF
--------------------------------------
File: MakeRamiso.cmd
File contents:

c:\windowspe\winpe\oscdimg -lWinpe2005 -h -n -o -bc: \windowspe\winpe\ETFSBOOT.COM
c:\windowspe\work c:\windowspe\winpe2005_RAM.iso
---------------------------------------

File: ShrinkPE.cmd
File contents:

REM Modify the following environment variables to your settings:
SET WinPE=c:\Windowspe\winpeTMP
SET Arch=I386
SET RemoveList=c:\WindowsPE\winpe\SERVERSP1-REMOVELIST.TXT
cd /d %WinPE%\%Arch%
for /f "eol=;" %%i in (%RemoveList%) do del /q %%i
---------------------------------------

Ok now you have done that, follow these instructions:

  1. Run MakePE.cmd
  2. Run Buildopt.cmd
  3. Run Shrink.cmd
  4. Run makeiso.cmd
  5. Copy the Winpe2005.ISO file in to the C:\windowspe\work folder
  6. Under C:\windowspe\work create an I386 folder.
  7. From the Windows 2003 Server folder, under I386 (C:\windowspe\win2k3\I386) copy the following files to the C: \windowspe\work\i386 folder Bootfix.Bin NTDetect.Com Setupldr.Bin
  8. Create a text file under C:\windowspe\work called winnt.sif and paste the following in to the file: [SetupData] BootDevice = "ramdisk(0)" BootPath = "\I386\System32\" OsLoadOptions = "/noguiboot /fastdetect /minint /rdexportascd /rdpath=winpe2005.iso"
  9. Run the makeramiso.cmd file
  10. Burn the Winpe2005_RAM.iso file to a cd.

There you have it. The .CMD files are really easy and these instructions will save you the time and effort of reading through the Windows PE 2005 CHM file to get the information. Enjoy!


Paul Davey is a Technology Development Consultant for Atkins, a multinational company specializing in engineering. He can be reached at Paul.E.Davey@Atkinsglobal.com.

This was first published in May 2005

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