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Windows Vista

Preparing Windows PE : Automating Windows PE, Using Windows PE with BDD

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3/29/2013 4:47:31 PM

1. Automating Windows PE


Most Windows PE automation is done by customizing Unattend.xml, the Windows Vista unattended answer file. Use the Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM) to create and edit this file. Unattend.xml allows you to control automation tasks in all the major installation passes. You can put it in the root of your Windows PE media to automate the installation process.

Automating with Unattend.xml

Windows SIM is the primary tool for creating and modifying Unattend.xml. It is designed to validate each automation step against the actual files in an image to ensure that you use proper syntax to build the automation. This provides an extra measure of assurance that unattended installations will work as planned.

When beginning the process of creating an answer file, be sure to create a catalog file if necessary to allow Windows SIM to validate your choices against the image file. Add answer file options to the answer file by right-clicking a component and choosing Add Setting To Pass 1 windowsPE. The setting will then appear in the answer file pane, where you can configure it. When you complete answer file customization, you can validate the answer file by clicking Tools, and then choosing Validate Answer File. Any settings that are not configured or that use invalid configuration settings will be listed in the Messages pane. When you are satisfied with the answer file, save it to the root folder of your Windows PE media. When you boot a system using this media, the answer file is automatically detected and will control the operation of Windows PE.

Adding Images to Windows DS

When you have completed building a Windows PE image, you can use Windows DS to deploy it to clients. This allows you to use the PXE boot automation services of Windows DS to replace portable media as the primary method of initiating Windows Vista installations.

To add a Windows PE boot image to Windows DS
1.
In the Windows DS Administration Console, expand your Windows DS server and right-click Boot Images.

2.
Click Add Boot Image to launch the Add Image Wizard.

3.
Follow the instructions in the wizard to select and import your custom Windows PE image.


2. Using Windows PE with BDD

BDD 2007 provides an infrastructure solution for automating the deployment of Windows Vista. Part of the infrastructure is the support for customizing and building Windows PE images. You manage the actual process of building the Windows PE image files by using wizards and scripting, greatly simplifying the process of adding device drivers and packages, automating settings, and prepping and capturing the deployment image.

You use Deployment Workbench to manage most operations regarding the creation and deployment of Windows Vista images and applications. This scripted environment is able to dynamically update Windows PE as updates are made to the Windows Vista distribution.

Deployment points (other than Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Operating System Deployment Feature Pack deployment points) automatically generate Windows PE images when you update them. As shown in Figure 1, you can customize a deployment point’s Windows PE image and choose which types of Windows PE images the deployment point generates when you update it. Table 1 describes Windows PE settings that you can customize for each deployment point.

Figure 1. Configure Windows PE Settings in Deployment Workbench.

Table 1. Windows PE Settings in a Deployment Point
AreaSettings
Images to Generate
  • Generate A Lite Touch Flat Bootable ISO Image Select this option to generate flat bootable ISO images.

  • Generate A Lite Touch Bootable RAM Disk ISO Image Select this option to generate ISO images that start from RAM disk.

  • Generate A Generic Flat Bootable ISO Image Select this option to generate a generic Windows PE flat bootable image that does not contain BDD 2007.

  • Generate A Generic Bootable RAM Disk ISO Image Select this option to generate a generic Windows PE bootable image that starts from RAM disk and does not contain BDD 2007.

Driver Injection
  • Include All Network Drivers in the Selected Group Select this option to inject all network drivers found in the distribution share into the Windows PE boot images.

  • Include All Mass Storage Drivers in the Selected Group Select this option to inject all mass storage drivers found in the distribution share into the Windows PE boot images.

  • Include All Video Drivers in the Selected Group Select this option to inject all video drivers found in the distribution share into the Windows PE boot images.

  • Include All System-Class Drivers in the Selected Group Select this option to inject all system drivers (such as motherboard drivers) in the distribution share into the Windows PE boot images.

You can limit the device drivers that Deployment Workbench includes in the Windows PE image by selecting a driver group from the Driver Group list.
Optional Components
  • ADO Select this option to add the ADO optional component to the Windows PE bootable images.

Optional FontsSelect the font support to add to the Windows PE boot images that Deployment Workbench generates. You must add these fonts when performing a lite touch deployment of Windows Vista images when the setup files are Japanese, Korean, or Chinese. The Optional Fonts area provides the following options:
  • Chinese (ZH-CN)

  • Chinese (ZH-HK)

  • Chinese (ZH-TW)

  • Japanese (JA-JP)

  • Korean (KO-KR)

Adding additional fonts to Windows PE boot images increases the size of the images. Add additional fonts only if necessary.
Windows PE Customizations
  • Custom Background Bitmap File Type the path and file name of a bitmap file to use as the Windows PE background.

  • Extra Directory To Add Type the path of a folder containing extra files and subfolders to add to the Windows PE bootable images.

Other -----------------
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