Create a bootable WinPE boot disk to capture images using imagex

Here is a quick list of commands to create a basic WinPE bootable ISO image to use for capturing images of computers using imagex. First of all make sue that you have downloaded and installed the Windows AIK (Automated Installation Kit) on your computer which can be found here. Once the Windows AIK is installed run the ‘Deployment Tools Command Prompt’ form the Start Menu under ‘Microsoft Windows AIK’. In the ‘Deployment Tools Command Prompt’ run the following command which will create a folder on your C:\ drive called ‘winpe-bootdisk’ with all the necessary files to create the bootdisk:

copype.cmd x86 c:\winpe-bootdisk

The copy the winpe.wim base image to the c:\winpe-bootdisk\ISO\sources folder, renaming it to boot.wim

copy c:\winpe-bootdisk\winpe.wim c:\winpe-bootdisk\ISO\sources\boot.wim

Next you can mount the boot.wim image file to add any other tools that you want to include on the bootdisk. Once mounted the file system for boot.wim file can be found under c:\winpe-bootdisk\mount:

Dism /Mount-Wim /WimFile:C:\winpe-bootdisk\ISO\sources\boot.wim /index:1 /MountDir:C:\winpe-bootdisk\mount

If necessary copy any other tools you want to the boot.wim image e.g. imagex:

copy “C:\program files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\imagex.exe” C:\winpe-bootdisk\mount\Windows\System32

You may also want to add additional packages or tools e.g. WSH (Windows Scripting Host) support

Dism /image:C:\winpe-bootdisk\mount /Add-Package /PackagePath:”C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86\WinPE_FPs\en-us\winpe-scripting.cab”

When you have finished adding stuff to the wim image unmount the boot.wim image and commit ther changes using the following command:

Dism /unmount-Wim /MountDir:C:\winpe-bootdisk\mount /Commit

Finally use oscdimg to create the boot disk ISO image

Oscdimg -n -bC:\winpe-bootdisk\Etfsboot.com C:\winpe-bootdisk\ISO C:\winpe-bootdisk\winpe-bootdisk.iso

After this you can burn the image to CD, and start using it! To capture an image of a computer using your new WinPE boot disk run the following command, where DRIVE_TO_CAPTURE is the name of the drive you want to cature and DESTINATION_FILE is the location and name of the wim file that you want to save the image to:

imagex /capture DRIVE_TO_CAPTURE DESTINTATION_FILE /compress fast verify

e.g.

imagex /capture E: D:\win7-corp.img /compress fast verify

References:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744533(WS.10).aspx

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd799303(v=ws.10).aspx

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Create a 32bit DSN for VMware Update Manager

If you are installing a VMware Update Manager database onto an existing 64bit SQL server, you will need to add a 32bit DSN in order for the VMware Update Manager installer to find the database that you wish install to. Firstly create a new empty database for VMware Update Manager using SQL Management Studio:

Adding a new database in SQL Management Studio

Next locate and run odbcad32.exe which can be found c:\Windows\SysWow64, and add a new system DSN on the system tab. Then, choose the relevant driver for your DSN, in my case ‘SQL Server Native Client 10.0’, as shown below.

Choose the relevant SQL Server Driver version for the DSN

Assign a name to the DSN, and then specify the SQL instance that hosts the database:

Assign a name to your new 32bit DSN

Then specify the database that you are creating the DSN for under the ‘Change the default database to:’ section. Finally click next, and finish to complete creating the new DSN:

Specify the database that you are creating the DSN for

Now, when you run the VMware Update Manager installation you should be able to select the appropriate database in the ‘Use an existing supported database’ section and continue with your installation:

Select your 32bit DSN in the VMware Update Manager installation