WinPE (XP/2003)


Note - This section does not contain instructions on building a WinPE image.

If adding a Windows XP/2003 based Preinstallation Environment (includes PEBuilder, LiveXP, MSDaRT 5.0) the source must be a RAM loading image - the image uses ramdisk.sys from Windows 2003 Service Pack 1 source (see here and here). Three different image formats can be loaded into RAM - .img, .iso and .sdi.

You will require the following files (from Windows 2003 Service Pack 1 - available here), which should be copied to C:\PXE\tools\2k3_files\  directory. -

Copy your RAM loading image file to C:\PXE\tftpboot\pe\  and rename it as pe.img (or pe.iso or pe.sdi). Note - make sure lower case is used when renaming the file as the configuration file entry is case sensitive.

The remaining steps in this section can be automated by running 3a_PE.cmd (to extract and copy required files to tftp root directories + create winnt.sif), followed by 3b_PE.cmd (rename source files and edit embedded settings within them).

  1. Extract setupldr.exe from C:\PXE\tools\2k3_files\setupldr.ex_ to C:\PXE\tftpboot\ . Start a command prompt and use command -
    C:\PXE\tools\7za.exe e C:\PXE\tools\2k3_files\setupldr.ex_ -o"C:\PXE\tftpboot" setupldr.exe (Note - the command may have become wrapped and should all be on one line)
  2. Extract startrom.n12 from C:\PXE\tools\2k3_files\startrom.n1_ to C:\PXE\tftpboot\ . Start a command prompt and use command -
    C:\PXE\tools\7za.exe e C:\PXE\tools\2k3_files\startrom.n1_ -o"C:\PXE\tftpboot" startrom.n12 (Note - the command may have become wrapped and should all be on one line)
  3. Copy C:\PXE\tools\2k3_files\ntdetect.com to C:\PXE\tftpboot\ . Start a command prompt and use command -
    copy C:\PXE\tools\2k3_files\ntdetect.com C:\PXE\tftpboot
  4. To boot C:\PXE\tftpboot\pe\pe.img open notepad and enter the following text, then save as C:\PXE\tftpboot\winnt.sif -
    [SetupData]
    BootDevice = "ramdisk(0)"
    BootPath = "\i386\System32\"
    OsLoadOptions = "/noguiboot /fastdetect /minint /rdpath=\pe\pe.img"
  5. To boot C:\PXE\tftpboot\pe\pe.iso open notepad and enter the following text, then save as C:\PXE\tftpboot\winnt.sif -
    [SetupData]
    BootDevice = "ramdisk(0)"
    BootPath = "\i386\System32\"
    OsLoadOptions = "/noguiboot /fastdetect /minint /rdexportascd /rdpath=\pe\pe.iso"
  6. To boot C:\PXE\tftpboot\pe\pe.sdi open notepad and enter the following text, then save as C:\PXE\tftpboot\winnt.sif -
    [SetupData]
    BootDevice = "ramdisk(0)"
    BootPath = "\i386\System32\"
    OsLoadOptions = "/noguiboot /fastdetect /minint /rdimageoffset=36352 /rdpath=\pe\pe.sdi"
  7. Rename C:\PXE\tftpboot\startrom.n12 as startrom.0
  8. Rename C:\PXE\tftpboot\setupldr.exe as ntldr
  9. Add a menu entry -

If you plan to add options to RIS install Windows 2000/XP/2003 or add more than one XP/2003 based WinPE image then the above instructions will need to be amended as ntdetect.com, ntldr (renamed setupldr.exe), startrom.0 (renamed startrom.n12) and winnt.sif will need to be renamed. See here for a detailed explanation of why the files need renaming -

To boot WinPE ensure that C:\PXE\tftpd32\tftpd32.exe has been started, then boot the client PC using PXE boot option.