Installing Windows Vista/2008/7


To install Windows Vista/2008/7 from a network share you will require WinPE 3.0 - follow the instructions here to build WinPE x86 and amd64 images.

To install a 64-bit version of Windows Vista/2008/7 I recommend that you boot the amd64 based WinPE 3.0 - a workaround for installing a 64-bit OS from an 32-bit (x86) build of WinPE exists, however 32-bit setup files are required in addition to 64-bit source.

To install a 32-bit version of Windows Vista/2008/7 you must use an x86 based WinPE 3.0.

To connect to a network share from WinPE 3.0 the following command syntax is used -
net use DRIVE: \\SERVER\SHARE /u:SERVER\ACCOUNT "PASSWORD"
Where -

E.g. net use z: \\192.168.2.2\seven /u:192.168.2.2\user ""

If you receive the following error when running the above command then the WinPE image does not contain network drivers for your client PC -

Windows 7

Follow the instructions below to install Windows 7 (tested using Windows 7 (x86) - RC) -

  1. Copy Windows 7 source files to the C:\PXE\tftpboot\seven\ directory.
  2. Share the C:\PXE\tftpboot\seven\ folder as seven.
  3. Boot the client PC using PXE boot option and select option WinPE 3.0 from the menu. If the instructions in this guide were followed and x86 and amd64 images were built you will see another boot menu (this is the Windows PE boot menu) with two options - both titled Ramdisk options. As we are installing an x86 OS select the first Ramdisk options entry.
  4. WinPE should boot into a command prompt. Enter the following comand to mount seven share as Z: drive -
    net use z: \\192.168.2.2\seven /u:192.168.2.2\User ""
  5. If the command was successful the seven share should be mounted as Z:.
  6. Type Z: [enter] to change directory to the mounted share.
  7. Enter command setup.exe to start Windows 7 setup/install and follow the instructions onscreen.

Windows Vista

Follow the instructions below to install Windows Vista (tested using Windows Vista (64-bit)) -

  1. Copy Windows Vista source files to the C:\PXE\tftpboot\vista\ directory.
  2. Share the C:\PXE\tftpboot\vista\ folder as vista.
  3. Boot the client PC using PXE boot option and select option WinPE 3.0 from the menu. If the instructions in this guide were followed and x86 and amd64 images were built you will see another boot menu (this is the Windows PE boot menu) with two options - both titled Ramdisk options. As we are installing an 64-bit OS select the second Ramdisk options entry.
  4. WinPE should boot into a command prompt. Enter the following comand to mount vista share as Z: drive -
    net use z: \\192.168.2.2\vista /u:192.168.2.2\User ""
  5. If the command was successful the vista share should be mounted as Z:.
  6. Type Z: [enter] to change directory to the mounted share.
  7. Enter command setup.exe to start Windows Vista setup/install and follow the instructions onscreen.

Windows 2008

Follow the instructions below to install Windows 2008 (tested using Windows 2008 (64-bit)) -

  1. Copy Windows 2008 source files to the C:\PXE\tftpboot\2008\ directory.
  2. Share the C:\PXE\tftpboot\2008\ folder as 2008.
  3. Boot the client PC using PXE boot option and select option WinPE 3.0 from the menu. If the instructions in this guide were followed and x86 and amd64 images were built you will see another boot menu (this is the Windows PE boot menu) with two options - both titled Ramdisk options. As we are installing an 64-bit OS select the second Ramdisk options entry.
  4. WinPE should boot into a command prompt. Enter the following comand to mount 2008 share as Z: drive -
    net use z: \\192.168.2.2\2008 /u:192.168.2.2\User ""
  5. If the command was successful the 2008 share should be mounted as Z:.
  6. Type Z: [enter] to change directory to the mounted share.
  7. Enter command setup.exe to start Windows 2008 setup/install and follow the instructions onscreen.