1. Install the WAIK in either a WinXP or Vista environment. Don't change any of the default install locations or directory names.
2. I've created 8 small .bat files for you to use in this process to keep you from typing all the commands needed and making mistakes. They are attached to this post. I seperated them out into simple basic batch files so you could follow the process along and learn. Feel free to modify them to your hearts content but i'd recommend you use them as is for right now until you get up on the process. I've used some switches in the batch files to supress some prompts so you don't need to make decisions and can watch the process move along. When you have explored the help chm's in the WAIK and feel more comfortable with rolling your own, then make your own batch file changes. Unzip them to C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\....or somewhere else and then move them to C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\...they have to be in C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\
3. After you have put the batch files in C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\...go to Start - Programs - Microsoft Windows AIK - and click on 'Windows PE Tools Command Prompt'. The command prompt will open at 'C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools' with all the necessary environment variables set up for you.
4. Next you need to make sure a directory called 'winPE_x86' DOES NOT ALREADY EXIST in the root of your C:\ drive. If it does you need to either move it somewhere else or delete it. This process assumes the target directory does not already exist and if it does the process will fail.
5. Now back to the 'Windows PE Tools Command Prompt', if everything else above has been done, type "step1.bat" without the quotes. When that step reports back that its done, then type "step2.bat". When that step reports back that its done, then type "step3.bat". Repeat for "step5.bat" ...etc... until you are have finally finished up with running "step8.bat". After each step is completed in the command prompt, you will know its completed when the cursor once again appears on the 'C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\' line in the command prompt, dont force it, wait for it. You must run these batch files in order, step1.bat, step2.bat, step3.bat, etc...don't run them out of order.
6. After all the batch files have been run (step1.bat to step8.bat) one at a time use explorer or My Computer to take a look in C:\winpe_x86. You will find an .iso there called 'winpe_x86.iso' almost 187 MB in size. Burn the 'winpe_x86.iso' to a regular CD with your favorite burning application. This iso is bootable, so there is no need to make the CD bootable in your burning application.
All the important tools are loaded to memory in this setup, so after you boot on this CD you can remove it and use things like ImageX to restore or make an image of a Vista install for backup or restore. You can use diskpart and format to prep a hard drive for an install, etc.... Putting these things in memory was a consideration for those who don't have two DVD/CD type drives for example and would need to restore an image from a DVD - you can take the WinPE boot CD out and put the DVD in with the image to be restored. It shouldn't use that much memory but you might notice the difference between 512 MB and 1 GB. The tools are loaded to ram drive X in memory. All you need to do is boot on the CD you created above. Everything is command line in a command prompt in winPE once you boot into it.
If you need help on a command in the WinPE command prompt after you boot on the CD you created, lets use ImageX as an example, simply type the command followed by '/?' i.e...Imagex /?.
I'm coding a nice GUI inteface for this process but its not ready yet. Hope this helps someone out.
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This post has been edited by Spooky: 26 November 2006 - 11:09 AM