A basic method for using the Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) is as follows:
Start the newly assembled computer with Windows PE.
Run any relevant hardware diagnostic applications.
Configure the hard disk.
Deploy the operating system to the computer by:
Copying an image from the network.
Running Winnt32 at the command prompt in Windows PE and installing the operating system.
Restart into the installed operating system by using Sysprep in Factory mode, or seal the operating system by using Sysprep, and then shut down the computer.
Ok, fine. So we use winnt32 from WinPE.
But then it says:
The Windows OPK CD is a bootable copy of Windows PE (32-bit edition). This default version of Windows PE on the Windows OPK CD starts and runs the command factory -winpe.
Alright so... when do we get to run winnt32?
To start a computer by using Windows PE on a CD
Insert the Windows PE CD (non-OEMs) or the Windows OPK CD (OEMs) into the computer.
Configure the computer's basic input/output system (BIOS) to start from the CD before starting from the local hard disk.
Start the computer, pressing any key to start from the CD if the computer contains a formatted local hard disk.
When the Factory tool starts, it first locates a Winbom.ini file by searching these locations in this order:
The path and file name specified by the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Factory\Winbom
The root of all removable media drives that are not CD-ROM drives, such as a floppy disk drive
The root of all CD-ROM drives
The location of Factory.exe, usually the %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Sysprep folder
The root of %SYSTEMDRIVE%
After locating the intended Winbom.ini file, the computer connects to the network as specified in the [WinPE.Net] section. Plug and Play installs only the network adapter, and then the Factory tool installs networking services and binds the network protocols.
What happened to running winnt32?
Just wait.. it gets better:
After processing the [OEMRunOnce] and [OEMRun] sections, Windows PE then installs a configuration set as specified by the [WinPE] section.
Installing a configuration set from Windows PE may require a long time because Setup copies the i386 directory as part of the installation. The OEM License Agreement requires that you include a complete copy of the i386 directory on destination computers.
The files are copied to the C:\i386 directory by default. If you include the SourcePath entry in the [ComputerSettings] section of Winbom.ini, then the i386 directory is placed in the location specified by SourcePath. For example:
SourcePath = %WINDIR%
Finally, Windows PE processes the [UpdateSystem] section of the Winbom.ini file, and restarts or shuts down the computer based on the value of the Restart entry in the [WinPE] section.
flowchart.JPG 48.48KB 25 downloads
Ok so if the Factory tool just used winbom.ini to install windows, why would we run winnt32?
Now take a look at this.. remember according to the quotes above, we are running Factory -winpe.
Factory.exe processes Winbom.ini entries, depending on the value of the WinbomType entry in the [Factory] section of the Winbom.ini file.
If WinbomType contains the value WinPE, then the only Winbom.ini entries that are processed are those used by Windows PE when you run the Factory -winpe command.
If WinbomType contains the value Factory, then the only Winbom.ini entries processed are those used to control Sysprep in Factory mode when you run the Sysprep -factory command.
If WinbomType contains the value OOBE, then the only Winbom.ini entries processed are those used to configure Windows XP during Windows Welcome. After you run the Sysprep -reseal command, Windows Welcome runs the next time you start the computer.
But take a look at the highlighted section of the table.
table.JPG 92.35KB 41 downloads
You see that? First it says SourcePath under [ComputerSettings] is used to determine the location of the i386 folder. But if you look at that table, in winpe mode, we don't process that entry.
Anyone know what REALLY happens when you run factory -winpe?