How to create an image and have it saved to an external hard drive that is connected to the target computer

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Article ID: 178422

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Deployment Solution

Issue/Introduction

 

Resolution

Question
How to create an image and have it saved to an external hard drive that is connected to the imaged computer.

Answer

It is possible to save an image to an external disk drive that is connected to the computer that you are creating an image from. To do this, you will need to load the WinPE operating system and manually run RDeploy.exe from the mapped F: drive.

 

Method #1

If you are using a PXE server with your Deployment Server, you can create a local PXE configuration that is a "Network Boot". When a computer with an external drive, PXE boots using this Local PXE configuration, WinPE will load and map local drives and map a drive F: back to the Deployment Server eXpress share. You can then run RDeploy.exe manually and designate the external drive as the location that you wish to same the image to.

 

To set up a WinPE "Local Boot" PXE configuration, please do the following:

 

1) Open the PXE Configuration utility and select "Choose PXE Server" from the File pull-down menu. Choose your PXE server (not "Shared Configuration").

2) On the PXE Configuration utility main window, click on the New button to create a new local PXE configuration. Give it a name you will recognize as a WinPE Network Boot configuration and select WinPE with x86.

3) Click on the Create Boot Image button and step through each step of the configuration wizard until you get to Step 10 of 12. Here you need to select the option for "Network Boot".

4) Complete all of the steps in the configuration wizard until the new local WinPE configuration is created. Once back at the main PXE Configuration utility window, be sure to click on the Save button so that the new configuration will be saved to the PXE server.

 

When a computer PXE boots through this new local configuration, it will load the WinPE operating system onto the computer and map the usual network drives such as an F: drive back to the eXpress share. At this point, the process will stop which will allow you to open one of the minimized DOS windows at the bottom of the WinPE/Deployment Server client splash screen and enter commands at the DOS prompt.

 

WinPE will also map local drives including the external disk drive. You will need to discover the drive letter that is assigned to the external drive by trying drive letters beginning with C: at a DOS prompt, until you find the correct drive letter for the external disk drive.

 

At the DOS prompt, you can then switch back to the F: drive and navigate to the directory \RDeploy\Windows so that you can run the imaging application called RDeploy.exe. Once you are running this application, you will be able to indicate that you wish to create a new disk image, the drive you wish to create an image of and the destination you wish to save the image to (the external hard drive).

Method #2

You can also use the Boot Disk Creator utility to create a WinPE "Network Boot" bootable CD/DVD/USB drive and include the RDeploy.exe imaging application on the disc or drive. This disc or drive can then boot a system and load the WinPE operating system. The RDeploy.exe application can then be run from a DOS prompt to begin the imaging process.

 

NOTE: You can also deploy an existing image using these methods.