Creating a Hidden automation partition for Deployment Solution 6.8 & 6.9


Article ID: 181520


Updated On:


Deployment Solution




What are the steps to create a hidden automation partition, put a base image file on this partition, and then use that base image to re-image the computer?


This is offered as a guide and may not work in all environments.

  1. Create an image of the computer that you will use at the "base" image.
  2. Create either the CD boot .iso or floppy bootdisks that will create the hidden automation partition in the boot disk creator. When the user gets to Step 1 of 6 in the bootdisk creator, choose the create an automation partition install package. 
    1. Click Next.
    2. Choose the DOS bootable disk.
    3. Choose Create hidden DOS partition. If the 2,000 MB is is sufficient, leave it as is. Otherwise put in the number desired up to 20,000 MB.
    4. Click Next.
    5. Choose either bootable disk or bootable .iso image.
      • If you choose bootable .iso image, create the image and burn it to CD. 
      • If you choose the floppy disk option, then get the floppy disks and create them.
  3. When the automation partition is set up in the CD or the floppy disks, then install the partition. When this is done, the automation partition will overwrite the first 2 to 20 GB of hard disk storage.
  4. Rename your base image to a 8.3 DOS standard. This will make it easier in later steps when referencing it.
  5. Boot to the automation partition on the client computer. Press F2 to get into BootWorks and then exit. Verify that the hidden partition is there and accessible. Also, verify that the F drive was mapped and you have access to your image file.
  6. Copy the image file and rdeploy.exe to hidden partition. This can be done with a scripted firm copy command.  This can also be done from inside the automation partition boot from step 5.


              copy f:\images\winxp.img c:\winxp.img
              copy f:\rdeploy\dos\rdeploy.exe c:\rdeploy

    Note: Keep an eye on the file copy job or command. Even in a test scenario, this file copy is touchy and can fail. 
  7. Take an image of the computer after the base image has been copied.
  8. Open image explorer in the Deployment Solution console and verify the image is there. 
  9. Boot to BootWorks, press F2 and exit to a DOS prompt. Run the following command to verify that the image can be redeployed:

    c:\rdeploy -md -fc:\winxp.img        <rename winxp.img to the name of your image file.>

  10. Verify that the image was deployed correctly and that the OS works.

Note: You can script the re-imaging of the client computer so that it's not necessary to manually enter in the command line. While testing this, it was possible to create a job with a run script task with the following commands:

Task Run Script:

c:\rdeploy -md -fc:\winxp.img
--Choose to run this script in DOS
Task Power Control:
-Choose reboot.

Final Note: This is a "how to" article and is given as is. Search for additional help regarding hidden partition imaging.