How do you create a bootable WinPE 2.1 CD/DVD or USB drive in Deployment Server 6.9 that includes and deploys a disk image?
NOTE: This is not an Altiris supported method. Please use these instructions at your own risk.
When creating the disk image to include on the CD or DVD, consider the format of the CD, DVD or USB drive that you wish to use. If you need to create a bootable WinPE CD, you need to make sure that the image is spanned during creation in file sizes that will fit on a CD. Since a standard CD will hold 640 MB to 700 MB of information, it is important that each image file is no larger that this. Since the WinPE operating system will take about 150 MB, it may be necessary to create an image consisting of multiple 200 MB files. You will then be able to save the WinPE operating system (150 MB)plus the first .img file (200 MB), plus second image file .002 (200 MB), plus the .imx file (very small but also very necessary to keep track of all the image pieces) onto the first bootable CD. Subsequent sections of the image can be stored three sections at a time per CD (3 sections X 200 MB = 600 MB per CD). In other words, an average 5 GB image would require 9 CDs. However, if creating for a 4.7 GB DVD, only two DVDs would be necessary for an average 5 GB image with the image broken into 2 GB file sizes. (NOTE: 2 GB file size limits are a limitation of Microsoft Windows.)
To create the bootable CD, DVD or USB drive, start by choosing Boot Disk Creator from the Deployment Server Tools pull-down menu. Either create a new WinPE configuration (right-click on Configurations and choose New Configuration) or work with an existing WinPE configuration.
1. Expand the WinPE configuration by clicking on the plus sign (+) to the left of the WinPE configuration name.
2. Right-click on the WinPE configuration name and choose New --> Folder. Re-name the New Folder with a dot (".").
NOTE: If the image files that are going to be added into the "." directory are larger than 3.7 gigabytes in size, then the following will need to be done to be able to image without hitting a \BOOT\BCD STATUS: 0xc000014c error when trying to boot the DVD.
A new directory will need to be created inside the "." directory called z and the image will need to be stored in this new directory. The drive path for the startup.bat will have to be changed to the following:
%ALTIRIS_BOOTDISK%\RDeployt.exe -md -f%ALTIRIS_BOOTDISK%\z\imagename.img.
This is necessary because the bcd file can only index up to 4 gig. If the image is larger than the 3.7, it will push the winpe.wim file past the 4 gig indexing limit and the \BOOT\BCD STATUS: 0xc000014c error will occur because the bcd does not know where the winpe.wim file is.
3. Right-click on the new folder called "." and choose Add File. You will need to add the first image .img file, the .imx file, any additional image files that you know will fit (the .002 file, for example) and the RDeployt.exe application (from ...\Program Files\Altiris\eXpress\Deployment Server\Rdeploy\Windows).
4. Highlight the WinPE file called startup.bat and add the following on a new line under ":UserActions".
%ALTIRIS_BOOTDISK%\RDeployt.exe -md -f%ALTIRIS_BOOTDISK%\imagename.img
(NOTE: Replace the imagename with the actual name of your image file.)
5. Right-click on an existing WinPE configuration and choose Create Boot Disk.
6. Under Step 1 of the Create Boot Disk wizard, choose ISO (CD/DVD image), use Network if it can connect to the ds server and run the job from the DVD. Use the StandAlone Boot if the DVD is going to be in total isolation from the DS server and notice the location where the iso image will be created.
7. In Step 2 of the Create Boot Disk wizard, the iso file will be created. You can then use your CD/DVD burning program to burn the .iso image to a CD or DVD. This will be your first bootable.
8. Burn additional CDs or DVDs to include the remaining image files.
9. Make sure that there is enough space on the drive that the %TEMP% directory resides for the boot image to be created. Assume an extra 1 Gig of hard disk memory over and above the total image size that is being added in to the WinPE 2.1 boot image.
Another method for deploying an image (via CD/DVD where the image has been sysprep'ed prior to capture and have the Deployment Server create the sysprep.inf that will configure the computer automatically) would be as follows:
Follow steps 1 through 3 above, ignore step 4, then finish off the rest of the steps.
In place of step 4 the process will be to create a job on the Deployment Server, create a Distribute Disk Image task and in the select disk image file, enter "ALTIRIS_BOOTDISK%\<put_your_image_here>.img". Check the Prepared using sysprep option and select the operating system as well as the license key. Go to the Initial deployment settings and add this new job to the jobs section.
Doing this will allow a new computer to boot up and connect to the Deployment Server but to run the image install from the CD/DVD. The Deployment Server will then prepare the sysprep.inf file and download it to the computer when the image has finished. There would be minimal network traffic using this method.
This method will work for computers that are already in the Deployment Server console. The only difference would be to create a job (as described above) and then drag that job to the client after inserting the CD/DVD.