Video Screencast Help

WinPE 2.1 Bootable DVD with Rdeploy

Created: 02 Jul 2008 • Updated: 07 Jul 2009 • 11 comments
Nelo's picture
0 0 Votes
Login to vote

Create a bootable WinPE 2.1 DVD with a self-contained restoration image. This was addressed for Linux in a precious Juice Article. I have asked permission from the creator of that article and I modified it for WinPE 2.1

Altiris® Deployment Solution™ software provides a number of tools to remotely image computers. On occasion, you might encounter situations where you need to image a computer without network connectivity or you want the image and tools available locally.

This article outlines the process to create a bootable DVD using automation tools and a computer image. With these tools you can quickly and easily restore an image from a bootable DVD.

Prerequisites

  • Deployment Solution 6.9.
  • WinPe 2.1 automation. Instructions for installing this are in the Deployment Solution Reference Guide (Deployment Console > Help > Product Guide).
  • A computer image captured using Deployment Solution to restore.
  • A computer with the capability to burn an .ISO image to a DVD.
  • A target computer with the capability to boot to a DVD.
Note: This process also works with CDs and USB drives, though your image size is restricted by the capacity of the device.

Step 1:

Create a Boot Configuration

  1. In Boot Disk Creator (Deployment Console > Tools > Boot Disk Creator), create a new WinPE 2.1 automation configuration.
  2. Complete the Boot Configuration Wizard, leaving Lock Keyboard unselected:
  3. When the Create Boot Disk screen appears, click Cancel:

    You need to make some manual changes to the configuration before creating the disk.

Step 2:

Add the Image File to the Boot Configuration

  1. Right-click your configuration and select New > Folder.
  2. Name this folder "images" as shown in the following screen shot:

    Files placed in this folder are part of the x: drive when booting up.

  3. Right-click the folder you created and select Add File. Browse to your image file (.IMG) and click Open.
  4. Right-click the folder you created and add the Windows rdeployt.exe or rdeploy.exe executable for your platform (x86 or x64) using the same process. Adding this executable directly to the image lets you run the image restore process without accessing the network.
  5. Your image and rdeploy appear in the "image" folder.

Step 3:

Making a Standalone WinPE Boot

Boot Disk Creator currently does not allow to create a standalone WinPE boot, meaning without network support. I found out that this could be overwritten by creating a file called startnet.cmd.

In the configuration display (Summary) drill down to the Windows\system32\ of the configuration do a right click on the system32 folder and select New | Text File. Name the file "startnet.cmd". Finally, in the right side of the configuration you could add batch file commands for startup. The command that most likely be used would be to restore an image.

Type REM "x:\image\rdeploy.exe -md -fx:\image\name_of_your_image.img"

Remove the REM command once you the boot DVD does what you need.

Step 4:

Build the Bootable DVD

After you have a configuration with the image file added to the "image" folder, you can build the DVD image.

  1. Click File > Create Network Boot Disk. In a network boot disk, the automation agent does not attempt to connect to your Deployment Server.
  2. Leave Bootable ISO CD Image selected, and click Next.
  3. Save the file where it can be accessed by the computer with the capability to write DVDs.
  4. Burn the .ISO image to a DVD.

Step 5:

Boot and Image the Computer

  1. Boot the computer using the bootable DVD you created.
    Note: During the boot process, the computer attempts to connect to the Deployment Share. If the attempt is unsuccessful, you receive an error 255 which can be ignored.
  2. After WinPE automation loads, the command prompt appears:
  3. Enter the following commands:
    • cd x:\images
    • dir
  4. Your image file appears
  5. Enter the following command to restore the image:
    • rdeployt -md -f[imagename.img]
  6. When the imaging process completes, enter the following command to shutdown the computer
  7. Exit
  8. Take the bootable DVD out of the drive.
  9. When the computer restarts it contains the image you just deployed.

Comments 11 CommentsJump to latest comment

jeremyboger's picture

The question I have is, how do you make this CD copy into a RAM drive? I image several machines at once, and it is a pain to have to have multiple boot CDs since you can't remove it until PE is no longer loaded.

Jeremy I. Boger
MSD of Lawrence Township

0
Login to vote
Nelo's picture

When you create the media there is an option that allows you to boot from RAM instead. The one thing is I would not know where the rdeploy or the image get created. just do a search for them :).

Ah. One more thing, instead of naming your folder "images" change it to "." without the quotes. This tells BDC (Boot Disk Creator) not to load those file into RAM.

Nelo

0
Login to vote
jeremyboger's picture

I see that option when I am creating the .iso file. The problem is, when I check that option and burn the file to CD, the CD will not boot. It tells me that it is invalid and continues on booting to the hard drive. If I use the exact same config, but don't check the RAM drive option, the CD will boot just fine. Am I missing a step somewhere?

Jeremy I. Boger
MSD of Lawrence Township

0
Login to vote
Nelo's picture

Hello Jeremy,

what is the the error message and what version of DS are you using?

I have tried this with DS 6.9.

--nelo

0
Login to vote
jeremyboger's picture

I just get a generic NTLOADER not valid DOS error when trying to boot with this configuration. It then proceeds on in the boot order per the BIOS onto the hard drive. I am running DS 6.9 Build 164.

Jeremy I. Boger
MSD of Lawrence Township

0
Login to vote
armaanster's picture

Thanks for the helpful guide :)
-Armaanster

-Armaanster

0
Login to vote
Tumbles's picture

I am trying to make a standalone DVD, but am having an issue. After I click on "Create boot disk" and tell boot disk creator to make an ISO network boot disk, it goes through part of the process and then gets to Mounting WIM File and gives me an error of "Could not mount WIM File". This would be what is preventing me from creating a standalone disk. Can anyone share any thoughts or experiences?

0
Login to vote
clwoody's picture

This is a good giude but i cannot get the ISO image to boot. I get the error "Ramdisk device creation failed due to insufficient memory"

There are so many contradicting guides for this build process i'm not sure what i need now.

I created the folder called 'Image' for rdeploy & img files, this wont boot - get above error.

if i use the folder called "." then rdeply cant see img files...??

Can anyone clarify?

0
Login to vote
Avinash.Rao's picture

Have you tried executing rdeploy manually?

0
Login to vote
Avinash.Rao's picture

Will this work if I chose DOS instead of WinPE environment?

0
Login to vote
tfeldhaus's picture

I see that this process requires Deployment Solution 6.9.    We are on Symantec Management Console 7.1.  We have begun to setup site servers, but we have locations that are very remote, and such a solution would be great for re-imaging at those site.  

Is there something comparable to Boot Disk Creator in the 7 series software?  Is there another way to accomplish the same thing in the Symantec Management Console 7.1?  

    

0
Login to vote