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Combined 32bit and 64bit bootmedia for WinPE

Created: 15 Apr 2014 • Updated: 15 Apr 2014 | 3 comments
age's picture


I've been using a bootdisk creator (bootwiz) for creating a bootdisks for winpe 4.x. The idea is to bootup from USB drive and deploy either 32bit or 64bit OS from Altiris. The problem is that i cannot create one bootmedia which would fit for 32 and 64bit OS installation. This is possible when doing the Pre Boot configuration in Altiris and using a PXE boot. Anyone knows how to do a bootdisk with both 32 and 64 bit files, as I understood its possible but requires more knowledge than I have.

Thanks in advance.

Operating Systems:

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sfaucher's picture

The reason it's possible via PXE is because the PXE boot pushes down the correct WinPE environment for the the architecture. There are still two separate boot environments for PXE, it just automatically chooses the correct one for you. In order to do this on a USB drive you would need to have both environments on the drive and a boot menu to choose between them. It's technically possible to do this with bcdedit /store, diskpart, etc in Windows but it is not supported and it is very difficult to get right. You also have a high chance of screwing up the boot menu on the system you're creating it from if you forget the right flags. It's really not worth the effort when it is so easy to just create two USB drives with the two different environments.

Shawn Faucher | Senior Technology Analyst

Armstrong Teasdale LLP

Thomas Baird's picture

sfaucher is correct.  It's a lie that there is a single boot menu and since it takes FOREVER to rebuild, I hate using it.  Oh well.  It does add some convenience in the "auto select" function.  <sigh>

Thomas Baird
Enthusiast for making things better!

ICHCB's picture

May I introduce to you YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer) from    I use this to set up my USB thumbdrive to have a menu of different ISO's that I can boot from.    I have a bunch of utilities and tools including a PE 4.0 boot disk.     This would require you to pick the iso it wouldn't have it auto choose base on arhitecture but would be better than 2 usb disks.

In your use case you could create a 64bit ISO and a 32bit ISO and then use YUMI to build a menu to choose what ISO you want to boot from.  You then boot up choose your ISO it will then mount and boot from the ISO.

Step 1 pick your usb drive (the first ISO you add will you also want to format the drive)
Step 2 choose your distribution (for pe boot iso's choose Windows Vista/7/8 Installer)
step 3 choose your .iso
Step 4 repeate for each additional ISO.  (but don't formate the drive after the first ISO is added)

Hope that helps.

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