How can I create the bootable Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) CD-ROM that the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) uses?

A. The WAIK has all the tools and information needed to create the ISO image that you can then burn to a CD-ROM. The following steps walk you through the procedure:

  1. Open a command prompt on the machine with WAIK installed.
  2. Navigate to the C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools folder (the default installation path for WAIK).
  3. Create a PE folder structure on the disk using the copype.cmd with this format:
  4. copype.cmd <arch> <destination>
    Where <arch> can be x86, amd64, or ia64 and <destination> is a path to the local directory. For example:
    copype.cmd x86 c:\winpe_x86 A large number of file copies will be displayed to screen, and the path for the command prompt will be modified to enable simpler copying of the PE tools by adding the PE tools folder to the path.
  5. Copy the imagex.exe command into the ISO folder (c:\winpe_x86\ISO) of the PE build from C:\program files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\.
  6. Also in the ISO folder place the content below into a file named wimscript.ini, which is used to instruct the Imagex command to ignore certain files from the capture. (Imagex automatically detects the presence of the file if it's in the same folder; if you place the imagex configuration file in another location, you'll have to pass the /config switch with the location and the name of the file during any capture or append operations (e.g., /config c:\imaging\imagexconfig.ini).
    "System Volume Information"
  7. You could optionally place other files in the ISO folder (e.g., a disk partitioning command list to be used with Diskpart as part of the installation).
  8. Create an image (.iso) file by using the Oscdimg tool. To do so, open a command prompt and type the following:
C:\>cd \program files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools
C:\program files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\>oscdimg -n -bc:winpe_x86\ c:\winpe_x86\ISO c:\winpe_x86\winpe_x86.iso
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