Windows Automated Installation Kit

Windows Automated Installation Kit

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Q. What's the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK)?
Q. How can I create the bootable Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) CD-ROM that the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) uses?
Q. How can I use Diskpart to partition a disk?
Q. How can I start a command prompt session with Administrative privileges in Windows Vista?
Q. How can I use the snipping tool in Windows Vista to capture context menu contents or the Start menu?

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Q. What's the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK)?

A. Microsoft has released WAIK ( ). The kit comprises all the elements needed for the automated installation of the Windows Vista OS, including:
- Documentation consisting of whitepapers and compiled HTML that discusses the technologies
- Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE), which is the basis for the capture and deployment of Vista
- The WAIK tools, which by default are installed to C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\ and consist of the Windows System Image Manager to enable the management of answer files to be used for automating installations; tools to manage WinPE instances; and Imagex, which is used to mount and modify the content of Windows Image (WIM) files

Using these tools you can
1. Build a CD-ROM that contains an in-memory WinPE instance with the imagex.exe tool.
2. Build a reference Vista PC with the applications required and then run Sysprep (which is now part of the OS in the c:\windows\system32\sysprep folder): c:\windows\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown
3. Boot to the CD-ROM and capture the contents of the reference machine with the Imagex command, as the following example shows:

d:\imagex.exe /compress fast /capture c: c:\vistawithoff2007.wim "Custom Vista Install with Office 2007" /verify

4. Copy the image to a network location.
5. Boot a new machine with the WinPE CD-ROM, copy the image, and extract it to the machine by using the Imagex command again, as in this example:

d:\imagex.exe /apply c:\vistawithoff2007.wim 1 c:

where the 1 is the image number contained in the WIM file.

This is a very manual process, so the WAIK download also includes the Windows Deployment Services (which is another topic but essentially replaces Remote Installation Services for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1--SP1--servers). These services support the WIM format for automated Vista deployment over the network using the answer files created with the Windows System Image Manager tool.

-------------------- Q. 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:


Where can be x86, amd64, or ia64 and is a path to 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.
4. 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\.
5. 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).

\[ExclusionList\] ntfs.log hiberfil.sys pagefile.sys "System Volume Information" RECYCLER Windows\CSC

\[CompressionExclusionList\] *.mp3 *.zip *.cab \WINDOWS\inf\*.pnf

6. 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).
7. 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


Q. How can I use Diskpart to partition a disk?

A. As part of a deployment using Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE), you might need to partition the disk. The easiest way to do this is to place into a file the following commands: select disk 0 clean create partition primary select partition 1 assign letter=c: active format exit

Then execute the commands using the Diskpart command with the the /s parameter, as the following example shows: diskpart /s partscript.txt The command creates one partition with all the space; alternatively, you can replace the "create partition primary" with "create partition primary size=" (e.g. "create partition primary size=10000") to create a 10GB C: drive. The figure at shows the partitioning process in action.

-------------------- Q. How can I start a command prompt session with Administrative privileges in Windows Vista?

A. Under Vista, unless you're logged on as the Administrator account, all applications run in a reduced privilege mode, the equivalent of a standard user, even if your account has administrative privileges. When you execute a command that requires higher privileges, you're prompted on whether the action should be allowed. This is Vista's User Access Control (UAC) functionality. To start a command prompt session with full Administrator rights, right-click the Command Prompt Accessories shortcut (Start, Programs, Accessories, Command Prompt) and select "Run as administrator" from the displayed context menu, as the figure at shows. When you run as Administrator, the command prompt title will show as "Administrator: Command Prompt" instead of the regular "C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe" making it easier to tell when multiple command prompt windows are running, as the figure at shows.


Q. How can I use the snipping tool in Windows Vista to capture context menu contents or the Start menu?

A. By default, the Vista snipping tool can capture the contents of the full screen, an application window, a rectangular portion of the screen, or a freeform area. However, to access these, you must select the snipping tool, which closes any open context menus or Start menu display. To resolve this problem perform these steps:
1. Start the Snipping Tool (Start, Programs, Accessories, Snipping Tool). If the tool is already open, select New so that it's in capture mode.
2. Click Cancel so that the screen isn't waiting for screen area selection or minimize the snipping tool.
3. Open the menus or items you want to capture (e.g., click the Start menu and move through various sub-menus).
4. Press Ctrl-Print Screen (not Alt-Print Screen which is the regular key combination to copy the current window content to the clipboard).
5. The Snipping Tool will take control and be in the rectangular capture mode allowing you to select any portion of the screen including open menus. You can select an alternate capture mode (e.g., free-form if required).

To capture other areas, simply select New from the Snipping Tool, then minimize or click Cancel so it's ready to intercept the Ctrl - Print Screen action.


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