Friday, June 5, 2009

Boot Images and OS's

A little tidbit that I learned while researching the 760/E6400 issue (This is from Michael Kelley [MSTF] over at the Technet Forums):

"You can deploy an x64 operating system from a 32-bit WinPE. This combination allows you to use a 32-bit WinPE, run various hardware tools (such as doing BIOS configuration, configuring a RAID controller, etc.) as task sequence actions, and still deploy an x64 operating system. Many of these tools are 32-bit executables. x64 WinPE does not include the WOW layer that full x64 Windows has, so it can't run 32-bit tools.

Deploying a 32-bit operating system from x64 Windows PE is not supported..."

Link to Post:

Optiplex 760 and Latitude E6400 / OSD Issues

This has been one of the most frustrating driver builds i've ever had to do. After adding the 760 to our driver standard, functionality became broken for the E6400 (it restarts as soon as WinPE loads). After struggling for a day to figure out what is going on, I learned something new!

One thing that I can't seem to find is some good documentation as to what command line options are available in WinPE 2.1 (Vista). A useful command that I learned in my travels is drvload:

1) Make sure you enable Command Line support in your boot image
2) Load all of your NIC driver candidates onto a USB Memory Stick
3) Boot your reference machine, when you get into WinPE, press F8 to bring up a command prompt
4) Use the following syntax: drvload inf [Path to INF]
Example: drvload e:\folder\driver.inf
5) Once it reports that the driver loaded successfully, run ipconfig to see if any IP info is listed (if you only get "Windows IP Configuration" then the driver is not correct, move onto the next one)

Once you find the driver that works in WinPE, import it into your Boot Image.