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Problem creating image from Windows 7

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Hello all.


I am new at using WDS, so please bear that in mind. I have a Dell Laptop, Windows 7 x64 on it. I have WDS set up on a Server 2003. I have successfully imaged XP and Vista machines, and pushed the images onto other PCs.


Two questions:


1: I am trying to capture an image from the Dell. When I PXE boot it (is that the correct term?), I see Vista as an option to select, but don't see Microsoft Windows Setup (x64). I do have that as an option in my WDS boot images.


So, why is this happening? I created an image using Vista, it ran with no errors. I haven't pushed it out to another laptop, yet.


2: When I PXE booted, I wanted to save the image to my server. Couldn't do it, the local machine could not see the server, I had to save the image onto the Dell's hard drive.


Ideas? Questions? I know that I can only run Sysprep three times, so I haven't done much experimentation.


Thanks for your help,



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For your first question, PXE booting loads a boot image based on Windows PE. For Windows 7, a new boot image should be created from the version of Windows PE on the Windows 7 disc (boot.wim). Likewise, the capture image should be built from this Windows 7 boot image.


For the second question, this TechNet article states that you must enter a local location to capture the image. This is a requirement that is enforced to avoid image corruption.


One way to avoid the limitation on sysprep is to build your reference images in a virtual machine and take a snapshot before running sysprep. This way you have a non-sysprepped version saved in case you have problems. Another way is to run sysprep with an unattend file that has the skiprearm setting enabled.


Lastly, I would like to suggest that you look into using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). MDT is a common console for many of Microsoft’s free deployment tools. MDT allows your deployments to be as simple or as complex as you need. MDT can manage drivers and updates, install software and much more. MDT also integrates with WDS allowing the use of PXE deployments.


More information about deploying Windows 7 with WDS and/or MDT can be found on the Deliver and Deploy Windows 7 page of the Springboard Series on TechNet.


Hope this helps,



Windows Outreach Team – IT Pro

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