How to load Active@ Boot Disk over the network via PXE environment?

There are several steps required, configuring WinPE WIM, Boot Manager and PXE Server .

For the configuration steps, let's assume that inserted Active@ Boot Disk has a D: letter in our configuration environment.

Step 1: Copy WinPE Source Files onto PXE Server
  • Map a network connection to the root TFTP directory on the PXE/TFTP server (let’s assume it has a F: letter) and create there a \Boot folder (full name F:\Boot)
  • Copy the bootable Windows PE image (D:\SOURCES\BOOT.WIM) to the F:\Boot folder (on PXE/TFTP server)
  • Copy the BOOT.SDI file from D:\BOOT folder of inserted Active@ Boot Disk to the F:\Boot folder (on PXE/TFTP server)
  • Copy the BCD file from D:\BOOT folder of inserted Active@ Boot Disk to the F:\Boot folder (on PXE/TFTP server)
Step 2: Configure custom boot configuration (optional)

In case if default boot configuration supplied with Active@ Boot Disk (stored in file BCD) does not work for you, you can configure your custom boot configuration:

  • On a Windows 7 computer or in a Windows PE environment, create a BCD store by using the BCDEdit tool
  • Create the RAMDISK setting, BOOTMGR and OSLoader settings for the Windows PE image
  • Copy the BCD file to the F:\Boot folder (on PXE/TFTP server)
Step 3: Deployment process
  • Configure your PXE/TFTP server to point PXE clients to download Wdsnbp.com
  • A client is directed (by using DHCP Options or the PXE Server response) to download Wdsnbp.com
  • Wdsnbp.com validates the DHCP/PXE response packet and proceeds to download PXEBoot.com
  • PXEBoot.com downloads Bootmgr.exe and the BCD store. The BCD store must reside in a \Boot directory in the TFTP root folder. Additionally, the BCD store must be called BCD
  • Bootmgr.exe reads the BCD operating system entries and downloads Boot.sdi and the Windows PE image
  • Bootmgr.exe begins booting Windows PE by running Winload.exe within the Windows PE image

For more detailed instructions, read Microsoft TechNet official documentation

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We are using a WinPE environment that is booted into via PXE from a Windows Deployment Server. I am wondering if there is a way for us to copy registry information and files into the WIM file that we boot from so the applications are already installed and registered? Or will I need to script the installation and registration to occur each time we boot into WinPE?