page contents

About the Post

Author Information

HOW TO: Deploy Windows 8.1 via WINPE USB Disk

Recently, I had to create a custom image and I was pleasantly surprised with the way it turned out. It allowed me to shave 3 hours off an installation, so I could deploy a standard image to workstations. This is part three of a three part series that will detail how to perform the following tasks:

Capture Image Stage

Not that you have created a WINPE USB disk, it is recommended that you attempt to boot from it to verify it is working correctly. Configure your system to boot off the USB drive instead of the hard drive. It should load the wpeinit as seen below and all you should see if a command prompt (like it is Server Core)

Note: You may need to enter into BIOS (F2) and disable the HDD from the boot sequence to get the USB drive to boot properly. To make things easier, it might be best to disable all devices, except the USB storage device to force the system to boot the USB drive.

Test the functionality of the system by typing Diskpart and then list volume to see if can see all the drives. Then type exit twice to reboot the system. (This will allow you to leave both Diskpart and WINPE)


Now you are ready to capture an image via the WINPE USB drive.

Note: Make sure you are capturing an image that you have ensured has already been sysprep. The default image that you want to deploy needs to be sysprep so that it creates a new image install feeling.

Make sure you are working with the correct disk by typing the same commands:

 

diskpart

list volume

exit

Note: This will allow you to determine USB, OS and System drive. Also, it is recommended that you create a folder named AAcapture on the root of the USB drive. (to help you easily find your image)

Run this command to capture the system partition (C drive from my example above)

dism /capture-image /imagefile:f:\aacapture\system.wim /capturedir:c:\ /name:"System"

Run this command to capture the Operating System partition (D drive from my example above)

dism /capture-image /imagefile:f:\aacapture\win81.wim /capturedir:d:\ /name:"Windows 8.1 Custom"

Now it will save these 2 images and there should be somewhere around 15-20 GB in size. Then copy win81.wim and system.wim to this folder.

Deploy Image Stage

The last stage is to boot off WINPE USB drive that we created earlier and deploy the image that we captured. Configure the system to boot of this USB drive and not the hard drive.

Make sure you are working with the correct disk by typing the same commands:

diskpart

list volume

exit

Note: This will allow you to determine USB, OS and System drive. (Make note of them)

1. Open Notepad (Creating a Diskpart command file) from the command prompt by typing notepad.

 

select disk 0

clean

create partition primary size=3000 id=27

format quick fs=ntfs label="Recovery"

assign letter="R"

create partition primary size=300

format quick fs=ntfs label="System"

assign letter="S"

active

create partition primary

format quick fs=ntfs label="Windows"

assign letter="C"

exit


Now save the file as Disk.txt (Using Menu from Notepad)

2. Open Notepad (Creating an install batch file) from the command prompt by typing notepad.

 

REM MOC installation script

REM This sets up the disk partitions to load the image

diskpart /s d:\Disk.txt

REM This applies the Windows image to the partition we just created

Dism /apply-image /imagefile:d:\Aacapture\wincm.wim /index:1 /ApplyDir:C:\

REM This is needed to copy common system partition files and to initialize boot configuration data

bcdboot C:\Windows /l en-US

Now save the file as Install.bat (Using Menu from Notepad) and then run the file Install.bat from the USB drive and it will deploy the image.

Post Installation tasks

When you start the system for the first time, it will prompt you through some steps to setup the user experience for Windows 8.1.

  1. Getting Devices Ready (First reboot)


  2. Region and Language (Take Defaults and Click next)


  3. Accept the License
  4. Personalize (Take Defaults) then give the PC a name and Click next)


  5. Settings (Select Use express settings and Click next)
  6. Microsoft Account (Create new account)


  7. Click the link at the bottom to sign in without a Microsoft Account


  8. Create a new (local) account and give it a password


    Click Finish and now you are done with deploying your image to multiple workstations

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “HOW TO: Deploy Windows 8.1 via WINPE USB Disk”

  1. Jason #

    Thank you

    March 5, 2014 at 2:52 PM
Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.