This walkthrough demonstrates how to deploy an image from a network share by using Windows® PE and the ImageX tool.


To complete this walkthrough, you need the following:

  • A technician computer, which provides all of the necessary tools and the source files. For more information, see Building a Technician Computer.

  • A Windows product DVD.

  • A bootable Windows PE media with the ImageX tool; for example, a CD-ROM or USB flash drive (UFD). For more information, see Windows PE Walkthroughs.

Step 1: Create a master installation

  1. Create a master installation by using one of the following methods:

  2. After the installation is complete, shut down the computer.

Step 2: Capture an image of the installation

In this step, you will capture an image of the master installation using the ImageX tool and then store the custom image on the network share.

  1. Boot the reference computer with your bootable Windows PE media.

  2. At a command prompt, capture an image of the installation. For example,

    imagex /compress fast /check /scroll /capture C: C:\myimage.wim "Windows Ultimate" "My Custom Windows Image 1"
  3. Copy the image to a network share. For example,

    net use N: \\server\share
    md Images
    copy C:\myimage.wim N:\Images\
    If necessary, provide your network credentials for appropriate network access.

Step 3: Apply the image from the network share

This step requires booting the new computer with Windows PE and applying the image with the ImageX tool.

  1. Boot the new computer with your Windows PE media.

  2. In Windows PE, format the hard drive by using the DiskPart tool.

  3. At a command prompt in Windows PE, map the network drive to your network share. For example,

    net use N: \\server\share

    When you map a share, you must map it to a drive letter and then use that drive letter in scripts instead of the UNC path. UNC paths cannot be used.

  4. Apply the image from the network share by using the ImageX tool. For example,

    imagex /apply N:\Images\myimage.wim 1 C:
    The installation is complete and the computer is ready for delivery.

Next Step

This completes a basic image deployment. You can automate a number of these steps. For example, you can write a script to instruct Windows PE to partition the hard drive automatically, connect to the network, and then apply the image.


This method requires that you install the image to the same volume. To install an image to a different volume, see Walkthrough: Deploy Windows by using Windows Setup with a Custom Image.

See Also