This walkthrough describes how you can create a bootable Windows® PE RAM disk on a USB flash drive (UFD) by using the Copype.cmd script. Windows PE RAM enables you to start a computer for the purposes of deployment or recovery. Windows PE RAM boots directly into memory, enabling you to remove the Windows PE media after boot.
This configuration boots directly into memory and is assigned the drive letter X, which does not correspond to the media (the UFD or CD-ROM) from which you booted. You can set the drive letter using the DISM /Set-TargetPath option. Ensure that you have sufficient memory to support the size of your Windows PE image, plus any additional memory requirements; for example, if you plan on running any customized applications that need additional working memory.
To complete this walkthrough, you need the following:
- A technician computer, which provides all of
the tools and the source files. For more information, see
Building a Technician Computer.
- Access to a computer running Windows® 7
or a Windows PE session.
- A UFD. The size of the UFD must be at least
64 megabytes (MB) larger than your Windows PE image, plus
the size of any additional files that you include.
Step 1: Set up a Windows PE build environment
In this step, you create a required directory structure that supports building a Windows PE image.
- On your technician computer, click Start, point to
All Programs, point to Windows OPK or
Windows AIK, right-click Deployment Tools Command
Prompt, and then select Run as administrator.
The menu shortcut opens a command-prompt window and automatically sets environment variables to point to all of the necessary tools. By default, all tools are installed at C:\Program Files\<kit>\Tools, where <kit> can be Windows OPK or Windows AIK.
- At the command prompt, run the Copype.cmd script. The script
requires two arguments: hardware architecture and destination
copype.cmd <arch> <destination>
copype.cmd x86 c:\winpe_x86
- Copy the base image (Winpe.wim) into the \Winpe_x86\ISO\sources
folder, and rename the file to Boot.wim.
copy c:\winpe_x86\winpe.wim c:\winpe_x86\ISO\sources\boot.wim
Step 2: Add additional customizations
This step is optional but recommended.
You can use ImageX to add applications and scripts to your Windows PE image that you might need while working in Windows PE. ImageX is a tool for capturing and applying images during deployment scenarios. For example, type the following command to copy the ImageX tool to the Windows PE image.
copy "c:\program files\<version>\Tools\x86\ImageX.exe" c:\winpe_x86\iso\
Step 3: Prepare the UFD
Before you can place Windows PE on a UFD, you must format the UFD using the version of DiskPart from Microsoft Vista, Windows 7 or Windows PE 2.0 or higher.
- From a running valid operating system or Windows PE
session, insert your UFD.
- At a command prompt, use Diskpart to format the UFD as FAT32
spanning the entire UFD, and set the partition as active. For
diskpart select disk 1 clean create partition primary select partition 1 active format quick fs=fat32 assign exit
- On your technician computer, copy all of the content in the
\ISO directory onto your UFD. You can manually create the directory
structure or use the xcopy command to automatically build
and to copy the appropriate files from your technician computer to
your UFD. For example,
xcopy C:\winpe_x86\iso\*.* /e F:\
You can also place Windows PE RAM on other bootable media, such as a CD-ROM or a hard disk. For more information, see Windows PE Walkthroughs.
To load an application or a script into memory with Windows PE, you must create a custom Windows PE image. For more information, see Walkthrough: Create a Custom Windows PE Image.