Creating bootable WinPE media

To perform deployment and offline imaging, you have to boot the machine in to ManageEngine pre-installation environment. To boot these computers, you have a to create a WinPE (Windows Preinstallation Environment) media. ManageEngine Desktop Central offers 3 types of media to help you boot the machines in to your network environment.

USB Media

You will be using an external USB (a pen-drive or hard disk) to load the WinPE components which will boot the machines in to WinPE environment. If you are planning to perform imaging and deployment in less number of machines, you can use USB media.

PXE server

To boot media using PXE (Preboot Execution Environment), the target computers must support PXE. The created WinPE boot files are transferred to the target computers using TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol) service. This considerably reduces the time required for booting multiple machines as compared to using other media types. It also eliminates the need to have a technician onsite to install the bootable media into the system. To know more about PXE boot server, click here

ISO media

ISO is a disk image file which can be used to load the WinPE components. You can use this media to boot a virtual machine. While booting virtual machines, you can upload the ISO file with WinPE components to boot the virtual machines, and perform imaging and deployment. 

Steps to create bootable WinPE media

Follow the steps given below to create a bootable WinPE media,
  1. Under Deployment tab, click Bootable Media and select Create Bootable Media.
  2. Select the media type USB or PXE or ISO
  3. Specify a media name
  4. Now, you can either choose to have the WinPE tool installed automatically or to manually download the tool, have it installed and specify the location. (If the tool is installed already, the location will be displayed in your interface).

    Note : If you choose to manually install the WinPE tool, ensure to complete the installation before you continue creating the bootable media. The automatic driver installation on the other hand is an incremental process. The ADK tool / WinPE tool will be installed initially and then the media will be created.
  5. Select the architecture of the target computers.
  6. In case of creating a PXE media, select the Remote office(s) to which you would like to publish the created bootable media.
  7. Now to add the required drivers, choose between adding the vendor drivers / adding drivers available in the driver repository.

    To add vendor drivers, choose between selecting readily downloadable vendor drivers / uploading the drivers using the official download links provided

    1. Selecting vendor drivers (recommended)
      • Click on the Select drivers option. You will get the list of readily downloadable vendor drivers.
      • Choose drivers based on the requirements (you can filter the drivers based on the vendors).
      • The chosen drivers will be downloaded (only once) on the server machine from the vendor site and then the media creation will proceed. (To save time, you can have a set of required drivers downloaded previously).
    2. Uploading drivers using download links
      • In case the aforementioned option fails or if the server machine does not have access to the internet, use this option to upload the vendor drivers.
      • Click on the Upload drivers option. You will have the official links provided for Dell, Lenovo and HP respectively.
      • You can download the files from the website links and add them here by clicking on the browse option. The drivers will be uploaded to the server.

    To add drivers available in the repository, follow the steps given below;

    • Enable Add drivers from repository -> Select network & hard disk drivers. You will get list of driver files available in driver repository.
    • Search the required drivers based on the hardware ID or filter based on the share path, storage type, manufacturer or model.
    • Select the driver files and click save.
  8. Click on Create bootable media

Note : The media creation is an incremental process : The ADK tool installation, vendor driver download, and then the media creation will be processed one after the other.

 

This step varies for each media creation.

If you are creating USB media follow the steps given below:

  • Once, the USB media has been created succesfully, navigate to Deplpoyment -> Create bootable media you will find the list of media created. Against the USB media you want to use, click on the Actions and choose to copy media to the USB option. You can also download, modify or delete the media from this option.
  • Note: For USB media, if you want to use this media in a remote office, click on download under actions and select remote office to use this media for remote offices.
  • The downloaded zip file can be extracted and copied into a USB drive by following the step given below,
    • Go the default browser download location and search for your media file name.
    • Extract the zip file.
    • Open the extracted folders, select "USBCopy.bat".
    • Run this bat file in command prompt using administrator privileges. List of removable disks will be displayed. 
    • Select the drive to copy USB media.
    • It is recommended to format disk before copying media. Enter Yes to format the disk. 
    • Enter Yes to copy media.

      USB media has been successfully copied. You can use the media to perform deployment and offline imaging on any computer.

If you are creating PXE media follow the steps given below:

  • To publish the created WinPE media in the PXE server, Click on Action against the media to be published and select Publish PXE media. This will lead you to the list of remote office(s). Now, if you want to publish and use this media in your remote offices, select the remote office(s) and click on the Publish Media button.

If you are creating ISO media follow the steps given below:

  • To create ISO file of the WinPE media, select Create and Download ISO
  • To use this media in a computer in a remote office, click on download under actions and select remote office and choose the configured remote office.
You have now successfully created the media. The next step is to boot the target computer using the created media.

Steps to boot the computer using the created WinPE media

Booting computers using USB media:

Connect the USB to the target computer. Open Boot order menu, select the USB drive either from LEGACY BOOT or UEFI BOOT. Ensure that you select the required boot option based on the created image to perform proper deployment.

Booting computers using PXE media:

You have to configure DHCP server to host PXE media. Refer this document to know how to configure DHCP server. After configuring DHCP server, open Boot order menu in the target computer and select Onboard NIC. By now, all the files required for booting process will be transferred to the target computer.

Booting computers using ISO media:

You can upload this downloaded ISO file in the target virtual machine to perform imaging and deployment. You can also mount the ISO file in a CD drive and use the CD for booting process and select CD/DVD drive from the boot order menu.

Note:

  • For ISO and USB media, if you want to use this media in a remote office, click on download under actions and select remote office to use this media for remote offices.
  • For PXE media, a separate PXE server will be running for each remote office in the respective distribution server computer. 

Need more help?

If you still have concerns in configuring PXE settings, avail a free personalized technical demo at your convenience.