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Manual Image Deployment Facts

To manually deploy an image from a network share, use the following process:

  1. Boot the new computer using WinPE.
  2. Use Diskpart to partition and format the hard drive prior to installing the image. Microsoft recommends creating two partitions formatted with NTFS:
    • 100 MB partitioned for BitLocker information
    • Remaining space partitioned for the Windows 7 image
  3. Use ImageX to apply the image to the local drive.


The following steps show additional details on deploying an image.

  1. Insert the bootable Windows PE medium into the reference computer.
  2. If necessary, modify the boot order to boot from the source containing the WinPE files.
  3. Reboot the computer into WinPE.
  4. Open a command prompt and enter diskpart.exe to open the Diskpart tool.
  5. At the DISKPART>command prompt, use the following commands to format the local hard drive to reflect the disk configuration requirements:
    1. select disk 0
    2. clean
    3. create partition primary size=100
    4. select partition 1
    5. format fs=ntfs label="system"
    6. assign letter=c
    7. create partition primary
    8. select partition 2
    9. format fs=ntfs label="Windows 7 Enterprise"
    10. assign letter=d
    11. active
    12. exit
  6. At the command prompt, connect to the network share and map the drive with a letter. For example, to connect to your network share and map the share as drive letter Z:, enter:
    net use z: \\[servername]\images
  7. Use ImageX tool on the Windows PE medium to copy and apply the image to the local drive. For example, if drive X: is the optical drive containing the Windows PE medium, drive Z: contains the WIM file, and Windows Enterprise is the 1st edition in the WIM file, and drive D: is the local hard drive where the WIM file should be applied, you would enter:

    x:\imagex.exe /apply z:\win7ent.wim 1 d:\

  8. At the command prompt, use BCDBoot to initialize the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store and copy boot environment files to the system partition. For example, enter:
    d:\windows\system32\bcdboot d:\windows
    BCDBoot is a command-line tool used to configure a partition so that it can be used to start the computer. BCDBoot copies the necessary boot loader files to the partition. These files are:
    • The BOOTMGR program, which is responsible for locating available operating system installations and starting the operating system.
    • The Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store, which is a database that identifies possible operating systems and their locations on disk. The BCD store contains BCD entries, with each entry identifying a separate installation instance. (The BCD store in Windows 7 and Vista is similar to the Boot.ini file in previous Windows versions.)