I discovered I was out of DVD’s when I wanted to install Windows 7 Beta on my computer… don’t worry there are ways to get around it!
There are really no need to burn a DVD every time you want to try out a new operating system, okay if you are running it in a virtual environment you don’t need it, but a bootable WinPE can be used for so many other things so continue to read! (If it doesn’t work for you try to upgrade the BIOS and check the BIOS boot settings)
Follow these steps a you just have to prep a USB key and you are ready to deploy!
First make sure you have lasted WAIK installed and a USB key 4-8 Gb at least
Format and prepare your USB keywith the command diskpart
LIST DISK NOTE! Validate that 1 is your USB key, else you will erase everything on that disk1 SELECT DISK 1 CLEAN CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY SELECT PARTITION 1 ACTIVE FORMAT FS=FAT32 or FORMAT FS=FAT32 QUICK ASSIGN EXIT
Create Windows PE image with the command copype [x86 | amd64 | ia64] destination.
copype x86 c:\winpe_x86 or copype amd64 c:\winpe_amd64
Find the drive for the USB key and just copy the files from the folder created above.
XCOPY C:\WINPE_AMD64\ISO\*.* /S /E /F E:\
Finally the WinPE USB key is ready to boot up, perfect!
Now mount Windows 7 Beta ISO and copy the source into a folder on the USB key!
MKDIR E:\WIN7 XCOPY F:\*.* /S /E /F E:\WIN7
Now you are ready to go, just boot up the computer and when the command prompt appears in WinPE just write E:\WIN7\Setup.exe (the drive letter may be different) and wait until the setup starts.
Hey don’t stop reading!
Need to troubleshoot clients or servers and need more tools or maybe you need to make an image of a computer? Just copy the files straight into the C:\WinPE_x86\ISO\ folder or the USB key.
Missing drivers? Mount the C:\WinPE_x86\ISO\Sources\Boot.wim file to c:\WinPe_x86\Mount folder with imagex and use the peimg /inf=file.inf C:\WinPE_x86\Mount command to inject drivers, don’t forget to use the /commit when you unmount the file!