WinPE: Wireless Support in WinRE 10

When running dism /Get-Features agains the Windows 10 WinRE.wim, there is a Feature Pack installed called WinPE-WiFi.  You won’t find this in Boot.wim or ADK WinPE.wim, or as an ADK Optional Component.

Feature Name : WinPE-WiFi
State : Enable Pending

So what can we do with this?  Apparently if you have Wireless Drivers installed in WinRE (they are there by default for Surface Pro systems), you can use wireless with a few easy steps.

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WinPE: Boot WIM’s Explained (The Practical)

This is a continuation of my last post WinPE: Boot WIM’s Explained (The Physical).  The outstanding question that I left is which Boot WIM to use.

If you want a lightweight no frills WinPE, use the WinPE.wim in AIK / ADK.  If you want a full Recovery Environment, then use WinRE.wim.  Don’t use the Boot.wim for anything.

Use Boot.wim to Replace WinRE (using MDT or DaRT)


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WinPE: Boot WIM’s Explained (The Physical)

Before getting too deep into updating WinPE for OS Deployments, it is important to know where all the Boot WIM’s are and what they are used for.  To keep this post simple, I will focus on x86 Boot WIM’s only.

AIK and ADK WinPE.wim

If you are using MDT, then you are certainly using AIK for Windows 7, or ADK for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.  Before Importing an Operating System in MDT, the default Boot WIM used will be from the AIK or ADK installation directories.

On my Windows 8.1 x64 system, with ADK installed, the x86 Boot WIM is located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\x86\en-us\WinPE.wim.

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Deals: Microsoft Office 365 Home 1 Year + Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone AT&T

If you follow these steps you will get a deal on Microsoft Office 365 Home and a Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone.

If you already have an Office 365 Home subscription, this won’t work for you, sorry.  Also the Office 365 Promotion with the Lumia 640 expires August 14, 2015.

Buy the Phone for $79.99

You have a few options for buying the phone.  Either option will be a GoPhone in Orange Clamshell Plastic

The kit will include the phone, USB Charger, USB Cable, SIM Card, and Manuals

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WinPE: Diskpart Partition Scripts

If you have been keeping up with my posts on Partitions, then you need to add some files to your WinPE to make your life easier.

GitHub WinPE-Create-Partitions

  1. CreatePartitions-BIOS.txt
  2. CreatePartitions-UEFI.txt
  3. DiskpartBIOS.cmd
  4. DiskpartUEFI.cmd

Add these 4 files to your WinPE Extra Files.  They should reside in X:\Windows to function properly.  Once they have been added you can run either of these two commands from a CMD Prompt

  • diskpartbios
    • Partition 1 – 984 MB System
    • Partition 2 – Windows (OSDisk)
  • diskpartuefi
    • Partition 1 – 984MB Windows RE tools
    • Partition 2 – 200 MB System
    • Partition 3 – 129 MB MSR
    • Partition 4 – Windows (OSDisk)

Partitions will be created from Disk 0 automatically (and yes it will clean the drive so be warned).

7-20-2015 10-08-08 AM

7-20-2015 10-07-50 AM

Partitions: Windows 10 (Technical Preview) Requirements for WinRE

So I decided to have a look into the C:\Windows\Panther\setupact.log to see what Windows 10 needs as it relates to WinRE.  As a reminder I have a few other writeups on why the default partition sizes don’t work.  Head over to my Partitions page to read those

So here is what was in the setupact.log

Windows 10 Enterprise x86
	[setup.exe] winreMeetPartitionReq Required free space: 0x238DE882

Windows 10 Enterprise x64
	[setup.exe] winreMeetPartitionReq Required free space: 0x2633E3BC

Windows 10 Enterprise x64 UEFI
	[setup.exe] winreMeetPartitionReq Required free space: 0x2313E3BC

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WinRE: Capture WinRE in a Windows 8.1 Base Image

Hopefully this post will clear up some confusion about how to make sure that WinRE is in your Windows 8.1 Base Image and how it works

Quick Summary

Don’t mess with anything

Detailed Summary

Let’s get started.  First of all lets get some beginning stuff out of the way

  1. Build on a VM (non UEFI preferred)
  2. Make sure you follow my Partitioning Requirements
  3. Don’t enable PrepareWinRE in CustomSettings.ini

Now you are going to run your Task Sequence from Imported Operating System Media.  Once you start your Task Sequence and the Install Operating System step is complete, WinRE will be located on your OSDisk in Windows\System32\Recovery.  ReAgent.xml will have a bunch of zeroes everywhere, which basically means that it is not enabled.

7-10-2015 1-10-16 AM

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Partitions: 300MB UEFI Windows RE tools Partition (Doesn’t Work)

Hopefully you read my post on WinRE: Media Install of Windows 8.1 (and Partition Problems!) and realize there is a problem with the UEFI Partitioning of Windows RE tools being 300MB.

I still stand by my Partition Recommendations of increasing the size of this partition, and this post will show how close this Partition is to almost working.

During the Generalization phase of Unattend, Windows Setup will try to move WinRE.wim from C:\Windows\System32\Recovery to where it needs to be, which is in the System Partition of BIOS MBR (Partition 1) or the Windows RE tools Partition of UEFI GPT (Partition 1).

This is validated by looking in the C:\Windows\Panther\setupact.log.  Windows Setup will check the partition at offset 0x100000 which translates to Byte 1048576 (which divided by 1024 gives us 1024 KB)

7-9-2015 3-19-13 PM

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