MakePE: Install AIK and ADK

For MakePE to work you need either AIK or ADK installed, or a copy of the installed files.  I briefly touched on this in my MakePE: First Run and Windows Kits writeup, but honestly there was too much in that post, and I am thinking about removing it.  So let’s break things up a bit.

AIK and ADK Download

For starters you need AIK or ADK (or both)

  1. WinPE 3 requires Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK)
  2. WinPE 5 requires Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit for Windows 8.1 Update
  3. WinPE 10 requires Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit for Windows 10

And yes I did omit WinPE 4, which requires ADK for Windows 8, but you really shouldn’t be using that.  So download the Kits for the WinPE Versions that you are going to build out.  In my environment, we deploy Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and soon Windows 10, so I need to download all three of them.

Installing AIK and ADK on the same computer

If you are using Windows 8.1 x64 you can install all three at the same time and they coexist beautifully.  And please, don’t add all three of these to your Production computer, make sure you are using a Virtual Machine that I outlined in my previous post.  If you are using this computer for anything else other than MakePE, I certainly do NOT recommend that you install AIK and ADK on the same computer as it may cause issues with MDT.


Running MakePE to Validate Installation

I can go ahead and run one of the example scripts to validate the AIK and ADK integration.  I decided to double click (so no Run As Administrator) because I know that will generate a fail and prevent it from continuing.  From here I can see in the Log that all three are successfully installed.  Additionally if I look in the CMD Window, I see there are alternate locations that I can have AIK and ADK.


I can easily copy the AIK directory from C:\Program Files into my MakePE\Components


And do the same for Windows Kits (ADK 8.1 and ADK 10)


And after running an Example Script again, I see that it is no longer using what is in Program Files, but instead, it pulls from Components.


Why is this important?  Because it allows you to run MakePE if you copy these directories and add them to Components, so you only need to install AIK and ADK’s once.  Now I can just simply copy my MakePE directory over to a new computer if I want to build it elsewhere.  This is an excellent way to move MakePE to a Server that you don’t want to install ADK or MDT on.

For me, I have simple Backup and Restore CMD files so I can revert back to a clean OS, or if I want to test MakePE on a Windows 10 computer, I can simply copy the Restore.cmd over to the new Windows 10 computer, and restore what I have built.  Not having AIK and ADK in Program Files makes things easier, and portable.