MakePE: Adding Microsoft DaRT Support

If you have Software Assurance, then you should be able to download the Desktop Optimization Pack for SA 2015.  This will include Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT).  The latest version of MDOP contains all the versions of DaRT that you need.

  • WinPE 3 – Dart 7
  • WinPE 4 – Dart 8 SP1 (unsupported in MakePE)
  • WinPE 5 – DaRT 8.1
  • WinPE 10 – DaRT 10


Installing DaRT

The downside of installing DaRT is that you are going to need to install on each specific Operating System that you need to support.  So if you need to build WinPE 3, then you need to install DaRT 7 on a Windows 7 system.  You are also going to need to install AIK for Windows 7, or ADK for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.


Getting the DaRT CABs

Once you complete the install for DaRT, in Program Files\Microsoft DaRT\* you should have some Tools*.cab files.  These are what you need to enable DaRT for MakePE.


Adding DaRT CABs to MakePE

Take the DaRT Tools CAB files that you need and place them in MakePE\Components\DaRT in the appropriate directories.  Proper directories are WinPE 3, WinPE 5, and WinPE 10.  Be aware that there is a space in that directory name.


DaRT Config Files

You are also going to need to add DaRT Config files.  Without these, DaRT will not work in WinPE and when launching DaRT, you will have “Tool is unavailable” messages.


MDT DaRT Config

Microsoft was kind enough to provide the DaRT Config files with MDT.  If you have MDT installed, then you can simply copy them from Program Files\Microsoft Deployment Toolkit\Templates


and add them to MakePE\Components\DaRT


Since DaRT is part of the BasePE, you want to make sure you delete the BasePE.wim or add RebuildBasePE=Yes to your Build CMD as detailed in my last post.

Now when you build WinPE, it will fail.  You should get the NetStart screen and after clicking Yes or No, the computer will reboot.


This is because DaRT integration replaces the default winpeshl.ini, and has an entry to launch Recovery Environment.  If you are using the WIM’s that are part of AIK or ADK, then there is no Recovery Environment since they are stripped down WIMs and do not have the WinPE SRT.  I detailed this in a previous post WinPE: Boot WIM’s Explained (The Practical)


So now you must add MDT support, or use a different WIM.  We can do both.