11 Replies Latest reply on Sep 14, 2011 1:37 PM by DanDinolfo

    Adding Components to WinPE


      Hello.  I'm running LDMS 9.0 SP2.  I'm trying to add HTA support to LANDesk's WinPE so that I can give my Technicians a bit of a GUI to help with provisioning systems.  I'm looking for some info.  Anyone had any luck with this?  I'm trying to walk through tweaking the LANDesk boot.wim file, but when I go to add the WinPE-HTA-Package, I get an error.  Apparently you can't add things to an image that has already been "/PREP"ed.  So now I'm left with making my own PE image from scratch.  I saw a forum post about loading WinPE 3.0 into LANDesk.  I know this isn't supported (at all).  Anyone able to accomplish this without to much hassle?  I just want to give a GUI for my vbscript.  I've used AutoHotKey in the past, but I like HTA sooo much better.

        • 1. Re: Adding Components to WinPE
          EMiranda Expert

          I havnt had any luck with HTA, but i have great success with AutoIT with scripting and GUIs in the LANDesk WinPE environment.

          • 2. Re: Adding Components to WinPE

            I've used AHK (very similar to AutoIT), but I find VBScript with HTA files much more full featured. Uggh.  I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and do something drastic.

            • 3. Re: Adding Components to WinPE
              Rick.Smith1 Expert

              We add stuff to assist our support teams and put the Executables into a specific folder. We can modify the menu to launch these items if needed, or maybe something like this will help if you just need a usable gui to launch support tools:


              • 4. Re: Adding Components to WinPE
                EMiranda Expert

                when you refer to GUI, are you refering to a "start menu" type gui to launch vbscripts? or you referring to a GUI with progress indicators?

                • 5. Re: Adding Components to WinPE

                  Our techs have been using MDT for desktop deployment for several years now.  If  you aren't familiar with it, it's a free deployment tool from Microsoft.  It  uses PE, Imagex, and a ton of very nice vbscripts/hta files to give a nice GUI.   There are some configuration elements that we need to set.  We have done them  at deploy time in the past.  Things we prompt for are things like, Computer name, time zone, task sequence, applications to install, etc.  I know task sequence (provisioning templete) can be done with the GUI in PE or in the console if you preassign a task to a computer.  The trick is, it's a lot easier for our techs to just turn a computer on, boot to the pxe, answer a few questions, and then the system takes 2 hours and is totally installed, patched, and configured.  It looks like LANDesk wants us to answer all of those questions in the 32 bit console, deploy the task(s), and then have the stuff happen.  The problem I'm envisioning is that if I can't make the process straight forward enough for our Techs, I (or someone like me) will have to handhold them through the process for a LONG time.  The AutoHotKey menu I had before was designed to ask for the computer name, and based on the 3 character prefix, it autoselected a timezone, but you could overwrite the timezone by selecting a radial menu option.  I then save that information to a text file on the RAM drive.  Then, after I format the hard drive, I use another script to read the text file I saved and I load the correct options into my unattend.xml file.  It works great.  I just want to add more functionality, and I feel my hands are tied using AHK or AutoIT.


                  For instance, I would like to do some AD lookups and check our asset database to maybe prefil some of the information.  I was thinking of trying to give people options for applications to install, and then somehow either have LANDesk install those apps during it's process, or have some custom process install the stuff at the end.

                  • 6. Re: Adding Components to WinPE
                    EMiranda Expert

                    I understand now.  Yeah i wish i could give suggestion on how to do with HTA but im not sure on that one.  going with the other tools will def work, I similiar things with AutoIT and LANDesk's tokreplw to pass entries into the Unattend.xml file.

                    • 7. Re: Adding Components to WinPE
                      ahe Expert



                      we do it with AutoIt, no installation necessary.... We don't "install" additional apps in the wim file. But we add/copy some scripts and tools with success (freecomander, etc.).

                      (mount the boot.wim file, copy the scripts/files to the mount dir, commit the wim file, that's all)



                      If you want add some additional drivers or additional functionalities/libraries/tools which need installations, like HTA, etc. you have to use the vista versions not the W7 versions, than it will work.





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                      • 8. Re: Adding Components to WinPE

                        I was using the Vista version of the WAIK.  It still wont work.  It says the image has already had the /prep option and cannot be modified.  You could still add files easily enough though, but I want HTA support.  Grrrr

                        • 9. Re: Adding Components to WinPE

                          Okay, I figured out how to do it, well sort of.  I found a walkthrough on DroppedPackets that talks about upgrading to WinPE3.0.  I used that to get what I wanted.  I removed the ADSI stuff from the script they had.  I also had an issue where the pasted script had some odd characters.  I blame it on the fact that the author appears to be French.  :-)



                          • 10. Re: Adding Components to WinPE
                            ahe Expert

                            I use the latest WAIK version to edit the WIM file(s), but I integrate Vista drivers, because the boot.wim file of LANDesk is based on Vista...


                            I found, that the integration of drivers is much more easier with the LANDesk Console as I do it with native WAIK...


                            I'm not sure, if you can use the LANDesk function to add additional network drivers, if you use the W7 based boot.wim file, but I'm interested in your experiences...




                            • 11. Re: Adding Components to WinPE

                              I wonder if you can use WDS to add the drivers.  I'd bet you probably could.  It's working great with my VMs.  I haven't tried any systems that would really require drivers.