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CAPTURE an Image using WDS - STEP 3

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Part 3 - PXE boot target computer and capture image


Step 1. Ensure that PXE boot is enabled in boot sequence, and PXE boot (using your onboard NIC) to the WDS server. Press F12 when prompted for Network Service boot.


Step 2. In the Windows Boot Manager Menu, select Windows Vista/XP WDS Capture from the available options.


Step 3. After Windows PE has booted, you should see a welcome screen which says



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Click next to begin.


If you do not see this welcome screen (for example if you see an Install Windows wizard with keyboard layout options) then power off the computer and re-attempt step 1.


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Step 4. Image capture source:


There are three options here, Volume to capture, Image name, and image description.


Note:-If the Volume to Capture drop down menu appears blank (ie: you can't select anything) then verify that you have Sysprepped the image you are trying to capture.


In addition, You must sysprep using the generalize switch (Vista ONLY). After sysprepping with the /generalize switch it will show up.


For XP, simply regenerate the SID and choose RESEAL.


If you need to sysprep the machine then read this guide and return to part 3 when ready.


If volume to capture still doesnt show up after sysprepping with the /generalize switch then perhaps WinPE may need storage drivers (SATA). To verify this, once you're in WinPE, press Shift+F10 and see if you can see the hard drive.


For Volume to Capture, select C: from the drop down menu (will not be present unless you have SYSPREPPED)

For Image Name call it 'Windows Vista Ultimate Capture' (if you are capturing Windows XP, change accordingly)

For Image Description, enter 'WDS - Windows (vista/xp) captured image for ***'


Step 5. Image Capture Destination:


Here you have the possibility of storing the image on a drive (local) by choosing Name and Location, and clicking Browse and giving the image a filename, the wizard will auto-append .wim to the file name eg: c:test_capture.wim.


Next you want to upload the image directly to your WDS server by putting a check mark in the 'Upload Image to WDS server' option, you will have to provide the servername (or use the ip address eg: and then click on the connect button. After some moments you'll be prompted with a username/password prompt for connecting to the server. I entered Administrator as the user and entered the correct password and selected 'remember my password', followed by 'ok'. If you do not get prompted for username/password and it complains about not finding the server then read here.


Once you have successfully connected to the server you may get an error which states:-


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If you do not get this error, skip to Step 6.

To resolve this error simply go back into the WDS management gui, and select 'Install Images' in the left pane. In the right pane that opens, right-click your mouse and choose 'Add Image Group'. Give this group the name 'WDS XP captures' and retry the above step (5). Obviously if you are capturing Windows Vista, change the group name accordingly.


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Once you've added the image group it will appear in the WDS gui like the below screenshot


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Step 6. you will now see the 'Image Group Name' option on the Windows Deployment Services Image Capture Wizard allows you to drop down the menu, and from here you can select the captured images group you created above.


Step 7. Click Finish to continue (and capture the image). The image capture wizard will start capturing the image and you'll see a 'Percent Complete: x%' dialogue box.


Step 8. After a fairly long while of file copying, Click Close to conclude the image capture process, congratulations you've captured an image using WDS !


Please note, that at this point Windows PE will exit and the computer will reboot, if you don't want it to boot into sysprep then you'll have to be quick and turn it off at the bios screen.





If everything went well as above, the captured image will have been copied to D:RemoteInstallImagescaptured images (change the drive letter to match your RemoteInstall drive and obviously the last folder name will change if you use a different image group name), in addition it will be stored locally on the computer you captured the image on (c:test_capture.wim)


Here are the contents of my captured images folder:-


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