Portlock Knowledge Base

Poor Man's Windows image and deployment using Portlock SMART Suite for Windows and the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare

Date Published: August 22, 2008

Introduction

Poor Man's Virtualization This document explains how to use several utilities from Microsoft Windows and Portlock SMART Suite for Windows and the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare to create operating system images for deployment in a virtual environment (VMware, Microsoft Virtual Server, Hyper-V, etc.).

Poor Man's Virtualization The required utilities for Windows image and deployment are Sysprep, WDSCapture and ImageX. Sysprep must be copied to systems running Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. WDSCapture is located on Portlock SMART Suite for Windows and the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare. There are multiple versions Sysprep.

Supported Operating Systems:

  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows XP

Preparing Sysprep, WDSCapture and ImageX for use

ImageX

  1. Download the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK).
  2. Install Windows AIK
  3. Locate ImageX. The default installation directory for ImageX is:
    C:\Program files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\imagex.exe
  4. Copy ImageX to X:\Windows\System32\ on Portlock SMART Suite for Windows or the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare

Sysprep

Windows XP:
Option 1: Windows XP SP2 product CD -- \Support\Tools\deploy.cab
Option 2: Windows XP SP2 Deployment Tools

Windows Server 2003:
Option 1: Windows Server 2003 product CD -- \Support\Tools\deploy.cab
Option 2: Windows Server 2003 SP1 System Preparation Tool

Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008:
c:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\sysprep.exe

WDSCapture

Portlock SMART Suite for Windows and the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare -- X:\Windows\System32\wdscapture.exe

Image and deployment process

Begin the image and deployment process by loading sysprep on a Windows system. The sysprep dialog pictured here is from Windows Server 2003. Other versions may appear differently.

Poor Man's Virtualization The sysprep tool prepares a hard disk for delivery, or in this case, deployment into a virtual environment. There are many options for preparing the operating system for deployment and the options chosen are user preferences that will not effect image deployment. Select the "Reseal" button to prepare a platform for deployment. If running from Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008, check the "generalize" box.

Next, select "Shut down" from the menu as the system needs to boot from Portlock SMART Suite for Windows or the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare once the preparation completes. After booting from Portlock SMART Suite for Windows or the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare, map a drive to send the image to. The "Map Drive" utility is found on the "Network" tab of Portlock SMART Suite for Windows and the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare. Before mapping a drive, ensure it has sufficient free space for the image.

After booting from Portlock SMART Suite for Windows or the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare, map a drive to send the image to. The "Map Drive" utility is found on the "Network" tab of Portlock SMART Suite for Windows and the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare. Before mapping a drive, ensure it has sufficient free space for the image.

Poor Man's Virtualization Open a command prompt from the "Utilities" tab of Portlock SMART Suite for Windows and the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare and start the wdscapture utilitity. This will initiate a wizard to assist with capturing the operating system image. WDSCapture is located at X:\Windows\System32\. Issue the command wdscapture from the command prompt.

Poor Man's Virtualization The Deployment Services Image Capture Wizard will appear. Select the volume to capture, which in this case is C:\. If you do not have a volume to choose from, then the sysprep image was not prepared properly. Name the image and write a description.

After the "Image Capture Source" dialog box is complete, select the destination for the image. Use the "Browse" button to locate the mapped drive and select "finish" to save the operating system image (.wim file).

Poor Man's Virtualization

The next step is to restore the image to a virtual machine. Begin by booting a virtual machine with Portlock SMART Suite for Windows and the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare directly from the .iso file, or from a CD. Once booted, open the command prompt, found in the "Utilities" tab, and issue the diskpart command to format the virtual hard drive. The formatting steps are as follows:

Poor Man's Virtualization
  • Select disk 0
  • Clean
  • Create partition primary
  • Select partition 1
  • Active
  • Assign
  • Select volume 1
  • Format fs=NTFS QUICK
  • exit

If you have multiple virtual hard drives created, carefully select the correct disk as this will erase all existing data. Next, load the Imagex utility from X:\Windows\System32\ to restore the image. To apply the image using ImageX, map a drive to the location of the image using the "Map Drive" utility from Portlock SMART Suite for Windows and the Portlock Boot CD for NetWare. After mapping a drive, issue the following ImageX command with the assigned letter of your mapped location and the name of the directory and image:

imagex /apply Z:\winserver2003\srv2003.wim 1 C:\

Poor Man's Virtualization The above command assigns the image to the drive letter C:\ and begins the restore process.

All that is left to do once ImageX completes is to boot a virtual machine from the virtual hard drive. Follow the "Welcome to the Windows Setup Wizard" and personalize your settings. Uniquely identify your copy of Windows by entering the operating system's product key.

When the setup wizard completes and the Windows Server 2003 system boots, all files and programs remain in their original state.

Poor Man's Virtualization