WinPE v3 for imaging on an isolated net. Best setup?

September 24, 2012 at 11:42:29
Specs: 2003 R2 SP2
I manage a lab where hundreds of new computers are imaged each month. We had been using WinPE v2 as the distributed OS via PXE, but the newest computers need drivers that are no longer being written for WinPE v2 (Vista-era). WinPE v3 uses Win7 / 2008 R2 drivers. Our server runs 2003 R2 SP2 in a workgroup setup on an isolated network. To go to WinPE v3, I need Win. Distribution Services, which requires a domain. Will this cause a problem, or is there a better way?

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September 24, 2012 at 12:21:50
I can't say I have a "better" solution as I've never used WinPE. In the past, and I admit it's been a while now since I made/deployed images, I used a network bootdisk I custom made to work in conjunction with a PXE NIC. It didn't require any special server software, just a central respository for images.

However, this was bulky and the bootdisk had to be constantly updated with NIC drivers so at the time I looked at, and tested Symantec's Ghostcast Server

This might work for you and I unless they've changed it (again, it's been over 7 years since I used it), it didn't require a domain to function. It worked equally well in either a domain or workgroup situation.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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