This documentation is archived and is not being maintained.

Using Windows PE and ImageX for Deployment

Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) and ImageX are the primary tools for deploying Windows Vista.

Windows PE is a minimal Win32 subsystem with limited services, based on the Windows Vista kernel running in protected mode. It contains the minimal functionality that you need to run Setup, install Windows from a network share, automate basic processes, and perform hardware validation.

Windows PE was developed specifically to address desktop and server deployment scenarios. In the past, MS-DOS boot disks were used for system configuration and operating system installation. While support for MS-DOS becomes more difficult to find, Windows PE provides a lightweight, 32-bit environment that leverages the drivers and basic features of the Windows operating system.

ImageX is a Microsoft imaging technology that works with Windows PE to capture, modify, and apply installation images for deployment in a manufacturing or corporate environment.

Windows PE and ImageX are used throughout this guide. For a detailed discussion of each of these technologies, see Windows PE Technical Reference and ImageX Technical Reference.

See Also