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.