29 November 2012

BOOTMGR is missing after applying a WIM

This is being caused by the 200 MB hidden partition windows creates when the partitioning is done before the OS is laid down. This is done to pre-configure the system for bitlocker, even if it is not going to be used. The bootmgr file is placed in that partition, therefor when you sysprep and machine and then generate a WIM file, it does not capture the data from the hidden partition. This only happens when you are manually building up a machine, installing all of the applications, sysprepping the machine, and then running the imagex to generate an image on a remote share. If you generate an image with MDT or SCCM, this process is properly handled. Obviously, you could just use either of those processes to create your golden image, but if you still need to do it all manually, here is how:

  1. Boot to WinPE and delete all partitions
  2. Create a new single partition. Size does not matter
  3. Begin the installation of Windows 7. Select the partition created in step 1
After researching some with MDT, I could not find any options to install Windows 7 without the hidden partition, so for now, the system to be manually imaged, won't be able to be built with either SCCM or MDT. 

There is also another option. You can place a pause in the initial build of SCCM or MDT. Just write a quick VBScript that launches a message box and waits for the user to click Ok to continue. At that point, you can install whatever software you want and the golden image will be generated at the end. 


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