Overview of the iSCSI Boot Process

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

The following terms are used in this section:

Term Definition

technician computer

The computer that is used to create the bootable Windows PE images.

source computer

The computer that is configured with iSCSI Boot and is used for capturing the boot image.

target computer

The computer that a captured image is deployed to.


As part of the iSCSI Boot process, you first need to create a Windows boot image.

To create a boot image

  1. Install Windows Server 2008 R2 on the source computer, but do not join a domain.

  2. Configure the computer with software applications as desired on a computer booting with iSCSI Boot from an iSCSI target computer.


If you plan to use DVD media for the deployment image, you might need to minimize the number of applications that you install before capturing the image so that it can fit on the DVD.

  1. Run C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe by using the Generalize option, and then choose to shut down rather than restart the computer.


If you choose to restart the computer, you must run Sysprep again after restarting. The computer must be shut down after running Sysprep Generalize, and the system image must be captured before the computer is turned on by using the same system drive again.

  1. On the technician computer, create the Windows PE image that will be used to capture and deploy the computer images.

  2. On the technician computer, run Sysprep Generalize. The system is turned off for the image capture.


If the technician computer restarts, you will need to run Sysprep again before you capture the image.

  1. Use an imaging tool such as ImageX from the Windows AIK, and Windows PE to capture an image on the computer for deployment.


If you use an alternative imaging tool, you must use Sysprep to ensure that computer security identifiers (SIDs) are unique across all the deployed computers.

  1. After the image is captured, deploy it to a reference Logical Unit Number (LUN) on the storage area network (SAN), which can then be copied for use with each client as desired.

    Alternatively, a client can boot from a customized Windows PE CD that contains the image, and then copy the image to a LUN for booting.