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The files required to configure your DiegoStart server are available in this page. You need to download and uncompress them in the following order:

Diegostart tree: Download and uncompress this file to the D: drive of your file server. You may choose another drive letter and adjust things accordingly). After uncompressing this file you must have D:\DiegoStart and subfolders.

Pebuilder: Download and uncompress the contents to D:\DiegoStart\PEbuilder

DiegoStart Tree explained

If you have not done so, download the Diegostart Tree and uncompress it to your D: Drive. You should see 3 folders: PEbuilder, BartPE-ISO and winsetup.

The PEbuilder directory contains the files and program that are used to build a bootable cd that will allow you to mount files from the server.

The BartPE-ISO folder is used to store BartPE cd images in ISO format for archiving purposes.

The winsetup folder contains all the files required to install Windows and all the desired software. This folder is divided as follows:

  • answerfiles: Contains answerfiles for OS and software. There are subdirectories for each OS or software package version.
  • cd: This folder is divided into subfolders that contain the files required for the installation of the operating system. Note that there is one folder per OS flavor.
  • documentation: This folder is selfexplanatory.
  • scripts: Contains all scripts (mostly batch scripts) used to drive the OS and software installation. It is divided into subfolders for each OS and also there is a folder for common scripts.
  • software: This folder stores all files used to install software. It is also divided into common and OS dependent folders.
  • tools: Contains some executables that are required for DiegoStart to work.
  • updates: It is also divided into a common folder and OS folders and contains software updates.

Windows Setup Files

The Windows setup files must be copied from the installation discs to the Diegostart tree inside the folder called "cd". The DiegoStart Tree that you downloaded contains folders for each flavor of Windows XP: XPHome, XPProOEM and XPProVL. These folders are needed to allow installations of different versions (I like to call them flavors but the proper term is SKUs) of Windows XP. In the same way , you may create more folders for VistaOEM and VistaVL for future use. The XPProOEM folder is for the files to install OEM versions of windows that require activation. The XPproVL folder is for the files required to install the Corporate Version (Volume License) of the OS that does not need activation.

Windows Files from CD

It is very important that you start with Windows setup files that contain the latests Service Pack (SP) available for each OS. If you do not have a cd with the latest SP included do not worry. You can download the latest SP and then slipstream it into the appropriate Windows setup folder. Let's assume that you only had the original release of Windows XP VL cd without any SP. In order to get the latest SP integrated (usually called slipstreamed) into the windows setup files, you would follow this procedure:

1. Copy all files from the Windows install cd to: D:\DiegoStart\winsetup\cd\XPproVL

2. Download Windows XP SP2 to D:\DiegoStart\winsetup\cd\SP

3. Slipstream the SP with the following commands:

cd D:\DiegoStart\winsetup\cd\SP
WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe /integrate:D:\DiegoStart\winsetup\cd\XPproVL

Windows Updates

Since there are windows updates released after each service pack, it is also highly recommended that you slipstream those into the Windows setup files. In order to do this, you will first need to download all windows updates to: D:\DiegoStart\winsetup\updates\winxp\security and then slipstream them by using the script: D:\DiegoStart\winsetup\scripts\winxp\slipstream.bat

The slipstream.bat script must run as a user with Administrator rights or the updates will not be integrated correctly.

Security Updates

A script called slipstream.bat has been provided for your convenience to apply all the updates to the Windows installation files. This script can be found at D:\DiegoStart\winsetup\scripts\winxp.

Prior to running the script, make sure to edit it by right clicking on it and selecting Edit and adjust the variable WINXPCD to patch the appropriate Windows flavor:

set WINXPCD=D:\DiegoStart\winsetup\cd\XPPRoVL for XP Pro corporate
set WINXPCD=D:\DiegoStart\winsetup\cd\XPHome for Home Edition, etc...

The following link contains a list of updates that should be downloaded to D:\DiegoStart\winsetup\updates\winxp\security prior to running the script.

Download security updates for Windows XP Post SP2

Optional Updates

There are some optional updates that are recommended to install in your client computers. These updates will be installed with a script called update.bat. For Windows XP, the script can be found at D:\DiegoStart\winsetup\scripts\winxp\updates.bat. These updates include Journal Viewer, Windows Media Player 10, etc, as well as some other updates that cannot be slipstreamed. The link below provides download locations to all the updates used in DiegoStart.

Download optional updates for Windows XP

Common Updates

These are updates that can be usually applied to all Windows OSs, including things like the Dot Net Framework, MSN Messenger, etc. These updates are installed with the script: D:\DiegoStart\scripts\common\commonupdates.bat and a full list of files and download links can be found at:

Download common updates

Aditional Drivers

The Windows Installation files do not contain drivers for all the hardware you might be using on your client computers. In order to add drivers that can be used during the setup process to enable your hardware, the following steps are needed.

For each OS flavor in D:\Diegostart\winsetup\cd, create the folder $OEM$ inside the I386 folder of the setup files. Now create the following subfolders (at least $$ will be needed):

  • I386\$OEM$\$1: Any files created here will be copied to C:\
  • I386\$OEM$\$$: Equivalent to %windir%, any files or folders created here will get copied to C:\Windows
  • I386\$OEM$\Textmode: This folder is used to enable device drivers for storage adapters that are required during the text setup (blue screen setup) of the installation process.

In order to keep C:\ clean, aditional drivers will be copied and organized by folders to each client computer being installed in the folder C:\Windows\DRIVERS as follows:

  • I386\$OEM$\$$\DRIVERS\Audio: Copy all audio drivers here
  • I386\$OEM$\$$\DRIVERS\GeForce: I use this folder for Nvidia video card drivers
  • I386\$OEM$\$$\DRIVERS\Network: Copy all NIC drivers here
  • I386\$OEM$\$$\DRIVERS\Storage: SCSI, SATA and other drivers should go here

For each one of this folders you will need an entry in the windows answer file [Unattended] section to make sure the setup process looks inside each folder for available drivers for your hardware. This will be explained in the Windows Answer files section.

File Server Share

DiegoStart clients need to mount setup files from a Windows share in order to perform the software installations including the OS. To make things robust and not depend on WINS or DNS, the answerfiles for the Windows installation have the server's IP address hard coded in the [GuiRunOnce] section. Since it is recommended to use a router, the DiegoStart server should be assigned a fixed IP of If you choose to change this IP, make sure to modify all the answer files accordingly:

 Command0="net use Z: \\\winsetup /user:installer mountP4DS /yes"
 Command1="cmd /K Z:\scripts\settypes\winxp\sethomesystem.bat" 

Choosing a different IP address also requires modifying the DiegoStart plugin for BartPE, specifically the batch files in: D:\DiegoStart\PEbuilder\plugin\diegostart\files\mount to use the appropriate IP that you need. However, for your convenience, the DiegoStart BartPE plugin has an option that allows you to type the IP address of your server to mount the installation files.

In order to allow clients to mount the network share, DiegoStart makes use of a special user called installer . Create a new user called installer in your file server and assign the password: mountP4DS (mount Password for Diego Start). You are encouraged to change this password to one of your choice; when you do it, you will also need to edit all the answer files accordingly.

The following security consideration should be made as the password for the user installer is stored in plain text in your answer files:

  • Adjust file and share permissions to be read only for the user installer.
  • Configure your file server so that the user installer cannot login locally on that system, it should only be allowed mounting of the share and reading of the files.

The network share should be specifically made for the winsetup folder. Create a share called winsetup for the folder D:\Diegostart\winsetup. Do not create a share for D:\Diegostart.

BartPE ISO creation

Pebuilder will be used to create a BartPE cd. In order to do that, you should have already slipstreamed all windows updates into the Windows setup files. Doing so, will allow for the creation of a BartPE cd that contains all windows updates as well. Remember that BartPE is pretty much a Windows Live CD.

BartPE will support all devices in your computer for which Windows has drivers. If your computer has a device for which windows does not have builtin drivers (most Gigabit network cards, storage adapters, etc), then you need to add them so that when you boot the BartPE cd, you can use those devices needed for DiegoStart. Some drivers have already been provided to you for some commonly used NICs from Broadcom and Intel. In the same way, drivers for some storage adapters have been added to the DiegoStart download so that they are available to you.

If you do not know how to add drivers to the BartPE cd, please visit the Adding drivers section in the pebuilder website.

By default, PEbuilder creates a BartPE cd that does not enable the network adapters automatically. Every time BartPE boots, you have to go through some windows to select network settings. In order to set the computer to do dhcp automatically and not have to select settings manually, modify the file D:\DiegoStart\PEbuilder\plugin\penetcfg\penetcfg.ini as follows:


Start pebuilder as a user with Administrator rights by double clicking on: D:\DiegoStart\PEbuilder\pebuilder.exe. You can also use the "Run as" button by right clickong on the program. You must adjust the fields as shown in the image below.

  • Source: D:\DiegoStart\winsetup\cd\XPproVL
  • Output: BartPE (it should be the default)
  • Create ISO image: D:\DiegoStart\BartPE-ISO\date-BartPE.iso (It is recommended to use the date as part of the ISO file name to keep archives)

Now click on the plugins section. You will need to at least enable the following plugins:

  • Background info (bginfo): Not totally required but very useful.
  • Boot Fix (Enabling "Press any key to boot from CD"): Will only boot from BartPE CD if no bootable Windows OS is present on the hard drive.
  • Diegostart: (Should be enabled by default)
  • Dos 16-bit support for WinPE: Enables the use of DOS and batch scripts.
  • RpcSS needs to launch DCOMLaunch Services first: Enable only if you used Windows XP SP2 sources
PEbuilder plugins
PEbuilder plugins

If you wish to enable more plugins like Bginfo, simply click on the plugin name, then click on the Help button and you should see a web browser window pop up with instructions on files needed to enable plugins. I highly recommend enabling McAfee Stinger and Virus Scan, as well as the ghost plugin if you plan to use the BartPE cd for rescue and ghosting operations.

When you are done enabling plugins, click on close and then click on the Build button on the pebuilder windows to start creating your image. Once the image is created, burn it to a cd. BarPE can also be installed on a USB keychain, however it is out of the scope of this guide to explain how to do it.

Now that you have a BartPE ISO, burn it on a cd using your favorite image burning software, boot your client computer and confirm that the network and storage adapters are recognized by BartPE. If they are not, you will need to add the drivers to PEbuilder and create a new BartPE cd.

Windows Answer Files

These files contain the information required to install Windows in unattended mode.

Sample answer files have been included for each OS in the D:\Diegostart\winsetup\answerfiles folder. DiegoStart needs one answer file per OS per system type.

The Answer files for Windows setup are divided in several sections. The documentation for the answer files can be found in the DEPLOY.CAB file of your Windows installation CDs. This file can be found inside the folder SUPPORT\TOOLS of the windows installation cd. The following sections need your attention:


  • OemPnPDriversPath: Set the path to additional drivers not included with windows that should be considered during installation of the OS while setup is installing drivers.

The value must be something like:


Make sure not to exceed the character limit for this entry for each operating system.

Folder entries included here are related to the I386\$OEM$\$$\DRIVERS folder. Remember that the purpose of those folders was to add support for drivers not included with windows.


Adjust the administartor password, for our purposes this is set to demoP4D$ (demo Password for Diego $tart).


You need to modify:

  • ProductID: Replace the X values with your valid windows CD Key.
  • FullName: The name of a person to which the computer is registered to.
  • OrgName: Your company name
  • ComputerName: You should leave it set to * so that the computer gets an automatically generated name


Modify IP address, user name and password accordingly if you chose to changed them from the original values.


  • JoinWorkgroup: This may be set to make your computer part of a desired workgroup


Adjust DNS information here, of special important would be to add the DNSSuffixSearchOrder


It is important to configure the network adapter to do DHCP. You can also configure DNS servers in this section.


This section works only on Windows XP with SP2.

IE Configuration

Make sure to review this section and add the appropriate entries, it is very self explanatory in the answer file.

Aditional Software

Please visit the Software section to learn how to obtain and configure common software that can be installed in unattended mode.

After downloading and adjusting all the aditional software that you want to install, add the appropriate entries for each program to be installed to the osindsoftware.bat or software.bat scripts. There is one software.bat script for each Windows OS folder.

For your convenience, example commands that allow the installation of common software have been included in those files and are commented out with REM at the beginning of each line. If you want to enable the installation of certain software, please do so by removing the REM word and next time you install a system, it will have the software installed (this will only work if the setup files for that software are present).

Boot Client Computer

You are now ready to start DiegoStart on your client computers. Use the BartPE cd that you built to boot the computer and follow the steps show in the How does it work section.

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