KBE Questions

Can I ask a dumb question (now you say, "Better than anyone I know" J )?

I would like to better understand the KBE and WinPE versions used to create it. 

Our setup - K2000 physical appliance running version 3.7.  Windows 7 fleet (approx. 5000 PCs) with a Win8.1 image to be developed later this year.  We deploy a customised system image (WIM).


1) When building a KBE, do you need to use WinPE 3, 4 or 5?  So far, this has been my understanding;

WinPE 3 – Windows 7

WinPE4 – Windows 8

WinPE5 – Windows 8.1

My understanding has been confused somewhat lately by articles that refer different versions to deploy different OSes.  For example, I have read that WinPE5 can in fact deploy Windows 7??  Does the version of WinPE NOT matter as long as you have the right drivers for the OS you deploy?

2) Once you have built the KBE, does moving/deleting drivers from the <kbox\drivers\kbe_windows_xXX> directory matter?  Are these files still referenced during the boot to KBE/imaging process?  This may be an odd question and you may be wondering why you would delete these files.  Let’s just say…..someone made a boo boo and the files are no longer there.  Does that matter?

3) Once the KBE is built, can you extract the files within it if the above situation happened?  Can you get the drivers out of the KBE and restore them?

4) Are you able to customise the KBE so that additional tools are not installed?  For example, 99.9% of the time, we simply want machines to boot to the KBE and start imaging.  We don’t want (or need) DOS tools, recovery tools etc etc.  Can I remove things and therefore make the KBE even smaller reducing the time it takes to load?  When we are doing 2000 PCs in a week that can really help!

Hopefully these questions are not too dumb.  Fact is, I’m not sure of the answers so, dumb or not, I needed to ask.  Many thanks for your assistance.


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Answers (3)

Posted by: chucksteel 7 years ago
Red Belt
We're new to the K2000 but here is what I know:
1) The WinPE versions are backwards compatible so WinPE5 should be able to deploy Windows 7, 8 and 8.1.

2) As far as I understand the drivers in the drivers folder are only used during the KBE build process. Driver packs can be downloaded from here: https://support.software.dell.com/kb/SOL111717 so you can redownload them and apply them to the K2000 if they have been deleted.

3) Using DISM you could potentially do that but it isn't necessary.

4) There is a tool called KBE Manipulator that allows you to make some changes to the KBE but I'm not sure if it allows removing tools:

Posted by: nheyne 7 years ago
Red Belt
To answer #3, you can rebuild your KBE drivers by doing this:  http://k2000sandbox.cloud.kace.com/help/admin_guide/topics/tasks/t_UpdateDrivers.html

For #4, you can't delete stuff from the KBE because it's read only (at least it was back when we were using the K2) but you can customize your startnet.cmd file with the KBE Manipulator and tweak the startup behavior to automatically perform certain actions.  However you would have to know the scripting methods to incorporate things like the driver feed and postinstall tasks and include them in your custom startnet.cmd.  Alternately, you could create an entirely new WinPE boot.wim and do everything yourself, but again this would require that you do everything yourself without relying on the KBE, and at that point you're only using the K2 to perform PXE which is kind of a waste of the K2.
Posted by: SMal.tmcc 7 years ago
Red Belt
Build your KBE's with pe 5.  It will work with any of the mentioned OS's. 

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