Difference between revisions of "Windows PE"

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(remove kexec-loader)
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Some utilities/drivers provided by IBM/Lenovo come only in the form of Windows executables (for example, [[Intel_Active_Management_Technology_(AMT)|Intel AMT]] firmware updates). And for people who don't use Windows OS on their computers it becomes impossible to use/apply them. Luckily, Microsoft provides [http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/results.aspx?pocId=&freetext=Automated%20Installation%20Kit&DisplayLang=en Automated Installation Kit] (aka AIK) for free to everyone with very few resctictions on usage (basically, they only prohibit using it as a substitute of a "real" OS, and allow to use it for any diagnostic and reapair tasks). The latest version is [http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=696dd665-9f76-4177-a811-39c26d3b3b34 The Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7]. Users of Windows OS can install this AIK and create bootable CD-ROMs and bootable USB-flash drives with Windows PE (or WinPE for short), which is essentially a stripped-down version of Windows. In this article we will explain how to create bootable CD-ROMs and USB-flash drives with WinPE using only free software. Moreover, free software allows to create bootable USB-FDD with WinPE -- the feature not available to Windows users :).
+
Some utilities/drivers provided by IBM/Lenovo come only in the form of Windows executables (for example, [[Intel_Active_Management_Technology_(AMT)|Intel AMT]] firmware updates). And for people who don't use Windows OS on their computers it becomes impossible to use/apply them. Luckily, Microsoft provides [http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/results.aspx?pocId=&freetext=Automated%20Installation%20Kit&DisplayLang=en Automated Installation Kit] (aka AIK) for free to everyone with very few resctictions on usage (basically, they only prohibit using it as a substitute of a "real" OS, and allow to use it for any diagnostic and reapair tasks). The latest version is [http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=696dd665-9f76-4177-a811-39c26d3b3b34 The Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7]. Users of Windows OS can install this AIK and create bootable CD-ROMs and bootable USB-flash drives with Windows PE (or WinPE for short), which is essentially a stripped-down version of Windows. In this article we will explain how to create bootable CD-ROMs and USB-flash drives with WinPE using only free software. Moreover, free software allows to create bootable USB-FDD with WinPE -- the feature not available to users of Microsoft tools :).
  
 
==How to build a bootable WinPE *.iso image==
 
==How to build a bootable WinPE *.iso image==
Line 17: Line 17:
 
the file you will get will be about 120M in size. Then you can burn this *.iso and boot it on any x86-machine which supports booting from CD-ROMs (which is pretty much any PC today)
 
the file you will get will be about 120M in size. Then you can burn this *.iso and boot it on any x86-machine which supports booting from CD-ROMs (which is pretty much any PC today)
  
==How to build a bootable WinPE USB-HDD image==
+
==How to build a bootable WinPE USB-flash image==
a more convenient option would be to create a bootable USB-flash drive. Unfortunately, Windows loader does not seem to support booting from USB-FDDs, while for some BIOSes this is the only type of bootable USB-flash devices.
+
a more convenient option would be to create a bootable USB-flash drive. Unfortunately, Windows loader <tt>bootmgr</tt> does not seem to support booting from USB-FDDs, while for some BIOSes this is the only type of bootable USB-flash devices.
  
===Building WinPE USB-HDD image in a virtual machine===
+
===Building WinPE USB-HDD image natively in a virtual machine===
Since we already have a bootable WinPE *.iso image, we can use it to build a bootable WinPE USB-HDD image in a virtual machine like '''qemu'''.
+
Since we already have a bootable WinPE *.iso image, we can use native Windows tools to build a bootable WinPE USB-HDD image in a virtual machine like '''qemu'''.
 
* prepare a blank
 
* prepare a blank
  dd if=/dev/zero of=winpe3_x86.img count=250000
+
  dd if=/dev/zero of=winpe3_x86hdd.img count=250000
 
* boot <tt>winpe3_x86.iso</tt> (which you've created before) in a virtual machine
 
* boot <tt>winpe3_x86.iso</tt> (which you've created before) in a virtual machine
  qemu -cdrom winpe3_x86.iso -boot d -m 640 -hda winpe3_x86.img
+
  qemu -cdrom winpe3_x86.iso -boot d -m 300 -hda winpe3_x86hdd.img
 
* now, in the shell provided by WinPE in the virtual machine
 
* now, in the shell provided by WinPE in the virtual machine
 
  diskpart.exe
 
  diskpart.exe
Line 42: Line 42:
 
  wpeutil shutdown
 
  wpeutil shutdown
 
* when the virtual machine shuts down, the bootable WinPE image is ready. If you have write permissions for some flash media device (e.g. <tt>/dev/sdb</tt>), you can copy it with
 
* when the virtual machine shuts down, the bootable WinPE image is ready. If you have write permissions for some flash media device (e.g. <tt>/dev/sdb</tt>), you can copy it with
  # dd if=winpe3_x86.img of=/dev/sdb
+
  # dd if=winpe3_x86hdd.img of=/dev/sdb
 
and use it for test/diagnostic tasks such as firmware upgrades. If you want, you can create an additional partition for you firmware/diagnostic tools, just don't mess with the partition created by Windows -- you may reder it unbootable.
 
and use it for test/diagnostic tasks such as firmware upgrades. If you want, you can create an additional partition for you firmware/diagnostic tools, just don't mess with the partition created by Windows -- you may reder it unbootable.
  
===Building WinPE USB-HDD image with syslinux===
+
===Building WinPE USB-HDD image with mtools and syslinux===
 
if for some ethical or religious reasons you do not want to run any Windows code even in a virtual machine, or you don't have a virtual machine at all -- you can build a bootable WinPE USB-HDD image using '''syslinux''' and '''mtools'''.
 
if for some ethical or religious reasons you do not want to run any Windows code even in a virtual machine, or you don't have a virtual machine at all -- you can build a bootable WinPE USB-HDD image using '''syslinux''' and '''mtools'''.
* prepare a blank
 
dd if=/dev/zero of=winpe3_x86.img count=250000
 
* create a bootable partition entry
 
/sbin/parted winpe3_x86.img
 
(parted) mklabel msdos
 
(parted) unit s
 
(parted) print free
 
(parted) mkpart primary fat32
 
(parted) set 1 boot on
 
(parted) print
 
in my case the output looks like this. Note the numbers corresponding to "Start" and "Size" of your partition, we will use them in the next command
 
Model:  (file)
 
Disk /tmp/winpe3_x86.img: 250000s
 
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
 
Partition Table: msdos
 
 
Number  Start  End      Size    Type    File system  Flags
 
  1      '''32'''s    249999s  '''249968'''s  primary              boot, lba
 
 
* create and format the partition image
 
* create and format the partition image
  dd if=/dev/zero of=winpe3_x86p1.img count='''249968'''
+
  dd if=/dev/zero of=winpe3_x86part.img count='''234000'''
  /sbin/mkfs.vfat -F32 winpe3_x86p1.img
+
  /sbin/mkfs.vfat -F32 winpe3_x86part.img
 +
Note: it looks that '''234000''' is the minimal possible size, but you can choose a bigger number.
 
* copy the files (you may have to put "mtools_skip_check=1" into <tt>~/.mtoolsrc</tt> if your partition is not aligned like mine)
 
* copy the files (you may have to put "mtools_skip_check=1" into <tt>~/.mtoolsrc</tt> if your partition is not aligned like mine)
  mmd -i winpe3_x86p1.img boot
+
  mmd -i winpe3_x86part.img boot
  mmd -i winpe3_x86p1.img sources
+
  mmd -i winpe3_x86part.img sources
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86p1.img /tmp/wAIKX86.msi/F1_BOOTMGR ::/bootmgr
+
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86part.img /tmp/wAIKX86.msi/F1_BOOTMGR ::/bootmgr
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86p1.img /tmp/wAIKX86.msi/F_WINPE_X86_bcd ::/boot/bcd
+
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86part.img /tmp/wAIKX86.msi/F_WINPE_X86_bcd ::/boot/bcd
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86p1.img /tmp/wAIKX86.msi/F_WINPE_X86_boot.sdi ::/boot/boot.sdi
+
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86part.img /tmp/wAIKX86.msi/F_WINPE_X86_boot.sdi ::/boot/boot.sdi
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86p1.img /tmp/WinPE.cab/F1_WINPE.WIM ::/sources/boot.wim
+
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86part.img /tmp/WinPE.cab/F1_WINPE.WIM ::/sources/boot.wim
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86p1.img /usr/lib/syslinux/chain.c32 ::/chain.c32
+
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86part.img /usr/lib/syslinux/chain.c32 ::/chain.c32
 
* create the config file <tt>/tmp/syslinux.cfg</tt> and copy it
 
* create the config file <tt>/tmp/syslinux.cfg</tt> and copy it
 
  DEFAULT WinPE
 
  DEFAULT WinPE
Line 82: Line 65:
 
         APPEND boot ntldr=/bootmgr
 
         APPEND boot ntldr=/bootmgr
  
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86p1.img /tmp/syslinux.cfg ::/syslinux.cfg
+
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86part.img /tmp/syslinux.cfg ::/syslinux.cfg
* install syslinux and copy the partition image into the disk image
+
* install syslinux
syslinux winpe3_x86p1.img
+
syslinux winpe3_x86part.img
  dd if=winpe3_x86p1.img of=winpe3_x86.img seek='''32'''
+
* create USB-HDD image of the size at least '''32''' sectors bigger than the size of the partition we've just created
 +
dd if=/dev/zero of=winpe3_x86hdd.img count='''234032'''
 +
* create a bootable partition entry
 +
/sbin/parted winpe3_x86hdd.img
 +
(parted) mklabel msdos
 +
(parted) unit s
 +
(parted) print free
 +
(parted) mkpart primary fat32
 +
(parted) set 1 boot on
 +
(parted) print
 +
(parted) quit
 +
* copy the partition image into the disk image
 +
  dd if=winpe3_x86part.img of=winpe3_x86hdd.img seek='''32'''
 +
where '''32''' is the start sector of your partition
 
* now the image is ready. If you have write permissions for some flash media device (e.g. <tt>/dev/sdb</tt>), you can copy it with
 
* now the image is ready. If you have write permissions for some flash media device (e.g. <tt>/dev/sdb</tt>), you can copy it with
  # dd if=winpe3_x86.img of=/dev/sdb
+
  # dd if=winpe3_x86hdd.img of=/dev/sdb
 
and use it for test/diagnostic tasks such as firmware upgrades.
 
and use it for test/diagnostic tasks such as firmware upgrades.
  
==How to build a bootable WinPE USB-FDD image==
+
===Building WinPE USB-FDD image with mtools, syslinux and grub4dos===
Any BIOS that supports booting from some USB media at all supports booting from USB-FDD. As it was mentioned ealier, the problem with WinPE is that the bootloader <tt>bootmgr</tt> does not seem to like such devices. A natural thing to do would be to create a virtual HDD, e.g. with <tt>memdisk</tt>, and boot from there. But here we face a deficiency of <tt>memdisk</tt>: for some BIOSes (including Thinkpads!) it will boot if the disk-image physically resides on a real HDD, but will hang if the image is on a USB media.
+
Any BIOS that supports booting from some USB media at all supports booting from USB-FDD. As it was mentioned ealier, the problem with WinPE is that the bootloader <tt>bootmgr</tt> does not seem to like such devices.
 
+
* create USB-FDD image
The only workaround I've found for making a bootable WinPE USB-FDD looks awkward, but it works! Ironically, to boot Windows we will have first to boot Linux, and then use '''kexec''' feature of the Linux kernel. The bootloader [http://www.solemnwarning.net/kexec-loader kexec-loader] does exactly that: it is a stripped down Linux distro which can detect block devices, mount them and execute <tt>kexec</tt>.
+
  dd if=/dev/zero of=winpe3_x86fdd.img count='''238200'''
 
+
  /sbin/mkfs.vfat -F32 winpe3_x86fdd.img
* get a copy of [http://www.solemnwarning.net/kexec-loader/downloads/kexec-loader-2.2.1-floppy.img.gz kexec-loader-floppy]
+
Note: it looks that '''238200''' is the minimal possible size, but you can choose a bigger number.
* prepare a blank
+
  dd if=/dev/zero of=win.img count=260000
+
  /sbin/mkfs.vfat -F32 win.img -n kexecloader
+
* copy the contents of the kexec-loader floppy into <tt>/tmp/kexec-loader</tt>
+
mkdir /tmp/kexec-loader
+
mcopy -i kexec-loader-2.2.1-floppy.img -s ::/* kexec-loader
+
rm kexec-loader/syslinux/ldlinux.sys
+
Note: since kexec-loader is a micro Linux distro, it is extremely configurable. For example, you may find it useful downloading [http://www.solemnwarning.net/kexec-loader/downloads/modules-2.6.30.5-1.tar.gz modules] and the [http://www.solemnwarning.net/kexec-loader/downloads/kexec-loader-2.2.1.tar.gz sources], and adding some modules into <tt>initrd.img</tt> with "<tt>./addmod.sh initrd.img memstick.tlz mmc-sd.tlz</tt>", where <tt>addmod.sh</tt> is a script from the source package and <tt>*.tlz</tt> are modules from the modules package. But make sure that you DO NOT include any SATA-drivers, or <tt>grub.exe</tt> will refuse to boot (or you will have to tweak BIOS and switch harddrive controller from "AHCI mode" into "Compatibility mode").  
+
 
* download [http://sourceforge.net/projects/grub4dos/files/ grub4dos] and copy <tt>grub.exe</tt>
 
* download [http://sourceforge.net/projects/grub4dos/files/ grub4dos] and copy <tt>grub.exe</tt>
  cp grub.exe kexec-loader/
+
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86fdd.img grub.exe ::/
* copy WinPE image
+
* copy the payload
  cp /tmp/winpe3_x86p1.img kexec-loader/winpe.img
+
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86fdd.img winpe3_x86part.img ::/winpe.img
 
Note that this is the image of the partition, not of the whole HD. The reason why it works is grub.exe's [http://grub4dos.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Grub4dos_tutorial#Auto_MBR_creation Auto MBR creation] feature, which tricks <tt>bootmgr</tt> into thinking that it boots from a real HD.
 
Note that this is the image of the partition, not of the whole HD. The reason why it works is grub.exe's [http://grub4dos.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Grub4dos_tutorial#Auto_MBR_creation Auto MBR creation] feature, which tricks <tt>bootmgr</tt> into thinking that it boots from a real HD.
* figure out UUID of your USB-FDD image
+
* create the config file <tt>/tmp/syslinux.cfg</tt> and copy it
  /sbin/blkid win.img
+
  DEFAULT WinPE
 +
LABEL WinPE
 +
        KERNEL /grub.exe
 +
        APPEND --config-file="map (rd) (fd0); map --hook; chainloader (fd0)+1; rootnoverify (fd0)"
 +
        INITRD /winpe.img
  
  win.img: LABEL="kexecloader" UUID="'''8166-E075'''" TYPE="vfat"
+
  mcopy -i winpe3_x86fdd.img /tmp/syslinux.cfg ::/syslinux.cfg
* configure kexec-loader by replacing <tt>kexec-loader/kexec-loader.conf</tt> with
+
* install syslinux
 
+
  syslinux winpe3_x86fdd.img
timeout 1
+
+
title WinPE
+
root UUID='''8166-E075'''
+
kernel /grub.exe
+
cmdline --config-file="map (rd) (fd0); map --hook; chainloader (fd0)+1; rootnoverify (fd0)"
+
initrd /winpe.img
+
* make bootable USB-FDD image (you may have to put "mtools_skip_check=1" into <tt>~/.mtoolsrc</tt> if your partition is not aligned)
+
mcopy -i win.img -s kexec-loader/* ::
+
  syslinux win.img -d syslinux
+
 
* now the image is ready. If you have write permissions for some flash media device (e.g. <tt>/dev/sdb</tt>), you can copy it with  
 
* now the image is ready. If you have write permissions for some flash media device (e.g. <tt>/dev/sdb</tt>), you can copy it with  
  # dd if=win.img of=/dev/sdb
+
  # dd if=winpe3_x86fdd.img of=/dev/sdb
and use it for test/diagnostic tasks such as firmware upgrades. When booting -- be patient, don't interrupt kexec-loader. Reading speed of USB media is slow.
+
and use it for test/diagnostic tasks such as firmware upgrades.

Revision as of 06:28, 8 April 2010

Some utilities/drivers provided by IBM/Lenovo come only in the form of Windows executables (for example, Intel AMT firmware updates). And for people who don't use Windows OS on their computers it becomes impossible to use/apply them. Luckily, Microsoft provides Automated Installation Kit (aka AIK) for free to everyone with very few resctictions on usage (basically, they only prohibit using it as a substitute of a "real" OS, and allow to use it for any diagnostic and reapair tasks). The latest version is The Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7. Users of Windows OS can install this AIK and create bootable CD-ROMs and bootable USB-flash drives with Windows PE (or WinPE for short), which is essentially a stripped-down version of Windows. In this article we will explain how to create bootable CD-ROMs and USB-flash drives with WinPE using only free software. Moreover, free software allows to create bootable USB-FDD with WinPE -- the feature not available to users of Microsoft tools :).

How to build a bootable WinPE *.iso image

  • From the AIK installation file KB3AIK_EN.iso, provided in the form of a UDF disk image, use 7z (from p7zip) to extract the files wAIKX86.msi and WinPE.cab
  • use 7z or cabextract to unpack these files into /tmp/wAIKX86.msi/ and /tmp/WinPE.cab/ respectively
  • create a bootable WinPE *.iso image /tmp/winpe3_x86.iso
cd /tmp
mkdir -p winpe3_x86/boot
mkdir -p winpe3_x86/sources
cp wAIKX86.msi/F_WINPE_X86_etfsboot.com winpe3_x86/etfsboot.com
cp wAIKX86.msi/F1_BOOTMGR winpe3_x86/bootmgr
cp wAIKX86.msi/F_WINPE_X86_bcd winpe3_x86/boot/bcd
cp wAIKX86.msi/F_WINPE_X86_boot.sdi winpe3_x86/boot/boot.sdi
cp WinPE.cab/F1_WINPE.WIM winpe3_x86/sources/boot.wim
genisoimage -sysid "" -A "" -V "Microsoft Windows PE (x86)" -d -N -b etfsboot.com -no-emul-boot \
 -c boot.cat -hide etfsboot.com -hide boot.cat -o winpe3_x86.iso winpe3_x86

the file you will get will be about 120M in size. Then you can burn this *.iso and boot it on any x86-machine which supports booting from CD-ROMs (which is pretty much any PC today)

How to build a bootable WinPE USB-flash image

a more convenient option would be to create a bootable USB-flash drive. Unfortunately, Windows loader bootmgr does not seem to support booting from USB-FDDs, while for some BIOSes this is the only type of bootable USB-flash devices.

Building WinPE USB-HDD image natively in a virtual machine

Since we already have a bootable WinPE *.iso image, we can use native Windows tools to build a bootable WinPE USB-HDD image in a virtual machine like qemu.

  • prepare a blank
dd if=/dev/zero of=winpe3_x86hdd.img count=250000
  • boot winpe3_x86.iso (which you've created before) in a virtual machine
qemu -cdrom winpe3_x86.iso -boot d -m 300 -hda winpe3_x86hdd.img
  • now, in the shell provided by WinPE in the virtual machine
diskpart.exe
diskpart> list disk
diskpart> select disk 0
diskpart> clean
diskpart> create partition primary
diskpart> list partition
diskpart> select partition 1
diskpart> format fs=fat32 quick
diskpart> active
diskpart> assign
diskpart> list volume
diskpart> exit
xcopy /s d:\* c:\
wpeutil shutdown
  • when the virtual machine shuts down, the bootable WinPE image is ready. If you have write permissions for some flash media device (e.g. /dev/sdb), you can copy it with
# dd if=winpe3_x86hdd.img of=/dev/sdb

and use it for test/diagnostic tasks such as firmware upgrades. If you want, you can create an additional partition for you firmware/diagnostic tools, just don't mess with the partition created by Windows -- you may reder it unbootable.

Building WinPE USB-HDD image with mtools and syslinux

if for some ethical or religious reasons you do not want to run any Windows code even in a virtual machine, or you don't have a virtual machine at all -- you can build a bootable WinPE USB-HDD image using syslinux and mtools.

  • create and format the partition image
dd if=/dev/zero of=winpe3_x86part.img count=234000
/sbin/mkfs.vfat -F32 winpe3_x86part.img

Note: it looks that 234000 is the minimal possible size, but you can choose a bigger number.

  • copy the files (you may have to put "mtools_skip_check=1" into ~/.mtoolsrc if your partition is not aligned like mine)
mmd -i winpe3_x86part.img boot
mmd -i winpe3_x86part.img sources
mcopy -i winpe3_x86part.img /tmp/wAIKX86.msi/F1_BOOTMGR ::/bootmgr
mcopy -i winpe3_x86part.img /tmp/wAIKX86.msi/F_WINPE_X86_bcd ::/boot/bcd
mcopy -i winpe3_x86part.img /tmp/wAIKX86.msi/F_WINPE_X86_boot.sdi ::/boot/boot.sdi
mcopy -i winpe3_x86part.img /tmp/WinPE.cab/F1_WINPE.WIM ::/sources/boot.wim
mcopy -i winpe3_x86part.img /usr/lib/syslinux/chain.c32 ::/chain.c32
  • create the config file /tmp/syslinux.cfg and copy it
DEFAULT WinPE
LABEL WinPE
        COM32 /chain.c32
        APPEND boot ntldr=/bootmgr
mcopy -i winpe3_x86part.img /tmp/syslinux.cfg ::/syslinux.cfg
  • install syslinux
syslinux winpe3_x86part.img
  • create USB-HDD image of the size at least 32 sectors bigger than the size of the partition we've just created
dd if=/dev/zero of=winpe3_x86hdd.img count=234032
  • create a bootable partition entry
/sbin/parted winpe3_x86hdd.img
(parted) mklabel msdos
(parted) unit s
(parted) print free
(parted) mkpart primary fat32
(parted) set 1 boot on
(parted) print
(parted) quit
  • copy the partition image into the disk image
dd if=winpe3_x86part.img of=winpe3_x86hdd.img seek=32

where 32 is the start sector of your partition

  • now the image is ready. If you have write permissions for some flash media device (e.g. /dev/sdb), you can copy it with
# dd if=winpe3_x86hdd.img of=/dev/sdb

and use it for test/diagnostic tasks such as firmware upgrades.

Building WinPE USB-FDD image with mtools, syslinux and grub4dos

Any BIOS that supports booting from some USB media at all supports booting from USB-FDD. As it was mentioned ealier, the problem with WinPE is that the bootloader bootmgr does not seem to like such devices.

  • create USB-FDD image
dd if=/dev/zero of=winpe3_x86fdd.img count=238200
/sbin/mkfs.vfat -F32 winpe3_x86fdd.img

Note: it looks that 238200 is the minimal possible size, but you can choose a bigger number.

mcopy -i winpe3_x86fdd.img grub.exe ::/
  • copy the payload
mcopy -i winpe3_x86fdd.img winpe3_x86part.img ::/winpe.img

Note that this is the image of the partition, not of the whole HD. The reason why it works is grub.exe's Auto MBR creation feature, which tricks bootmgr into thinking that it boots from a real HD.

  • create the config file /tmp/syslinux.cfg and copy it
DEFAULT WinPE
LABEL WinPE
        KERNEL /grub.exe
        APPEND --config-file="map (rd) (fd0); map --hook; chainloader (fd0)+1; rootnoverify (fd0)"
        INITRD /winpe.img
mcopy -i winpe3_x86fdd.img /tmp/syslinux.cfg ::/syslinux.cfg
  • install syslinux
syslinux winpe3_x86fdd.img
  • now the image is ready. If you have write permissions for some flash media device (e.g. /dev/sdb), you can copy it with
# dd if=winpe3_x86fdd.img of=/dev/sdb

and use it for test/diagnostic tasks such as firmware upgrades.