UPDATE: As per my experience here, no one responded. If I do not hear back from TechNet forum members about it, I will post a bounty here, if it makes a difference.
I have banged my head against a wall for what seems like all week. I am going to explain my simple procedure, and how none of it, absolutely none, seems to work afterword despite few alternatives and everyone on the internet telling assuming this is how to do it.
Diskpart Commands to Create FS Structure
REM Select the disk targeted for deployment. REM REM NOTE: Usually disk 0, but drive failure can make it external USB REM media. This will erase the drive regardless! select disk 0 REM Remove previous formatting. clean REM Create System Reserved partition bootloader and files. create partition primary size=100 REM Format the volume format fs=ntfs label="System Reserved" quick override noerr REM Assign the System Reserved partition the D: mount for now assign letter=C REM The main system partition, size not specified to occupy whole drive. create partition primary REM Format the volume format fs=ntfs quick override noerr REM Assign the OS partition the D: mount for now assign letter=D REM Make this the active/bootable partition. sel disk 0 sel partition 1 active REM Close out the diskpart session. exit
Now, I thought this was madness, but it turns out the System Reserved partition and standard "System Partition" (C:, commonly both the boot and system volumes where you find the Windows directory AND the bootmgr/ntldr hardware files, this is where Windows 7 diverges) as mounted in the Windows PE session where I run these commands do not matter. See reference here. Since this needs to be BitLocker-ready, enter this crappy System Reserved partition that is separate 100MB of awesome that goes before the regular boot volume. I do this, then I proceed to the next step.
Deploy System Reserved and Normal System Images
REM C is still the "System Reserved Partition", and the image is just like it sounds. imagex /apply G:\images\systemreserved.wim 1 C: REM D is now what will be the C: system partition on reboot, supposedly. imagex /apply G:\images\testimage.wim 1 D:
Reboot the system
Now, the images I just captured should look good. This is not even sysprepped, but reapplying the same fscking image I prepared on the same reference workstation hours before. Problem is I get
0xc000000e could not detect the accessible boot device \Windows\system32\winload.exe or different kinds of nonsense revolving around being able to find the boot volume with all the right files. I try different variations of things, now none of them work. I tried repairs with
bcdboot, with a fresh System Reserved partition or not,
bootrec, and maually editing the damn BCD store with
bcdedit. I tried finalizing the above process with and without
bootsect /nt60 C: /force. I need to wrap up and automate this procedure. What am I doing wrong that does not make the image happy, but really just miserable.