Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am working in a university and we have some computer studios, in which some exams are done on computers (e.g. for working with office software, etc.). The exam obviously requires a clean system, so that no student may cheat or disrupt the exam. The current solution is to freshly install the complete studio the day before the exam and re-install the normal image the day after. That work is tedious and time-consuming, even with our PXE images.

I am searching for a way to use PXE to boot into a live-image of Windows XP or Windows 7. Our workstations are equipped with 2GB of RAM.

Does anyone have some insight on this problem and/or done this before?

Alternatively, a solution which involves booting a Linux terminal server client (e.g. LTSP) via PXE without touching the local hard drive would also be okay, as we may then run the windows image on a terminal server.

share|improve this question
Why not just pick up a copy of Deep Freeze and prevent any local changes? – Zoredache Nov 23 '11 at 3:41
nice product, but conflicts with several of our existing management solutions. We just need the temporary environment. – Lars Nov 23 '11 at 10:27

WinPE from the Windows AIK can be PXE booted. You can add a reasonably number of applications to the image, but it's far from a guarantee that any program will run on it.

A Windows 7 could technically be edited to fit into a PXE bootable image, Windows has no qualms with using ramdisks for it's C: drive. However a normal install of Win7 will simply take too much space.

share|improve this answer
so far, I've only used WinPE in installation environments instead of running it as a live Windows. Can you point me to documents handling this particular setup? – Lars Nov 22 '11 at 21:27
Try this link – Cold T Dec 12 '11 at 17:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.