PXE Booting DaRT 8.1 with SCCM 2012 SP1 Including Remote Viewer

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013

Microsoft’s Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) is an invaluable set of tools for supporting Microsoft operating Systems, especially when they won’t boot.

DaRT has had several improvements in its recent versions with my main favourites :-

  • Ability to create both 32bit and 64bit DaRT images from a single installation of DaRT (you used to have to create the media from the server with matching architecture)
  • DaRT 8 supports both Windows 8 and Windows 7. Previous versions of DarT were not backwardly compatible.
  • Remote viewer support so that an admin can connect remotely and diagnose a PC

This guide will walk you through setting up DaRT so that it can be launched from an SCCM OSD PXE deployment. DaRT will launch straight into the remote view console so that an administrator can connect and work on the machine remotely. This process has been tested with Operating System drives encrypted with Bitlocker and you are successfully prompted to enter the recovery key once you have established a connection via Remote Viewer.

 Install MDOP & DaRT

  • Download and install the latest version of the Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack 2013 (MDOP). Unpack the ISO and install the DaRT component. This must be installed on a Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8 PC
  • During the DaRT installation, if not already installed, you will be prompted to download and install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8.
  • Note that MDOP is only available under Software Assurance contracts from Microsoft.

Create the DaRT Media

  • Launch the Dart Recovery Image shortcut, on the welcome screen click Next :-


  •  On the Windows 8 Media screen, browse to an installation source directory for Windows 8 and click Next :-


  • On the tools screen, select the tools you want to add to your image and click Next :-


  • On the remote connection screen, select to allow remote connections, and select the port you want to use. I always use port 3389 (RDP) since this is normally set up on most firewalls. Click Next :-


  • The Advanced Options page, is broken down into four sections :-
    • Drivers – add any drivers you need for your environment
    • WinPE – Add WinPE components (I add WinPE-DismCmdlets, WinPE-Dot3svc, WinPE-EnhancedStorage, WinPE-FMAPI, WinPE-MDAC, WinPENetFx4, WinPE-Scripting, WinPE-Securebootcmdlets, WinPE-SecureStartup, WinPE-StorageWMI, WinPE-WDS-Tools, WinPE-WinReCfg, WinPE-WMI)
    • Crash Analyser – (you can select to download the debugging tools from this screen, you need to select “install Debugging Tools for Windows as a Standalone Component” from the download Link, then point the screen option to c:\program files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Debugger\x86
    • Defender – Select to download definitions


  • On the Create Image page enter your output folder and select to output the WIM and ISO (optional) and click create


Modify the WIM file

You now need to modify the WIM file that you have just created. Launch Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment and run the following commands (change your paths as appropriate) :-

  • md c:\mount
  • dism /mount-wim /wimfile:dart81_x86.wim /index:1 /mountdir:c:\mount
  • dism /image:c:\mount /set-targetpath:x:\
  • dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:c:\mount /commit

the output should look as follows :-


Import Wim File as a Boot Image into SCCM 2012

  • Launch the SCCM 2012 console and browse to Software Library\Operating Systems\Boot Images.
  • Right Click Boot Images and select Add Boot Image
  • As shown in the screen below, ensure that the image index is set to 2 and that “deploy this boot image from the PXE enabled distribution point” is selected. Click Apply


  • Right click the Boot Image you have just imported and select to distribute content to your Distribution Points

Create a Task Sequence to Deploy DaRT

  •  Create a new task sequence and add three “Run Command” steps with the commands :-
    • cmd /c start %windir%\system32\remoterecovery.exe -nomessage
    • %windir%\system32\waitforconnection.exe
    • %systemdrive%\sources\recovery\recenv.exe
  • Add a final step of Restart Computer

The screen below shows how the task sequence should look :-


  • Save the Task Sequence
  • Right Click the Task Sequence and select Properties, select the advanced tab and select Use a Boot Image. Select the boot image you imported earlier and click OK :-


Deploy Task Sequence

Create a new collection and deploy the Task Sequence to this collection. Ensure that this is set to required and made available to PXE clients as shown below :-


DaRT PXE Booting

  • Finally, you are ready to test. Add a PC to the collection you just created and ensure that the network card is set to PXE boot. You will see the image being downloaded to the PC :-


  • Once loaded you will see the Remote Connection prompt. You can connect to this PC remotely by launching the Remote Viewer tool that comes with DaRT and entering the connection details.
  • Select the keyboard layout when prompted
  • Select Troubleshoot
  • Select Microsoft DaRT as shown below :-


  • Select the OS you wish to connect to when prompted
  • You are now ready to launch your required DaRT tool :-



This is a great way to diagnose and support your PCs at remote locations.

If you have any feedback or questions please reply to this post using the form below.



2 Responses to “PXE Booting DaRT 8.1 with SCCM 2012 SP1 Including Remote Viewer”

  1. 1337! Thank you for your post, Graham.

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