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How to create & test Diagnostics & Recovery Toolkit (DaRT 7) Recovery Image–Part I

In the recently concluded 12th Edition of Virtual TechDays Event, I presented DaRT 7 to the audience. In this post I will show how to create DaRT Recovery Image. For this recovery you will need Windows 7 DVD & DaRT Tools to be installed on your machine with specific platform (x86/x64)

First question would be where do I download DaRT 7. Well, DaRT is part of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) available as a subscription for Software Assurance customers. Find more information over here http://www.microsoft.com/windows/enterprise/products/mdop/default.aspx

Additionally, for evaluation purpose you can obtain it from MSDN/TechNet Subscription. Lates version is Microsoft Desktop Optimization pack 2011 R2.

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Once you download MDOP 2011 R2, you will find DaRT Installers. In this example I am demoing this on my Windows 7 x64 bit version of the OS hence I have installed x64 bit version of DaRT. I have installed MSDaRT70.msi

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Once installed I can see the DaRT 7 available in Start Menu.

 

How to create a new DaRT Recovery Image

Step 1: Go to Start Menu –> All Programs –> Microsoft DaRT. Click on DaRT Recovery Image.

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Step 2: Read the instruction on Wizart & click Next & point to Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Installation files.

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Step 3: Click Next and on the next screen it will show Preparing Files for DaRT Recovery Image.

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Step 4: Click Next to proceed and wait for few minutes. It will take approximately 2-3 minutes to prepare the files.

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Step 5: Once done you will the following screen. On this screen you can enable or disable any tools available for Local User.

In this example I DO NOT want my local user to use the tool called Locksmith, which can be used to reset the password for the Local Computer Accounts.

Note: However, during the remote management support when the Helpdesk Engineer will connect to the machine remotely during DaRT 7 Recovery Image is booted, the Locksmith will be enabled for the Helpdesk Engineer to perform specific account password reset task.

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Step 6: Click Next & I have ticked on Allow remote connections (All DaRT tools will be available to the remote help desk)

I will leave the port number field blank so that random can be generated.

Also, I will provide the Remote Connection welcome message

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Step 7: Click Next and on this screen you can point to the Debugging Utilities for Windows to be used to Crash Analyzer.

In this case I am not adding these tools but you can choose to install them and include.

Note: You can download the Debugging Tools for Windows as a part of Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4 (ISO)

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Step 8: Click Next and here you can select the latest definitions for Standalone System Sweeper Tool useful for scanning malicious and unwanted software.

At this time I will say No and continue.

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Step 9: Click Next and you can Add Device Drivers for specific hardware, which will be loaded during the DaRT Recovery Image Boot Process.

You can point to .INF files (if any) In this example I am not adding any driver.

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Step 10: Click Shoe Files and HERE YOU CAN ADD ANY OF YOUR ADDITIONAL FILES OR UTILITIES

In this example, I am going to add IMAGEX.EXE utility that I often use to work with .WIM Files.

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This is the content before adding Files.

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I have created a new folder called as Tools and included a file IMAGEX.EXE and this is the content looks like.You can close the Explorer Window once adding all the necessary files.

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Step 11: Click Next and it will give you an option to save the ISO file. I will leave the default location.

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Step 12: Click Next to prepare the ISO. It will take approximately 3-5 minutes to prepare the DaRT 7 Recovery Image depending upon the components & the files you have added.

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Step 13: Click Next & now you have option to burn the same ISO to the optical media or create a bootable USB stick using The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool available at http://wudt.codeplex.com/

In this case I am not burning so removing the tick mark

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Step 14: Click on Explore folder to get you ISO File.

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Step 15: Click Finish and you have your DaRT 7 Recovery Image ISO ready to use.

In the next part we will see how can we test the new Remote Connection feature.

Happy DaRTing