A. The PQIDeploy tool (originally provided by PowerQuest, which was acquired by Symantec in late 2003) lets you capture and restore disk images from the command line--a capability that's a core part of Microsoft's new zero-touch deployment initiative. (Microsoft elaborated on this initiative at its 2004 Worldwide Partner Conference in mid-July.)

To create a new image file that you can deploy in a zero-touch deployment scenario, you need to run the pqideploy.exe utility and a short PowerQuest script that contains the following lines:

// Capture first partition on first disk                              // diskcapture1.pqs                              Select Drive 1                              Select Partition 1                              Store

After you've created the script, boot Windows from a medium other than that which contains the OS you want to capture--for example, a Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) boot CD-ROM or WinPE through Remote Installation Services (RIS). Connect to a share that contains the .pqs file (diskcapture1.pqs in our example) and the pqideploy.exe program, then run the command

pqideploy /img=m:\images\winxppro.pqi /log=diskcapture.log                              /cmd=diskcapture1.pqs /cmp=high

(The command wraps to two lines here because of space constraints.) The command creates an image file called winxppro.pqi in the m:\images folder, creates a log file of the capture's progress in diskcapture.log, and runs the diskcapture1.pqs script. The /cmp=high parameter tells the capture process to use high compression to conserve disk space.