How to enable Powershell support in WinPE


In a previous article I wrote on how to Manage Bitlocker in WinPE…. using the manage-bde.exe command line tool. The same can be accomplished using Powershell and enabling Powershell in WinPE is far easier than using the method described in my first article.

If you create a WinPE Bootfile using Symantec Deployment Solution 8.x you are not able to run Powershell scripts WinPE (per default).

To get Powershell working in WinPE you have to modify the default.bdc File. This file can be found in: <Default Install Path>\Program Files\Altiris\Deployment\BDC\bootwiz\

You need to make some changes to the file on the SMP Server. Before you modify the default.bcd File create a Backup of the file!

Instructions to enable Powershell for WinPE:

  1. Open default.bdc file on the notification server with notepad++. ( \Program Files\Altiris\Deployment\BDC\bootwiz\default.bdc )
  2. Add under Packages:
    WINPE-DISMCMDLETS=True
    WINPE-NETFX=True
    WINPE-POWERSHELL=True
    WINPE-STORAGEWMI=True
  3. Save file
  4. Open up Altiris Console
  5. Go to Settings > All Settings
  6. Go to Deployment > Packages > BDC
  7. Click on Update Distribution Points
  8. Once BDC Packages is updated on Package server Rebuild your PXE/Automation Environment.

Symantec, please enable Powershell support in WinPE by default in DS 8.x and Ghost Solution Suite 3.x because most of the scripts and maintainance tasks that are helpful to manage Windows are Powershell scripts.

Beware that the changes need to be done after each Release Update (RU), because they are reverted back to default – Thanks for the hint @Bart VdW

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