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Building a Technician Computer

The technician computer is the computer in your lab on which you install the Windows OEM Preinstallation Kit (Windows OPK) or Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK). A technician computer is where you create answer files, build configuration sets, and build custom Windows PE images. Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM) is the primary tool that you will use to create and modify answer files and configuration sets.

The technician computer typically contains your distribution share, a folder structure that contains the source files necessary to install your Windows installation. You can host your distribution share on a network share so multiple technician computers can share the same resources.

System Requirements

To build a technician computer, you will need:

  • An x86- or x64-based computer running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or a Windows Server 2003 operating system.
  • Windows OPK or Windows AIK.
  • A CD or DVD burner to create portable media.
  • Image-burning software.
  • .NET Framework 2.0 (provided with the tools during setup).
  • Network access, to download the latest updates (if you plan to use the technician computer as a network share).

Installing Windows OPK or Windows AIK Tools

  • For Windows OPK customers, insert the Windows OPK DVD and the setup program will automatically install tools and documentation on your local computer under C:\Program Files\Windows OPK\.
  • For Windows AIK customers, download and run the .msi package. The setup program will automatically install tools and documentation on your local computer under C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\.

Default Installation Directories

By default, the Setup creates the following directory structure:

C:\Program Files\<version>\Docs\
C:\Program Files\<version>\Recovery\
C:\Program Files\<version>\Samples\
C:\Program Files\<version>\SDKs\
C:\Program Files\<version>\Tools\

The value of <version> can be either Windows OPK or Windows AIK. The following table describes each of the available folders created by Setup.

Term Definition


Contains online help files (.chm) and white papers.


Contains Windows Recovery-specific files.


Contains all Windows OPK or Windows AIK samples.


Contains software development kit (SDK) resources.


Contains all deployment tools, including Windows SIM, Windows PE, and ImageX.

See Also


Building a Lab Environment
Deployment Network Considerations