x86_64 is not a true 64bit CPU. So any 32-bit code runs. Read this for more detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86-64
I have been able to boot a x86_64 with an x86 WinPE image, but never lay down the OS. So you definitely want to switchboot into the right image at some point.
If you have one of the new dual core Lenovo laptops you can easily test all this by installing a x64 OS (Vista, RH, SLES, etc) and then installing VMWare x64. This allows you to spawn x4 VMs.
Also, regarding the Dell 2950 NIC, look for the "RIS" drivers and inject those into the image.
I sure would like to get my hands on one of those nifty dual core lenovo laptops :)
one more, can i make the x86_64 image from a x86 box ? or do i have the build the winpe image for x86_64 on a x86_64 box ?
you can build it on a x86. There is no compiling. As long as your copy of WAIK contains the base code for both x86 and x64 you should be fine. All that really happens behind the scenes is a new image is assembled with the right files and injected drivers.
How can i tell if i've got both? i got my waik msi from the winpe 2 image
Look in C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools
You should see folders for different architectures.
ok, a few more questions here:
1 - where can i get 64-bit drivers for vmware to use in my 64-bit winpe image?
2 - switchboot seem to always fail, it just drops to the command prompt. (i boot w/ the 32-bit winpe, provision w/ a 64-bit os)
3 - for a 64-bit system, do i need to set the ARCHITECTURE property to x64 ?
1. Once you have VMWare Workstation for x64 you can extract the drivers from the VMWare tools ISOs. They are somewhere in the install directory for VMWare.
2. Try booting with 64 to see what happens. I've seen this but can't remember how I resolved.
3. Yes, must be set to correct architecture or you get errors. Some servers do not get correctly identified by BMI thus the property gets set incorrectly.
can i use the same bootmgr.exe and pxeboot.0 files for x64/x86? what's in that file ?
also... when i generate my files from the batch file - i specify the 'boot' directory. does this have to match what will be the final destination directory on the tftp server ?
i have x64 and x86 systems that i want to provision. i set my 'default' boot images to my x64 and x86 boot images. when i boot my systems, it always seems to boot into x64, regardless what the architecture property is set to, or what the default boot image is set to. this causes problems down the line when i want to provision the server w/ x86.
I'm answering a few questions here.
1. bootmgr.exe and pxeboot.0 --> I use the same for all systems. Not sure what's in them as I never really mess with these files
2. "boot" directory --> Yes. When you generate the image the folder name has to stay the same. At least in the case of WinPE the image has embedded references to the folder name. If you rename after generating the image it will break. Also, if you are hosting PXE/tftp on a Linux Appserver be aware that case-sensitivity comes into play!! If you are having problems run PXE and TFTP in debug mode to see the exact path/case the client is requesting and then adjust accordingly.
3. x86/x64 Default boot images --> I have seen this before but could not understand why. I resort to only having an x86 default boot image. No x64. Since x64 boots x86 fine but not the other way around. I would still check with support as the behavior does not sound "ok".