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Windows PE – SCCM/MDT Boot Image Modification (Double Commander Installation)

As we all know Windows PE is a very lightweight operating system containing only the neccesarry components for operating system installation. Operating Systems are usually installed by 1st Level Support that is not familar with the SCCM environment and sometimes they are really restricted in their administrative rights. Therefore it can be usefull to extend the Windows Boot Image.

In this example I’ll show you how to integrate Double Commander, a File Explorer alternative, in your Boot Image. Feel free to add other software products or custom scripts to your environment.


Download “Double Commander Portable” at

Download “Double Commander Portable”
  • Prepare the following folder structure on your SCCM server: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Documents\ExtraFolder\x64\Program Files\
  • Extract to C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Documents\ExtraFolder\x64\Program Files\doublecmd\
Prepare Folder Structure

Start doublecmd.exe and feel free to configure the apllication to your needs. All your modifications will be stored in “doublecmd.xml” and are also available in your PE Image afterwards.

Double Commander – Configuration

In this step we will integrate Notepad++ into “Double Commander”. In Windows PE we are only allowed to use notepad.exe which is really not statisfying for us 😉

Download “Notepad++ minimalist package 64-bit x64”

Extract “npp.7.5.3.bin.minimalist.x64.7z” to “C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Documents\ExtraFolder\x64\Program Files\doublecmd\npp.7.5.3.bin.minimalist.x64

Extract “npp.7.5.3.bin.minimalist.x64.7z”

Start doublecmd.exe and Select “Configurations -> Options

Double Commander – Options

Set the Editor Path to “%COMMANDER_PATH%\npp.7.5.3.bin.minimalist.x64\notepad++.exe

Double Commander – Editor Options

Image Integration

Select “Create Boot Image using MDT

SCCM – “Create Boot Image using MDT”

Set the package source folder. Keep in mind that this folder must be empty!

SCCM – Boot Image Package Source

Provide a name, version and comment.

SCCM – Boot Image General Settings

As platform select “x64

SCCM – Boot Image Options

Feel free to add component. In this example we don’t need any of them.

SCCM – Boot Image Feature Packs
  • “Add extra files to the new boot image” – Path: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Documents\ExtraFolder\x64
  • Enable command support (F8)
SCCM – Boot Image Customization

You are done!

SCCM – Creating Boot Image


Build your own USB Boot Stick or just prepare your new Boot Image for PXE. By pressing F8 the command line utility will open up. Navigate to “X:\Program Files\doublecmd” and start doublecmd.exe

Windows PE – Double Commander Integration
Windows PE – Notepad++ Integration

As you can see the integration worked like a charm. There are different ways to improve the integration. For example you could build your own “PowerShell GUI” to easily run Double Commander, or you just integrate your application in the autorun.


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