yes, that is exactly what I've tried.
using the syntax start noise.txt, WinPE opens the file in Notepad. (I didn't even know notepad was included in WinPE)
i've tried renaming the file to noise.bat, but this also does not do what I need.
And yes, the speaker is connected. (These are new machines and pc speakers are all connected.) In the past we used Ghost to image our machines, and ghost would beep, through the PC Speaker, every time it completed it's imaging, also in the WinPE environment. Occasionally I have to use Ghost again, and it still beeps.