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How to Create a Bootable Windows PE CD or USB Flash Drive

Windows PE can be used for deploying, testing and repairing Windows installations, or as a recovery CD/DVD for system administrators. Windows PE 3.0 is the newest version that can be created using the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7. The Windows AIK for Windows 7 must be installed on a PC running Windows Vista or Windows 7.

In this article, I will describe how you can create a bootable Windows PE 3.0 (WinPE) CD/DVD or USB flash drive. You will see that the procedure described here is much more convenient and easier than most solutions you'll find on the internet.

Updated: The procedure also works with Windows PE 4 / 5. To create a bootable Windows PE drive based on Windows 8.1, please download the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) from here.

1Create a Windows PE boot image

  1. First, we have to install the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7 (henceforth know as WAIK). WAIK can be downloaded from the Microsoft site here.
  2. Run the Deployment Tools Command Prompt (from the Start Menu) as an administrator.
  3. Use copype.cmd to copy the required Windows PE files to our working directory (here c:\winpe), and copy the winpe.wim file into the ISO directory.
    copype.cmd x86 c:\winpe 
    copy c:\winpe\winpe.wim c:\winpe\iso\sources\boot.wim 
  4. Now, we have to turn the ISO directory into an actual ISO image file. The Deployment Tools Command Prompt provides a utility, oscdimg, to do this.
    oscdimg –n –bc:\winpe\etfsboot.com c:\winpe\iso c:\winpe\winpe.iso 

2Burn Windows PE image to CD/DVD or USB flash drive

  1. Click here to download the setup package of ISO2Disc utility.
  2. When the download is complete, double-click the download file to run the installation wizard. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  3. Run ISO2Disc program. Locate your ISO image file, then select your target device: CD/DVD or USB flash drive.

    Burn Windows PE ISO Image to CD/DVD or USB flash drive

  4. Click the Start Burn button to start creating a bootable Windows PE bootdisk.

In addition, ISO2Disc could be used to create a Windows password reset bootdisk which allows your reset forgotten administrator password for Windows 8 / 7 / 2008 / Vista / XP / 2003 / 2000.



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