How to Create Windows 8.1 PE Boot CD/USB Drive

November 20th, 2014 by Admin Leave a reply »

WinPE (Windows PE) is a stripped down version of Windows. It has the bare minimum drivers and files just enough to run the installer and the repair tools. WinPE does not require a hard drive to boot, it can run solely from a CD drive using the memory for dynamic data. This feature makes WinPE appealing for data recovery and system maintenance purposes. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to manually create a bootable WinPE 5.0 CD/USB drive. WinPE 5.0 is based on Windows 8.1.

How to Create Windows 8.1 PE Boot CD/USB Drive?

  1. WinPE 5.0 is part of the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 8.1, which you can download here. When you install the ADK, you only need to select these two features: Deployment Tools and Windows Preinstallation Environment.
  2. After installing, launch the Deployment Tools and Imaging Environment. Create an empty folder such as c:\winpe, and then type this command:
    copype.cmd amd64 c:\winpe
    If you want to make a 32-bit WinPE bootdisk, just replace amd64 with x86. This step will copy the boot files and the Windows PE boot image (boot.wim) to the folder c:\winpe\media.
  3. If you need to make changes to the WinPE boot image, you need to mount the image before adding drivers or other third-party apps:
    dism /mount-image /imagefile:c:\winpe\media\sources\boot.wim /index:1 /mountdir:c:\winpe\mount
  4. After mounting the image, you can add any specific RAID or storage drivers, in order for your hard drive to be recognized by the WinPE bootdisk. You will need to collect and extract the raw .inf and .sys driver files in order to install the driver.
    dism /image:c:\winpe\mount /add-driver:"c:/storage/iaStor.inf"
  5. Unmount the image and commit the changes back to the WinPE boot.wim file.
    dism /unmount-image /mountdir:c:\winpe\mount /commit
  6. Now that we have the base image (boot.wim) and its time to create the bootable WinPE ISO image by running the following command:
    oscdimg -b"c:\winpe\fwfiles\etfsboot.com" -n c:\winpe\media c:\winpe\winpe.iso
  7. Finally, you can burn the ISO image (winpe.iso) onto a CD-ROM or USB stick. You can use the freeware ISO2Disc, Rufus, Imgburn or any other burning application of your choice.