Windows PE is a light version of Windows that you can startup on just about any computer with many benefits and uses such as:
- Diagnostics. It’s very handy to have for basic diagnostics on computers that are having issues.
- Linux Computers. If you have a Dell laptop with Linux OS installed, and the BIOS updates for the computer are only available as Windows .EXE program files, you can startup with Windows PE, install the BIOS updates, and then restart to Linux again.
- Data Recovery. With a computer that won’t startup because of corrupt system files, you can startup with Windows PE and access the hard drive.
Creating a Windows PE Startup Disk
To create your own bootable Windows PE USB flash drive, follow these instructions.
- Install the following features from the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK):
- Deployment Tools: includes the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment.
- Windows Preinstallation Environment : includes the files used to install Windows PE.
- Start the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment as an administrator.
- Create a working copy of the Windows PE files. Specify either x86, amd64, or arm:
copype amd64 C:\WinPE_amd64
- Install Windows PE to the USB flash drive, specifying the drive letter:
MakeWinPEMedia /UFD C:\WinPE_amd64 F:
Warning This command reformats the drive.
Creating a Visual User Interface
The Windows PE boot disk described above starts up to a command prompt. You’ll probably want a familiar user interface. A popular one is FreeCommander.