How to create a bootable USB flash or ISO running Windows PE

Posted on 04th April 2016

This article applies to Windows 10 Desktop editions and Windows Server 2016.
Windows Preinstallation Environment or WinPE is a minimal Windows operating system that can be used to boot a computer for installing or repairing Windows, apply a disk image from a network location or for troubleshooting and for data recovery purposes. Windows PE can be installed on a USB flash drive, external USB hard drive, CD/DVD, ISO or it can be added as a boot image on Windows Deployment Services for network based installations.

To create the WinPE bootable media, download the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 10 from this link here

Run the setup and select the following features during install:

  • Deployment Tools
  • Windows Preinstallation Enviroment(Windows PE)

Once the installation is completed start the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment.

In the Search box, type Deployment and Imaging. Then Right-click on Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment and then select Run as administrator.

You can create 64-bit and 32-bit version Windows PE.

The 64-bit version of Windows PE can boot 64-bit UEFI and BIOS PCs. TO create 64-bit Windows PE, Run

copype amd64 C:\WinPE_amd64

The 32-bit version of Windows PE can boot 32-bit UEFI and BIOS PCs, and 64-bit BIOS PCs.

copype x86 C:\WinPE_x86

where C:WinPE_amd64 is an empty folder where the files for Windows PE will be copied.

To create a bootable USB flash drive with drive letter E:

MakeWinPEMedia /UFD C:\WinPE_amd64 E:

To create an ISO file containing Windows PE files, run the command

MakeWinPEMedia /ISO C:\WinPE_amd64 C:\WinPE_amd64\WinPE_amd64.iso

You can then burn the ISO file to a CD or DVD.

Boot PC to Windows PE

1. Power on the PC you want to use Windows PE and plug the USB flash drive or insert he CD/DVD that you have created.

2. Press, F12, F2, Esc or other key to bring up the boot menu and select the drive that contains your Windows PE image.

3. It will take a few minutes for Windows PE to load and setup the system by running wpeinit command.

Windows PE installation runs directly from RAM disk (memory), so you can safely unplug the USB drive while it is running.

Post a comment


Harold Burton | October 8, 2021 7:49 AM |

I tried to extend HDD Size of Guest machine running on Windows Server 2003 from 14 GB to 80 GB using ""vmware-vdiskmanager -x 80GB <Path of .vmdk file>"". got and erroC:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Workstation>vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -x 70GB ""e:\VM\Test.vmdk"" Grow: 100% done.Failed to expand the disk 'e:\VM\Test.vmdk': The file already exists (0x270000000c)Created a tmp file like ""Test.vmdk.ds

cal | March 27, 2018 12:25 AM |

I rebooted my PC on the WinPE USB and got a command line prompt, nothing else. Was I impatient or is there something else I need to do to get the system running?

Ken | July 10, 2018 11:39 PM |

Yes just a prompt is all you get. The WinPE is mostly for troubleshooting. If you want to install an OS, you can search up Rufus which can make a bootable USB out of a an ISO image

abdul | September 10, 2016 6:22 PM |

Looking nice, but i think we should also have a powerfull app that is PowerISO. it help us to create any to iso files.