A Few questions with WinPE

#1
First off, Thanks for this nice piece of software. I have been running into a few problems and would like to know...

1. Is there a way to run this program under a PE environment?
2. Can I use it to create a multi boot PE system? Ex) 2 or more PE wims selectable during boot up?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
#3
Niiicee. It does make a menu for wims. So what I've done is have a PE wim that is made specifically for dropping an image back to my pc whenever it goes kaput with spyware, etc. Did a dual boot menu with 1 sec countdown selection. Now anytime my computer needs a quick format, I can easily restore it using my PE wim and drop the image right back to my machine. Thanks a bunch!
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Hiya xmemphistox, welcome to NST!

Glad to see there's some demand for the WIM/WinPE functionality (it's personally my favorite feature!).

EasyBCD will not run on a default WinPE 2.0 image because it does not come with .NET 2.0.... but you can use the command-line tools it comes with along with basic bcdedit commands to accomplish what you need.

Addendum:

:lol: WinPE support was missing from the list of supported operating systems in the wiki - updated.
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
I answered this last night, not even having heard of WIM or PE, just out of politeness seeing you weren't online Guru.
Not wishing to remain ignorant I looked it up here
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/aa905120.aspx
this morning and was frankly gobsmacked.
Further to one of our earlier exchanges about how bloated and inefficient OS's have become since the days when I used to build and support them, I was amazed to see that MS basically have a Vista OS that can multi-task and still run entirely in RAM and only takes 100Mb.
It rather begs the question "What's the other 15 Gb for ? ".
MS obviously realizes the same themselves, or they wouldn't have put a 24hour self destruct in it.
I take it that mere "Home Premium" users do not have access, though it must be there as the Vista loader process !!! ?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Actually, WinPE is available to everyone, even those without a Vista license.

Technically, you have to download the free (4GB?) WAIK (windows automated installation kit) and use it to create a WinPE image (a WIM file).

However, since there isn't a licensing requirement per-say (i.e. no serial, no activation, and very loose to no redistribution limitations) people have created pre-made WinPE images available for download as recovery discs and WIM files.

You can actually add an entry to the Vista bootloader with EasyBCD to do some really neat stuff with WinPE images - such as adding an entry to the recovery center in the bootloader (no need to boot from the CD then), installing Vista without a DVD drive (since the whole Vista installation procedure is but a WIM image in the first place), and other neat things...

You can even boot off a networked WIM image if there was a need to do so..

WinPE gave me a lot of trouble to get it working esp. since out-of-the-box the Vista bootloader is not capable of booting a WIM image... but it's quite a nifty feature!

WinPE 2.0 is lightning fast..
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
I'm soon to go "broadband" . A 4Gb download is unthinkable on "dial-up", but you've got my saliva flowing about trying this in the near future.