Install Windows PE

Windows PE is a small, command-line based operating system. You can use it to capture, update, and deploy Windows images. In this section, you'll prepare a basic Windows PE image and install the image onto a USB flash drive.

Install the Windows ADK

  • 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 that are used to install Windows PE.

Prepare the Windows PE files

  1. On the technician PC, start the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment as an administrator.

  2. From the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment, copy the base Windows PE files into a new folder:

    copype amd64 C:\winpe_amd64
  3. If your PCs require boot-critical drivers or network drivers, modify the Windows PE image. For more info, see WinPE: Mount and Customize.

Install Windows PE on a USB flash drive

  • Install Windows PE to an empty USB drive:

    MakeWinPEMedia /UFD C:\winpe_amd64 F:

    Where F is the drive letter of the USB flash drive. This command formats the drive and installs Windows PE.

Boot the reference PC to Windows PE

  1. Connect the Windows PE USB drive to a reference PC.

  2. Boot the PC to the USB drive. You usually do this by powering on the PC and quickly pressing a key (for example, the Esc key).


On some PCs, you might need to choose between UEFI mode or legacy BIOS mode. Choose UEFI mode (for example, UEFI USB Drive). For more info, see
If the PC does not boot from the USB drive, see the troubleshooting tips in WinPE: Create USB Bootable drive.

Windows PE starts automatically. After the Windows PE window appears, the wpeinit command runs automatically. This can take a few minutes.
  1. Remove the USB drive.

  2. Leave the PC booted to Windows PE and continue with the next section: Prepare a snapshot of the PC: Generalize and capture Windows images.

See Also


OEM Windows Deployment and Imaging Walkthrough