WinPE: Create a Boot CD, DVD, ISO, or VHD

Create a Windows PE (WinPE) bootable DVD, CD, ISO file, or virtual hard drive (VHD).

The default installation runs from memory (also known as a RAM disk), which allows you to remove the USB drive while Windows PE is running.

Install the Windows ADK

  • Install the following features from the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK):

    • Deployment Tools: includes the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment.

    • Windows Preinstallation Environment : includes the files used to install Windows PE.

Install Windows PE to a DVD, a CD, or an ISO file

  1. Click Start, and type deployment. Right-click Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment and then select Run as administrator.

  2. Create a working copy of the Windows PE files. Specify either x86 or amd64:

    copype amd64 C:\WinPE_amd64
  3. Create an ISO file containing the Windows PE files:

    MakeWinPEMedia /ISO C:\WinPE_amd64 C:\WinPE_amd64\WinPE_amd64.iso
  4. To burn a DVD or CD: In Windows Explorer, right-click the ISO file, and select Burn disc image > Burn, and follow the prompts.

Using Hyper-V

When running Windows PE in Hyper-V, consider using an ISO file format instead of a VHD, to enable quick setup of the virtual PC. For more information, see the previous section.

To install Windows PE to a VHD

  1. Create a virtual hard drive (.vhd or .vhdx):

    create vdisk file="C:\WinPE.vhdx" maximum=1000
    attach vdisk
    create partition primary
    assign letter=V
    format fs=ntfs quick
  2. Prepare the drive by using MakeWinPEMedia:

    MakeWinPEMedia /UFD C:\WinPE_amd64 V:
  3. Detach the drive:

    select vdisk file="C:\WinPE.vhdx"
    detach vdisk


  1. If Windows PE doesn't appear, try the following workarounds, rebooting the PC each time:

    • To boot a PC that supports UEFI mode: In the firmware boot menus, try manually selecting the boot files: \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI.

    • If your PC requires storage or video drivers to boot, try adding those same drivers to the Windows PE image. For more information, see WinPE: Mount and Customize.

  2. If the PC doesn't connect to network locations, see WinPE Network Drivers: Initializing and adding drivers.

Related topics

WinPE for Windows 10

WinPE: Create USB Bootable drive

WinPE: Install on a Hard Drive (Flat Boot or Non-RAM)

WinPE: Mount and Customize

WinPE: Boot in UEFI or legacy BIOS mode

Windows Setup Supported Platforms and Cross-Platform Deployments