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How can I make a USB Thumb drive (32gb) into a bootable Win PE?

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Check out this tutorial for WinPE 3.0 (Windows 7):

  1. Create a bootable USB drive

Before you get started, you have to make your flash drive bootable. I have already described this procedure in my post about the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. For your convenience here is the command sequence, which you should run on a command prompt with admin rights:

list disk
select disk #
create partition primary
select partition 1
format quick fs=fat32

Replace ‘#’ with the drive number of your USB drive. Be careful to choose the right disk in 3 because this procedure will erase the whole drive! 2. Copy the WinPE 3.0 files to the USB drive

WinPE 3.0 is part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) for Windows 7, which you can download here. Once you have installed the WAIK, you’ll find a folder of the Windows AIK on the Windows Start Menu. Launch the Deployment Tools Command Prompt and enter this command:

copype.cmd x86 c:\winpe_x86

Then, copy winpe.wim to the correct folder:

copy c:\winpe_x86\winpe.wim c:\winpe_x86\ISO\sources\boot.wim

Now, copy WinPE to your USB drive:

xcopy C:\winpe_x86\iso\*.* /e G:\

In this example, ‘G:’ is the drive letter of your flash drive.

Now you should be able to boot from your WinPE 3.0 USB drive. In my next post, I will outline the interesting part—that is, how to prepare your USB drive so that you can add new tools without starting again from scratch.

In another article, he shows how to add tools to the drive, and he also has a list of WinPE compatible tools.

For WinPE 4.0 (Windows 8), see this tutorial.

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I'm using windows 8, is that a problem, is it this same instructions? – Yair Jan 7 '13 at 2:01
I'm stuck at this point: >>Launch the Deployment Tools Command Prompt and enter this command: I am using windows 8. I don't know what is the name of this program to run. ?? – Yair Jan 7 '13 at 4:34
I updated my answer for Windows 8 also. – ChrisN Jan 7 '13 at 22:14
ChrisN, I don't understand what you mean. What I am saying is that I follow your instructions. But at the point where you say "Once you have installed the WAIK, you’ll find a folder of the Windows AIK on the Windows Start Menu. Launch the Deployment Tools Command Prompt and enter this command:" I don't know what do here. Of course using win8 there is not Start Menu. But when I go into the folders where it is installed i don't see anything that is Development Tools app. – Yair Jan 8 '13 at 16:54
I just Googled "build windows pe 4.0 flash drive" and that was the first tutorial that popped up... – ChrisN Jan 8 '13 at 21:38

As I struggled with the same problem, how to make a winpe 4.0 on windows 8 with the ADK (assessment and deployment kit) - this works on windows 7 also - and put it on a usb-stick, here is the answer : Read from the beginning, as the preparation is : how to open the command prompt as administrator. Then you read this section : "Manually making the winpe 4.0 step by step with commands in command prompt"

You will need commands 1* till 10* (or 10A* if you want to make a bootable winpe on usb with the command "makewinpemedia......")

I hope this helps you.

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If you have the ISO file, then using windows 7 usb/dvd download tool ( will be a lot easier. This tool will handle the file copying, so you don't have to meddle with command lines (except the following line).

As this tool formats the USB thumb drive in NTFS, one extra step might be needed:

Bootsect.exe /nt60 X:

“X:” is the drive letter of your USB stick.


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First Download:


  1. Extract Bootable USB-Drive
  2. Open Config_SourcePath.cmd
  3. REM set SourcePath=”..\BartPE”
  4. set SourceCD=G: where G: the cd-rom drive is with the BartPE CD
  6. Format and create the USB drive
  7. Close the utillity en extract de WinUSB_FULL Patcher
  8. the patcher on the USB drive (root)


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That's for BartPE, not WinPE. – ChrisN Jan 7 '13 at 2:06
WinUSB_FULL Patcher link is not working – Yair Jan 7 '13 at 2:15

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