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I have downloaded a Rescue disk based on Win10 PE x64. It's downloaded from https://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/ I have rebuilt the ISO and have included a new folder with some additional apps like Textpad (and a few more) that I plan to just install on X: RAM Drive for that current session when WinPE Rescue disk boots.

This is just an isolated folder and contents are not integrated into WIM file in anyway. Since it resides on DVD, I can simply access it by accessing DVD Drive Letter in Windows Explorer when WinPE loads.

In principle this is fine, and some apps (like Minitool Partition Wizard) do install fine and run from X: RAM Drive as intended in WinPE Environment.

However apps like Textpad (5.4.2 x64)refuse to install in Live WinPE stating following error.

The system administrator has set policies to prevent this installation.

The title bar of the message box says Windows Installer. I guess the issue is with the built-in SYSTEM account.

I tried right click the exe and run as admin but that did not help.

Is there any way I can install apps like Textpad in Win10 PE (say on RAM Drive) for that session? To my best knowledge there are no user accounts in Win10 PE. Even the User Accounts option in Control Panel does not open.

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General overview:

At the time of installing/running, Windows ISO file extract required files from boot.wim and install.wim. So to install the required program(here TextPad), The executables files should be placed in tha WIM file. The overview is, extract WIM file in a folder, place the required program's executable files, build new WIM file, place it in ISO file. See this article Modify a Windows Image Using DISM for further details.

Steps:

  • Extract WIM file: Mount that Hiren’s BootCD PE ISO file with just double click. Go to that mounted drive and copy the sources\boot.wim file to Desktop or any working folder. The path will be like: ISO --> sources --> boot.wim.

  • Mount boot.wim file: Make a test folder where you want to extract that WIM file. Run command prompt as administrator in that folder and run these following commands (change the paths as you want):

DISM /Mount-Image /ImageFile:C:\folder\boot.wim /Index:1 /MountDir:C:\folder\test
  • Install and copy TextPad: Install TextPad as usual in your current working Windows. Copy the required executables from Program Files directory. Copy that whole TextPad 8 folder. Here is the folder structure:
C:\Program Files
    |
    +-- TextPad 8
            |
            +-- TextPad.exe
            |
            +-- Samples\
            +-- Spelling\
            +-- System\

Paste that folder in Program Files directory of that extracted WIM folder. So after pasting, the new folder structure will be:

C:\folder\test
            |
            +-- Program Files
                    |
                    +-- TextPad 8
                            |
                            +-- TextPad.exe
                            |
                            +-- Samples\
                            +-- Spelling\
                            +-- System\
  • Save changes: Open that previous command prompt as administrator in that test folder. Close any File Explorer window. Run these following command (change the paths as you want):

    DISM /Commit-Image /MountDir:C:\folder\test DISM /Unmount-Image /MountDir:C:\folder\test /Commit

  • Replace new Boot.wim: There are many ISO editor. For this case, I used AnyBurn. Unmount that ISO file before editing it. Open the ISO file in ISO editor program. Replace that previous boot.wim in sources folder just by drag and drop. New ISO file will be bigger that the previous.

  • Thanks for the detailed response. How different is putting the Textpad folder inside WIM from just putting it on the DVD elsewhere. I find that it can run standalone from DVD but I can not register it nor it can associate itself with .txt files for example. My intention of installing it was to fully integrate with Windows. But it seems like with just SYSTEM account that may not be possible. Does pushing it to WIM actually integrate it with Windows? By integration I mean, can I enter my license at least live for that session, can I associate .txt files to be opened with it and so on. Thanks. – rajeev Aug 3 '18 at 19:36
  • @rajeev 1. The Windows PE extracts file from WIM file, so if you put TextPad in DVD it will not extracted, you've to manually copy/run itself. 2. To register .txt you've to mount the registry hive and modify it, huge topic. 3. I don't know about licensing. – Biswapriyo Aug 3 '18 at 20:10
  • @rajeev Should I add something? – Biswapriyo Aug 4 '18 at 16:01

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