I need to create a Windows live CD. Is there any way I can create a light weight Windows (any version) live CD through which I can just get the basic windows explorer. The purpose is just to copy important files from/to a crashed system quickly. I encounter scenarios like this often and it usually takes a lot of time booting live Linux CDs. Any ideas would be very helpful.

  • 3
    I don't think any "live windows cd" will boot faster than any live linux cd! – fretje Aug 12 '09 at 14:20
  • precisely that's why I want it trimmed down – softwarematter Aug 12 '09 at 16:46

BartPE is what you are looking for.


Although there is no explorer support, there is a file manager for it as well as the command prompt. Plus, countless plugins and driver support.

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    I think booting a live linux cd takes less time than booting a Bart PE cd. – fretje Aug 12 '09 at 14:19
  • One added benefit of BartPE is that antivirus software can be run on the drive. – Daniel A. White Aug 12 '09 at 14:25
  • It might be nice to get an updated version now Windows 7 is available. Using the Windows AIK you can built a Pre-boot Environment CD or USB out of any version – Ivo Flipse Aug 12 '09 at 14:44
  • Can it access network resources? – softwarematter Aug 12 '09 at 16:47
  • Yes it can aslong as you inject the appropriate drivers. We used to use bartpe all the time to image machines in mass. – Daniel A. White Aug 12 '09 at 17:20

I'd be inclined to produce an optimised Windows image using nLite as the base for BartPE to work it's magic.

  • -1 advocating violations of EULA – kinokijuf Sep 9 '12 at 14:43
  • Which bit states that? – Umber Ferrule Sep 14 '12 at 15:10
  • The one about modifications. – kinokijuf Sep 14 '12 at 16:28

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