I am trying to create a recovery cd using winpe so that I am able to boot with a minimal set of disk recovery tools. I have noticed that there are a few tutorials for pe 1 (winxp based pe) One looked nice but the links are dead to the files needed. Many of the utilities get cranky when you try to do certain tasks like browse to a destination folder as it expects explorer to handle those features. Any advice would be appriciated I already have the aik installed and many of the utilitys added how ever due to explorer being a silent dependancy Some of the tools dont work as expected. file > open type menus usually.

I have so far used depwalker to get the needed dll's on the system but dont have the right registry settings at the least.

any non WinPE 3.0 solutions will not work for my needs.

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    Windows AIK is a windows 7 command line based environment. – cybernard Apr 8 '13 at 23:06
  • Sorry i was not specific enough, I know how to make a pe environment, I am having issues getting explorer.exe to run properly. something that was done in BartPE and winPE 1.0 – Kendrick Apr 9 '13 at 0:22
  • Do you want explorer just to move files around with a graphical interface or are you actually trying to run windows programs this way? – cybernard Apr 9 '13 at 0:33
  • adding the ability to use the standard windows explorer ui to move and open files is a bonus but not the main issue. Many programs use calls to the explorer.exe api in order to create windows to browse the file system. any thing from office file save as to the browse buttons in things like unstopible copier. if you cause one of those dialog boxes to be called you either get a blank window or nothing happens. like how chm files dont work in win2000 if you tear out ie because they are just webpages stored on your hdd for help files. – Kendrick Apr 9 '13 at 2:17
  • I understand dependencies, but why can you not copy the files on to a memory stick,usb hard drive, or etc and place them on a working computer? Dependencies have dependencies and solving all the layers of dependencies is crazy. Or better yet attach the hard drive to be recovered USB style to a working PC and access your files normally from the working PC. – cybernard Apr 9 '13 at 3:24

Use this project to generate a WInPE with Explorer:

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  • Thank you for the wonderful solution to the question I asked. I tried it out today and was able to get all the tools I needed working properly. I looked through the info and was glad to see it didnt appear to change the pe licencing like dart does so I will be able to use it. – Kendrick Apr 10 '13 at 23:03
  • Side note, There are questions about if Microsoft will say explorer.exe and such are inproperly licenced by doing this I havent had a chance to pester licence gugrus to find out. If i hear something I will update. – Kendrick Feb 10 '14 at 23:57
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    There is also a Win10 version : win10se.cwcodes.net – Peter Quiring Jul 28 '16 at 15:43

Craft custom boot.wim file, delete install.wim. Use Windows 7 or 8 boot CD. Add RAID and ACHI drivers, tools to boot.wim ...

Or use a CD from software for repairing the logical structure of HDD.


For data recovery, almost any Linux Live CD/DVD will do. You will get a GUI and can move files around anyway you want. Plus free Linux based recovery tools like:

  • Testdisk
  • Photorec

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