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

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

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

  1. Install the following features from the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows 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


  • 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.

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

See Also


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

Other Resources

WinPE for Windows 8: Windows PE 5.0