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HOWTO: Create a Custom Windows PE Build


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I thought some people might benefit from a quick step by step guide to creating a Windows PE custom boot CD. This guide will get you as far as creating an ISO at the end, ready to be burnt with your CD burner software.

You will need a Windows XP SP2 CD, Windows PE and some hard disk space.

(1) Copy WinPE folder from the Windows PE CD to your hard disk.

(2) Insert your Windows XP SP2 CD into your CD drive.

(3) Open a command prompt and navigate to the WinPE folder you copied to your hard disk.

(4) Use MKIMG.CMD to create yourself a base custom Windows PE build.

MKIMG.CMD E: C:\CustomPE /WMI /PnP

In the above example, E: is the location to the Windows XP CD and C:\Winpe is the output folder to put the custom build in. The /WMI switch enables WMI support, whilst /PnP enables plug and play support.

(5) Inject custom drivers into the build. Use the drvinst.exe tool to do this. You will find it located in the WinPE folder on your hard disk.

drvinst.exe /inf:F:\Drivers C:\CustomPE

The above example will inject the .inf and driver files in to the Windows PE custom build in folder

C:\CustomPE that we created above.

(6) Add VB Script, HTA, Javascript and ADO support. You do this by running the buildoptionalcomponents.vbs file in the WinPE folder. You run it with the following switches

Buildoptionalcomponents.vbs /ADO /HTA /WSH

A folder will be created on your desktop. Copy the new files and folders as stated below, in to your C:\CustomPE folder.

Copy the Program Files folder in to C:\CustomPE\I386.

Copy the Samples folder to C:\CustomPE\I386.

Copy the contents of the System32 folder to C:\CustomPE\I386\System32.

(7) To ensure that scripting support is enabled in Windows PE, check the startnet.cmd file and ensure that OC.Bat is being run.

(8) Use OSCDIMG.EXE to create an ISO file of your custom Windows PE build. You will find OSCDIMG.EXE located in the WinPE folder on your hard disk.

oscdimg.exe -bC:\WinPE\ETFSBOOT.COM -h -m C:\CustomPE.iso -lCustomPE -n -o c:\CustomPE

The above line will run OSCDIMG.EXE, creating CustomPE.iso in the root of C. The source for the ISO file is located in C:\customPE folder. The ETFSBOOT.COM file is used for the boot sector. The other switches on the command line ensure that hidden files are included, ignores the usual CDROM size limitation, enables long name support and optimizes the image.

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2 Responses to “HOWTO: Create a Custom Windows PE Build”

  1. Marilyn Baker says:

    by the way, this Windows boot CD is easy to use and works

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