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v4: Create a bootable Windows PE USB stick

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v4: Create a bootable Windows PE USB stick

To create a WindowsPE USB boot stick you need to be running Windows Vista or above 

The partition must be formatted using Windows Vista/7. Windows Vista/7 creates different partition boot sector code that's compatible with the Boot Configuration Data (BCD). The BCD is used to boot Windows PE and all flavours of Windows with the Vista kernel and later. The partition boot sector is created when the file system is formatted.

In this tutorial I'll show you the simple steps required to create a USB stick that boots into the Macrium Reflect Windows PE Rescue Environment.

Make sure your USB stick is formatted as FAT32 or NTFS.

  1. Open ‘My Computer’, right click on your USB drive and select properties
  2. Make sure that FAT32 or NTFS is selected as the file system. It’s best to leave the ‘Quick Format’ option un-checked.

    If you receive a message saying ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ then in some cases the format has actually finished and this message can safely be ignored.
  3. Use DiskPart to set the partition on the USB drive 'Active'.

    From a command prompt type:

    Select Disk n
    Select partition 1

Install the WindowsPE Component

We need to create an image of the bootable CD so we can transfer the contents to the USB stick.
  1. Start Reflect, take the ‘Other Tasks’ menu option and  select ‘Create a bootable Rescue CD   The wizard opens and In the wizard window, select ‘Windows PE 2.0' and click ‘Next’.

  2. The Windows PE component isn't supplied with the Macrium Reflect installer and is an additional 100MB+ download.  Make sure you are connected to the Internet, and click ‘ OK’.

    To ensure that Reflect is not blocked by a firewall you may need to add to your firewall allowed list,

    If you receive the following dialog then you have already downloaded the Windows PE installer. Somewhere you will have a file WinPEInstall.exe (32 bit version) or WinPEInstallx64.exe (64 bit version) depending where you saved it.  Running this executable will install Windows PE.  To reinstall, double click the existing  WinPEInstall... file.

    You only get one download as each copy requires a license from Microsoft.  You can order another copy by clicking on the 'Purchase download' link.
  3. In the next window you select where you are going to save your download.  You may want to create a new folder titled ‘Reflect Download’ or  ‘Windows PE Download’.  The folder ought to be in a location where you can easily find it.   Click ‘Save’.

  4. After downloading the installer will automatically start....’.

  5. After the WindowsPE component has installed close down Marcium Reflect and copy the contents of 'c:\boot\macrium' to the root of the USB stick.

    If you cannot see the directory then please click 'start' then click run, in the box type  'c:\boot\macrium'  (without ')and click 'OK' This should open a new window with the contents that you need.

    Note: The location of '\boot\macrium' might be on a drive other than 'c'.

That's it! You should now have a bootable USB copy of Windows PE Rescue Environment

Last Modified:18 Dec 2012

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Type: Tutorial

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