How to create a bootable WinPE USB Key

Obtain the following:

  1. USB Key
  2. Windows Automated Installation Kit

Steps to create the Bootable USB Key:

Important note: This set of commands assumes your USB key is detected as disk 1, you should double check that by doing a list of the disks before cleaning it. If you have multiple hard drives you need USB disk # in command 2.b)

  1. Install the Windows Automated Installation Kit on a workstation.
  2. On the workstation, with the USB key plugged in, run the following

    a. diskpart
    b. select disk 1
    c. clean
    d. create partition primary
    e. select partition 1
    f. active
    g. format fs=fat32
    h. assign
    i. exit

  3. From the Start menu select “Windows PE Tools Command Prompt”
  4. In the command window run:  copype.cmd x86 c:winpe_x86
    Note: 64bit version can be created by changing x86 in the above to amd64
  5. In the command window run the following:  xcopy c:winpe_x86iso*.* /s /e /f e:
    Note: Change c: to reflect the drive your files on and e: to be your USB key.

Now you have a bootable WinPE USB key.


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