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Written by mike (mikespcbabble.com)


1. Download the latest Windows AIK for Windows 7 from:


2. Extract the downloaded ISO (I use PeaZip or 7-Zip) and run startcd.exe then Windows
AIK Setup from the splash screen below. Install .Net Framework and MSXML 6 SP1
Setup as needed – otherwise take all defaults.

3. Remove file bootfix.bin from C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86\boot

if you wish to achieve an uninterrupted boot process from CD or USB boot.

4. Download and extract the W7 BuildPE folder. Copy

BuildPE to the root directory of the build PC
(C:\BUILDPE). This folder contains WinPE_Build.exe
which is the main engine for the WinPE creation plus 3
folders and 3 batch files.
5. Customize Drivers and Plugins in the BUILDPE Folder

Below are the folders within the main C:\BuildPE folder which need additional files for
completion. Tools, scripts, etc., not specified in this section are already included in the zip
files on this site. See “ADDITIONAL EXPLANATION” section below for more detailed
explanation of the contents of BuildPE.

C:\BUILDPE\DRIVERS\DRIVER1, DRIVER2, ETC. - I have removed all actual drivers, not being
sure of the legality of distributing them. However, Dell has recently begun providing a
comprehensive cab file download with all Mass Storage and Network drivers for Dell
products, specifically for the WinPE build process. These are an excellent way to add driver
support for lots of hardware. The cabs can be found at: Dell Drivers for WinPE 3.0
For our build we need the “WinPE drivers for WinPE 3.0 (W7 WinPE)” cab file download.
Simply extract the files and add the contents of the x86 folder (Storage and Network drivers)
to the C:\BuildPE\Drivers folder.

Another fantastic source for drivers is DriverPacks.net . I used these with great success in
BartPE and suspect they would work great in this build as well, though I have not tested.

See folder or C:\BuildPE\Drivers section of “Additional Explanation” below for more detail
on loading up this folder.

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\PENETCFG - Obtain tcpipreg.sys from your licensed W7 build and

place here. PENetcfg will not work without this file. Also, this file is OS and version specific,
so you will need a copy from your W7 32-bit OS for this particular build.

See folder for text file with details on file placement.

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\SYSTEM32 - Six ImageX related files from the WAIK install must be
added here for GImageX support.
See folder for text file with details on file placement.

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\TOOLS\ALTCMD – altcmd.exe and supporting files here.

See folder for link to file and placement instructions.

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\TOOLS\COPYWIPE– copywipew.exe and supporting files here.

See folder for link to file and placement instructions.
C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\TOOLS\DEFRAGGLER – Defraggler.exe and supporting files here.
See folder for link to file and placement instructions.

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\TOOLS\DISKPROBE – dskprobe.exe here. This file is dskprobe 1.0

and may be obtained from the XP SP2 Support Tools.

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\TOOLS\FIREFOX – Firefoxportable.exe and supporting files here.

See folder for link to file and placement instructions.

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\TOOLS\HWINFO – HwInfo32.exe and supporting files here.

See folder for link to file and placement instructions.

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\TOOLS\PRINTKEY2000 – PrintKey200.exe here.

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\TOOLS\RICHCOPY – RichCopy.exe and supporting files added here.
See folder for link to file and placement instructions.

6. Run WinPE_Build.exe to create bootable WINPE ISO at C:\WIN_PE\BUILDPE.ISO. I

would recommend executing WinPE_Build.exe with full admin rights – “run as

7. Burn ISO to your CD/DVD and additionally, if desired, create a bootable USB thumb
drive or external HD using the instructions on this site.

See below for additional details.

C:\BUILDPE\WINPE_BUILD.EXE is the heart of the process. This is an AutoIt GUI re-write of the
BuildPE.cmd batch file method previously on mikespcbabble.com.

C:\BUILDPE\DRIVERS folder contains any add-in network and mass storage device drivers
beyond the default drivers included in W7 PE. W7 PE has extensive driver support, but I did
need to add some drivers for support of certain machines in my environment. You will notice a
significant difference here from the Vista WAIK. A new tool, Dism.exe performs the driver
injection and it has a recurse switch so you can stage drivers in the C:\BuildPE\Drivers folder any
way you like. However, as before, the drivers must be extracted with .inf files. Driver install
programs will be ignored. See above for simple method for injecting all Dell Winpe Network and
Mass Storage device drivers.

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS folder contains the files necessary for adding new tools/utilities to the
WinPE build. The Plugins folder acts along with the C:\BuildPE\FileCopy.cmd file and the
C:\BuildPE\RegKeys.cmd files in C:\BuildPE. To add to your build, simply stage your files in the
PLUGINS folder, then edit the FileCopy.cmd and RegKeys.cmd files which WinPE_Build.exe will
use to make the injections.

C:\BUILDPE\Packages.cmd file is used to add any WinPE 3.0 packages to your build. I have
added the necessary entries for the Scripting, HTA, and WMI packages but any others may be
added as desired.

A basic description of each plugin follows. For those familiar with BartPE, you will recognize two
important pieces which are migrated from that environment in order to create a WinPE which
has a GUI Start and Programs menu (courtesy of Nu2Menu) and a GUI network control interface
(courtesy of PENetcfg).

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\PENETCFG creates GUI network support in WinPE. This plugin copies

necessary files to system32 and system32\drivers. The tcpipreg.sys file is from a W7 installation
and is required to get this working. Note the registry settings in the RegKeys.cmd file which are
also required. Autorun0penetcfg.cmd is responsible for automatically starting up our network

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\NU2MENU creates our WinPE menu structure. Also, upon initial startup,
Nu2menu calls the autorun.cmd file. The Nu2Menu shell itself is called by Winpeshl.ini which
is created and copied to system32 directory during build process. WinPE natively executes any
shell instructions in this file automatically. The menu structure itself is created from
nu2menu.xml file. All menu items must be scripted into this xml file to appear on Nu2menu.
NOTE: Basically, the boot sequence is:

1. WinPE scans winpeshl.ini for alternate shells.

2. In our case, this starts nu2menu.exe which creates our start menu.
3. Nu2Menu.exe then executes autorun.cmd which starts autorun0penetcfg.cmd which
fires up our network GUI support program – PENetcfg.

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\SYSTEM32 For ease of creation and maintenance, I have simply lumped

a bunch of tools and scripts into this folder. Included are ImageX, Testdisk, and some bat/cmd
files. Additional support files are also included. All bat/cmd files are called from Nu2menu
program entries. WinPE.bmp creates the desktop and is placed here. You can forgo placing
winpe.bmp in this system32 folder and the WAIK will simply install the default background. I
use Paint.NET to modify winpe.bmp to create a simple, descriptive background for my
environment. GImageX is also added here for image capture and deployment. GImageX is an
invaluable, free GUI wrapper for the Microsoft ImageX technology. It is created by Jonathan
Bennett. I use for my W7 build.

Diskpart_Winpe.exe opens diskpart for more complex partitioning tasks. In my build, I

have added automated diskpart tasks specific to my environment.
Shutdown_Restart.exe is self-explanatory.
Check_Disk.exe just adds some slight automation to the chkdsk process.
Bitlocker_Unlock.exe file and Menu item to script easy unlocking of Bitlocker Volume

C:\BUILDPE\PLUGINS\TOOLS folder is just a lazy way of adding a bunch of tools. For the most
part, all of the tools are portable in nature – do not require installation so just pointing
Nu2Menu to the executable gets them going just fine. For some which seem to need files in
System32 folder, I have simply pre-staged them there in my BuildPE folder. Each tool is added to
the Nu2menu structure via manual additions to the nu2menu.xml file.

** As noted elsewhere on mikespcbabble.com, I have given my best effort to make all information useful
and accurate, but I offer no guarantee of any kind that any of this will work - use all at your own risk.