How To Build A Windows 10-based WinPE USB Bootable Drive


For some reason, a Windows 7-based WinPE bootable USB drive I built years ago stopped working on the new desktops I purchased recently. I can still boot into the WinPE environment but the keyboard and mouse stopped working there, and that made this bootable WinPE disk completely useless. Instead of troubleshooting to fix it, I decided to get a more recent version of WinPE. And that’s when I discovered the process of making a Windows 10-based WinPE USB Bootable Drive is so much easier.

First of all, download and install Windows ADK on your computer and make sure Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit is selected during the installation.

Then, launch Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment in an elevated command prompt window. You have two options to do it.

Option 1 – search “Deployment and Imaging” in the Start menu, right-click the result and choose Run as administrator.

Launch Deployment and Imaging Tools 1 - How To Build A Windows 10-based WinPE USB Bootable Drive

Option 2 – navigate to Start → Windows Kits under W category → right-click Deployment and Imaging Tool → More → Run as Administrator.

Launch Deployment and Imaging Tools 2 600x223 - How To Build A Windows 10-based WinPE USB Bootable Drive

Create a working copy of the Windows PE files on your local computer, specify the platform:

copype {amd64 | x86 | arm | arm64} <working directory>

Such as, create an x86 copy of WinPE in winpe_x86 folder under z:\desktop\temp.

copype x86 z:\desktop\temp\winpe_x86

Plug in the USB drive that you want to build the bootable WinPE, and run MakeWinPEMedia command.

MakeWinPEMedia /UFD <working directory> <destination>

A few notes:

Note #1: the command will re-formats the drive, meaning that all data on the USB device will be lost, so back up your data first before doing this. If you have multiple partitions on the device, only the data on the drive specified in the command will ba lost. The data on the other partition will be safe and untouched.

Note #2: use switch /iso if you want to create an ISO image of the WinPE.

Note #3: the USB device needed to be pre-formatted and assigned a drive letter before you run the command.

That’s about it. Hopefully, it helps.


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