What Windows PE is?
There is a version of Windows that you probably have never heard of before, but have used without realizing it. It’s called Windows PE. Now, when I say a version of Windows, you might be thinking something like Windows 10 Pro or Home, but I don’t mean that kind of version.
Use Of Windows PE
On the contrary, Windows PE is not made for just general daily computer use at all, but it is still very useful. For example, for creating bootable USB rescue drives that you can use to save your computer. If it is broken and won’t boot. or something like that. So in this article, I’m going to explain what is Windows PE all about, and also how you can create your very own Windows PE bootable disk.
All right. So what exactly is Windows PE anyway? Well, it stands for pre-installation environment. and it’s basically a very stripped-down, lightweight version of Windows. It’s mostly used for things like the deployment of Windows, meaning the installation of Windows. maybe on hundreds of computers for an organization or just one computer, your installation. Or it can be used for troubleshooting and running outside of the normal Windows installation if it won’t run. Because unlike a full version of Windows, Windows PE is designed to be. so lightweight that it can be booted from a portable device. such as a USB drive, and it can be as small as just 300 megabytes to run.
And these Windows PE installations are created using the so-called Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit or ADK. which is a tool that is free to download from Microsoft of their website. And like I said before, you probably have actually used a version of Windows PE before, without realizing it. For example, in the installation of Windows, when you insert the Windows installation disk or USB disk, that actually boots up using Windows PE and then installs it from there to the full version. Or the Windows recovery environment.
Why Pre-installation Environment
If Windows fails to boot up, then it brings up a bunch of tools and stuff, and that’s all running in Windows PE, which kind of makes sense. It’s good to have a super alternative, the lightweight operating system that can boot up if the main one isn’t working, and that can potentially be used to fix the main one.
Specification Of Windows PE
It looks like Windows 10 and they added stuff in like the shell to make it actually look like that and all those other tools. But even though it looks like a regular version of Windows with the whole full desktop interface and stuff. Make no mistake, it’s not a full version of Windows, and it’s very limited. It’s really only good for some of the bare basics, like maybe web browsing. This is not something you could use for daily browsing and daily usage because it doesn’t have. For example, all the dynamic link libraries and backend software that Windows has, that a lot of software relies on.
So you’re not going to be playing any games or anything like this or running complicated software. You can’t even install anything to it because it doesn’t have all the stuff that all those other software rely on. The reason you can add tools. And stuff to it is that a lot of those tools have portable versions where everything needed to run those programs is contained with it. Alongside it, but stuff that you have to actually download and install probably wouldn’t work. But again, it’s still very useful because it’s able to run a lot of those useful tools outside of Windows.
Assessment, And Deployment Toolkit
So why don’t I go over how you can build your very own USB boot drive with Windows PE on it. Again, it’s going to be kind of limited, so you might just be better off downloading a pre-made one with a bunch of tools added, but this will still be pretty interesting because it goes over a lot of stuff you probably didn’t even know was in Windows and maybe better understanding in the future could potentially mean that you can fix things better in the future. So the first thing you’re going to have to do is go on Microsoft’s website. Again, I’ll put the links in the description and download the Windows ADK, Assessment, and Deployment Toolkit.
After you download and run it, it may actually say that you already have Windows ADK installed in which case you could uninstall it and re-install this one to update it, or you could try the rest of this without updating.