How to Create a WinPE Bootable Disk for Windows 11

An essential tool for troubleshooting Windows 11 issues

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Key notes

  • Creating a bootable WinPE disk on Windows 11 involves installing a Windows ADK file & WinPE add-on for the Windows ADK file, then copying relevant files to a folder and transferring it to USB.
  • Keep reading to learn the detailed steps! 
How to Create a WinPE Bootable Disk for Windows 11

Whether you need to recover a malfunctioning operating system, partition drives or deploy a new installation of Windows 11, you can create a WinPE bootable USB drive to get it done.

In this guide, we will discuss step-by-step instructions to create a WinPE bootable disk to perform various tasks, such as system maintenance.

What is a WinPE bootable disk?

WinPE (Windows Preinstallation Environment) bootable disk is a lightweight version of the Windows operating system. It was formerly a part of Windows ADK (WAIK) but now is available separately since the release of Windows 10 1809.

  • Used in preinstallation and deployment.
  • Diagnose and resolve hardware-related issues.
  • Troubleshoot, repair, and recover an existing Windows installation.
  • Backup & restore files, partitions, or entire disks.

How do I create a bootable WinPE USB drive?

Before engaging in detailed steps to create a WinPE bootable disk, you should consider performing the following checks:

  • Prepare a USB flash drive with 8 GB free space and make sure there is no important data on it.
  • Make sure you are logged in with a user profile that has administrative privileges on the PC you will be using for this process.
  • Verify if you have a stable internet connection.

1. Install Windows ADK with WinPE Add-on

  1. Click the Download the Windows ADK link to get the setup file.
  2. Double-click the downloaded file, select Install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit to this computer, and click Next.Install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit to this computer - Next  -- create a bootable WinPE USB drive
  3. Click Next.Next
  4. On the license terms window, click Accept. Next, select the Deployment tools from the list and click Install. Deployment tools and click Install.
  5. Wait for the process to complete and close the setup window.

2. Install the WinPE add-on for the Windows ADK

  1. Click the Download the Windows PE add-on for the Windows ADK link to get the setup file.
  2. Double-click the downloaded file, select Install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit Windows Preinstallation Environment Add-ons on this computer and click Next.Install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit Windows Preinstallation Environment Add-ons for installation on this computer
  3. Click Next.Next
  4. On the license terms window, click Accept. On the following page, click Install. This might take a few minutes; wait for it to complete.Install - Create a WinPE Bootable Disk for Windows 11
  5. Once done, close the setup window.

3. Copy the WinPE files to a folder

  1. Press the Windows key, type deployment and imaging tools environment, and click Run as administrator.deployment and imaging tools environment - Create a WinPE Bootable Disk for Windows 11
  2. Type the following command to display the WinPE system files from ADK, and hit Enter: copypecmd_copype
  3. For the next step, you need to know your system type. If you know it already, skip this step. If you don’t, minimize the command window & press Windows + I to open Settings, then go to System, then About. Locate System type.System, then About. Locate System type
  4. Our system type is 64-bit, so we will use this command to copy the WinPE files to a desired location by replacing the FolderPath with the location and press Enter: copype amd64 FolderPathcmd_copype amd64 FolderPath
  5. Now that the folder is created; copy & paste the following command to get the available options, and hit Enter: makewinpemediacmd_makewinpemedia

4. Create a WinPE bootable disk

  1. Plug in the USB drive, and first, let us check the partition style, as it needs to be MBR. On the same Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment window, type this command and press Enter: diskpartcmd_list disk - Create a WinPE Bootable Disk for Windows 11
  2. Now, type the following command and hit Enter to know the disks on the computer: list disk
  3. If it is marked as GPT, copy & paste the following command after replacing disk 1 with the disk number mentioned next to the USB flash drive and press Enter: select disk 1
  4. Once you are in the drive, type the following command to clean the disk and hit Enter: clean
  5. Type the following commands one by one to make your USB partition style MBR, and press Enter after every command:
    • convert mbr
      create partition primary
  6. Next, to format the drive, copy & paste the following command after replacing Name with any name you want to use and hit Enter: format fs=fat32 quick label="Name"
  7. Type the following command to assign it a letter, then exit diskpart and press Enter:
    • assign letter="G"
      exit
  8. If you don’t see the USB drive marked as GPT, skip Steps 4 to 8, then copy & paste the following command to get the options and hit Enter: makewinpemedia
  9. To copy the files and make the USB flash drive bootable with WinPE, type the following command after replacing FOLDERPATH with the path for the WinPE_64 folder and DiskLetter with the USB drive letter, then press Enter: makewinpemedia /ufd FOLDERPATH DiskLettercmd_Create a WinPE Bootable Disk for Windows 11
  10. It will warn you about the data loss on the drive; type Y and press Enter to proceed, then wait for the process to complete. Once you see Success, close the window.

Formatting the drive before proceeding with the steps can help prevent issues like an Invalid partition table USB boot error.

Once the process is complete, eject the pen drive safely and use it to set up your hard drive, capture Windows images, modify the Windows OS if not running, or set up automatic recovery tools.

How can I create a WinPE ISO file?

cmd_makewinpemedia /iso FolderPath of WinPE_64 FolderPath of WinPE_64.iso

First, follow all the steps mentioned in Methods 1, 2, and 3, then on the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment window, type in the following command to convert the file to ISO after replacing FolderPath of WinPE_64 with the folder path you created in Method 3 step 4 & FolderPath of WinPE_64.iso with the FolderPath where you want to create the ISO file and press Enter: makewinpemedia /iso FolderPath of WinPE_64 FolderPath of WinPE_64.iso

Now that you have the ISO file, you can burn it to CD or DVD and use it. In case you are facing issues like creating ISO files, read this guide to know the reasons and quick solutions.

Stuck somewhere while following the steps? Don’t hesitate to ask for help in the comments section below. We will be happy to assist!

More about the topics: Windows 11