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How Do I Make A PE Disk?

PE Disk or ERD? Do you know the difference?

P.E. stands for Preinstallation Environment, and as far as I know to do this you have to know a lot about programming and the lay out of a CD or DVD.

Actually you can make the PE disk if you want to mess around with the install disk for Windows XP or earlier, at this time I have not found a PE disc for Vista or Windows 7, check this out.

The easiest way to build a Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) for XP or earlier is to use the BartPE system. Bart has already done all the hard work of converting the Preinstallation Environment to a bootable CD, all you have to do is configure the program for your requirements.

Such as SATA drivers, SCSI drivers, special Video drivers, and so forth that you might need to have handy when working on a computer that has Operating System problems.

You can read more about Bart's offerings here: PE Disk

If you want to build a boot disk or USB drive have a look at this page: Bart has shut down this web site.

For Vista and Windows 7 there doesn't seem to be much interest in building a P.E. disk so for.

There is a way to make a PE disk more commonly known as an Emergency Repair Disk (ERD), it is with a process called WinPE 3. You can find and download a program that runs scripts to make your ERD. However I have found that it isn't as easy as a normal program.

You have to set parameters for the scripts to run correctly to produce your end product the ERD. And the scripts are written such a way that modifying them is nearly impossible with out a degree in programming.

I searched for over two days to find one program that will do most of the hard work but it has it's drawbacks, as I mentioned above modifying the scripts takes a lot of insight and programming experience.

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One of the drawbacks is collecting all the files you need to make the ERD. Some files come from Microsoft others come from open source, you may spend as long as five hours just downloading all the files (it took me almost six hours from start to finish and then the ERD I made was very basic).

I urge you to make your own custom ERD or you can use the Backup applet in the control panel of Vista and newer Operating Systems to make the basic ERD as I point out below, it may be useful but it lacks a lot of the tools a normal DIYer would want to have on their boot media (IT Tool Box)...

Now the bad news:

To make the Microsoft Vista and newer Operating System ERD you will need to make that from the Operating System itself from the Control Panel, select Backup and Restore, on the left hand column is the option to "Create a system repair disc", all you need is a cd/dvd capable of writing to a disk and a blank cd (you can use a dvd but the size of the total space used is less than 100Microsoft's gui for Windows 7 ERD, of the five one will allow you to do other things... MB).

This is not a GUI interface like the BartPE disk, there is a small menu to select different options to do your repair but if you were looking to use something like an AV program or Ghost then you have to do it through the command prompt. Another draw back to this ERD is you do not get a choice on what is added to the cd, if you want an imaging program you will have to have that on another drive, and access it from the command prompt...

If you are in IT or repair tech you may want to consider building both the 32 bit and 64 bit ERD's for Windows 7.  ( I have made three Vista ERD's, all were useless).

If you have Vista or Windows 7 see the Windows 7 Ultimate Guide to learn more about what you can do with Windows 7 ERD.

For more techniques and uses of the ERD or P.E. disks and making pen/flash drives bootable with the ERD installed see the Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition Manual

Emergency Repair
isk (ERD) - Will Yours Work?

Repair Disk

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