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Creating a BartPE Boot CD to Repair a Computer

You want to create a BartPE disk so that you can create a bootable CD that runs WinCE that you can use to fix your boot disk, restore a DriveXML image, etc.

Solution

First: Use Ultimate Boot CD 4 Win (UBCD4Win). It’s based on BartPE, but includes more useful plugins.

But, if you just have to create a BartPE CD, follow these instructions.

Creating a BartPE CD is actually very simple, and all of the instructions can be found at the website at http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/. This KB was tested with Windows XP Pro.

Note, BartPE is a great resource, but you need to add some plugins to allow it to restore a DriveXML image. Consider using UBCD4Win instead, which includes all of the plugins you’ll need, including the one to restore DriveXML images. (See KB on UBCD4Win.)

For BartPE, the short of it:

Make sure that your system has about 500MB of free disk space!

  1. Download the latest PE Builder version (self-installing package) and install it. (Download is at http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/#download).
  2. Start PE Builder (pebuilder.exe). When you start PE Builder for the first time it will ask if you agree with the license agreement.
  3. Now PE Builder will ask to search for windows installation files. If you don’t have your windows XP setup/installation files on your system you must insert the original Microsoft Windows XP installation/setup CD at this point. The files you have at c:windows are not installation files. They are your already installed files! Click “yes” to start searching. PE Builder will now search all fixed- and CD-Rom drives for Windows installation files. This will take some time. When more than one valid location is found, a dialog will appear where you can select which location you want to use.
  4. At the main PE Builder dialog, select the “Burn to CD/DVD” option. When you are using an erasable medium, make sure that the “AutoErase RW” option is enabled. The “burn using” option should be set to “StarBurn”. Select your CD writer device from the Device list.
  5. Hit the “build” button. PE Builder will now ask you to create a BartPE directory, answer with “yes”.
  6. The license for your Microsoft Windows XP product is shown. Read it and agree to it to continue.
  7. PE Builder will now start building BartPE. This will take a few minutes. You will see a lot of files getting copied and/or decompressed, the ISO image build and the data recorded to your CD/DVD writer. If the data verify was correct and there where no errors reported you can boot the CD/DVD.

What you’ll have after this is done is a bootable CD that has WinCE and some tools on it. You can boot from the CD and do what needs to be done at this point.

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