Windows 8 based PE boot disk loaded with many great utilities

2013/04/30 | By | 118 Replies More

Updated version of Win8PE which now includes both x86 and x64 versions available here 

Also check out my all new Dual Booting Win8.1PE with option to boot into either x86 or x64 versions

My most recent versions with even more utilities and apps  is the Standalone Win8.1Update_PE x64 or x86  also includes a Brazilian keyboard version download.

This customized Windows 8 PE x86 boot disk with windows 8 explorer shell and many great diagnostic and repair utilities. I have updated this iso  on 06.07.13 to include two imaging /cloning applications.  Drive Image XML and Drive Snapshot. Shortcuts for each  in the start menu and on the desktop. It includes the following open source free apps

Google Chrome 26 Opera 12
7Zip MBR Fix
ServiWin Regshot
AMSN ANote
Eraser Filezilla FTP
Foxit PDF Reader Infran View
Multi Res Notepad ++
Process Explorer Process Hacker
Tree Size Tweet Deck
IMDisk Virtual Disk Defraggler
DriveImage XML Drive Snapshot
VLC Virtual Keyboard
All portable apps are listed in the Windows Start Menu under all programs.

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If you prefer to use the Portable Apps menu instead then run the Portable Apps Menu shortcut on the desktop.  The portable apps menu also allows you to download more apps by selecting the Apps>Get more apps. These freshly downloaded apps will only be available during the current session.

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Screenshots

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Gandalf's_Win8PE_x86-4-30-2013 4-17-37 AM

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It’s a large download (about 500mb) so be patient it can take 10-20 minutes (depending on your internet speed) to download. After downloading burn the bootable Gandalf’s_Win8PE_x86.ISO file to CD, USB or mount  the iso.

A BIG THANKS to everyone over at theOven.org and the Win8PE SE Project for the great work they have done in helping me create this win8pe disk.

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Category: Windows 8, WinPE

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Comments (118)

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  1. Ben Fern says:

    Awesome PE boot diagnostic disk!! Thanks for sharing. I will be back

  2. Scott Emick says:

    Does it include disk defrag, just curious?

  3. Steve says:

    nice job. An imaging client like clonezilla or Acronis would round this disk out perfectly

  4. Very nice. I’m wondering, if we’re comfortable editing files into the ISO, if that would somehow render it unbootable. I’d like to put Fab’s Autobackup, D7, and a few others onto the desktop.

    • gandalf50 says:

      It shouldn”t break it, but unless you’re familiar with how winpe boot disk work, adding to the iso will not make it part of the booted windows. The files you add will exist on the cd drive when you boot up and they may or may not work. They most likely wont unless they are self-running exe’s or portable apps. If you are familiar with wim files that’s where the main windows boot exists and what you need t edit

  5. Hey, next suggestion: Skip the “Press a key to boot to CD” stage.

    • gandalf50 says:

      I would just change your boot order to boot from hard disk first. Then if you want to boot from CD or USB hit the key to enter your computers boot menu, usually F12 but, watching to start screen it usually tells you.

  6. etherscythe says:

    Aw yeah. Now I have a replacement for Reback38’s “Windows 7 PE” (it’s actually based on the Vista kernel…), and explorer search actually works in this one. My multi-bootable (grub4dos-based) flash drive just got a little more awesome. Thanks for sharing!

    I’ll second the vote of removing the “press any key to boot…” prompt though.

  7. etherscythe says:

    Update: you just have to remove BootFix.bin from the ISO to skip the prompt and boot directly from the media. You might also consider updating/removing the link to this thread on the PE desktop; the URL has changed and it now goes to a 404 error.

    • gandalf50 says:

      I have updated the iso to include two versions. One that requires the press any key and one that does not. Choose which ever suits your needs. Also fixed the deskop PE url and updated some of the portable apps.

  8. etherscythe says:

    Sweet. I’ve modded a variant of it for my use but those users without UltraISO or the the gumption to mess with the WAIK to get down into the gritty customization details will no doubt appreciate it :-)

  9. Billsey says:

    Would setting this up for booting on an UEFI only system be as simple as copying the efi folder on a Windows 8 install disk over, or is there more involved?

    • gandalf50 says:

      Haven’t tested it on UEFI . Don’t have one available so cant say if that is the case.

      • [] A [] says:

        Boy! After almost two years of tweaking and theming Android apks, close to a 1000 posts mainly on trying to help out others and to exchange with devs about how to improve theirs apps on a very popular Android Dev forum, AM I GLAD TO END UP ON THIS URL tonight !?! It makes me all excited to get my hands dirty with Windows – espacially now that I got myself some well deserved cpu power upgrade..
        ;-)
        Well, let’s cut to the chase; I’m real sorry to be the n00b asking here [but no time to download / test the iso for another day or so…] BUT has this any chance of working on my new rig which runs on win8 home basic oem 64bit OS (UEFI/gdp SSD/HDD/8gig ram/i7-4770] setup?

        After 2 blown MBs, 1 dead hdd with pretty much ALL my last 4 years personal data gone [will pay a data recovery specialist but…]„

      • [] A [] says:

        Dang small screen smartphones press submit by mistake.

        Anyhow, spent the last 2 weeks trying to find a way to get data back from that, learning new OS, reading and reading to try to find a free and reliable alternative to my old and trusted BartPE/DriveimageXML bckup/recovery solution… Last read was on WinPE for (WAIK) which seemed a little daunting (1.7 gig dl and lots to digest in – just for creating a new boot cd + cab / exec files…

        So if your iso can become a backup and rescue thumb drive for me, I’d be a very happy camper. Please tell me that x86 is fine, that I do not need 64 bit for gdp partitioned drives cloning and that the iso will boot – maybe wih just turning off fatboot, secure boot and turning on CST OS legacy mode.

        So I’d say anyway: thanks for your work and the very helpful knowledge sharing you’re doing here. It is very kind of you and I admire that. On the above mentioned forum, I’d be the first one to draw members to your thread and incite people to donations b-)

        Thanks again and sorry for the long double posts

        • gandalf50 says:

          You can burn the iso image to a usb and boot from it. It comes with two imaging solutions driveimage xml and drive snapshot. I prefer snapshot. The drive snapshot is trial but if you use the link on the desktop it downloads a fresh version of the trial. It’s not that large a download and it should work fine on x64.

          • [] A [] says:

            Hi, thanks I did burn it to cd and the iso did work once (like I suspected) I’ve turned off secure boot, set “Load Legacy OPROM” from UEFI to Legacy. So everything is golden ;-)

            I did not try drive snapshot as I kind of hesitate to connect to network having no security/firewall turned on. Besides, my desktop is currently to far to plug into router and your iso doesn’t include drivers for my integrated wifi.

            Anyhow, it will be interesting to see if the Win8PE gurus find out how to boot with secured boot left on.

            It does get confusing real fast (at least for me) when one goes to try USB booting with secure boot on x64 EUFI/GPD hdd setups. So for now, I keep on learning about all that and feel reassured that I have at least a boot CD that let me use driveimage xml(DIX). So thanks again for that.

            I do wonder though if DIX does copy the other 3 hidden partitions from my drive (the EFI/GPT/MSR – FAT32/other) or just the OS partition alone…
            I guess that I’ll have to find that out before disaster arrives and I go on formatting the ssd and thus (maybe) rendering the use Win8PE/DIX backup restoration useless… But that’s really off-topic for this thread now…
            Thanks again anyhow.
            Cheers.
            /A

          • [] A [] says:

            Makes me scratch my head a little…

            Query on “Add standard EFI Boot for Win8PE or Win7PE x64″

            http://theoven.org/index.php?PHPSESSID=720c4c84e5741959a76a71a090769482&topic=666.0

  10. giacomo says:

    hi, I frequently use your windows 8 pe: Thanks for your contribution! I want to modify the installation by putting some batch files, at startup.how can I do to enter commands or programs at startup? thanks again
    ,Giacomo

    • gandalf50 says:

      This can be very difficult if you have never worked with offline images. It would require modifying your boot.wim in the sources folder ofline using dism. Adding the programs or batch file you want to the image. And then adding them to your startup folder or the win8pe.cfg in the autoruns section.

  11. mc-kay says:

    Thanks a lot, saved my ass where I had to recover some files from a ReFS partition!

  12. Tone says:

    Best PE I’ve seen.

    No network in VMware though.

    Would you teach us how to add portable apps please.

    This could be the best thing ever.

    Cheers

  13. gandalf50 says:

    I have network in both VMware and Hyper-V.
    What kind of portable apps? You can download new ones from the portable app menu directly. If you want to add ones not offered there it can be tricky. I plan on writing a blog detailing how to add apps in the near future.
    Thanks

  14. Tone says:

    Thanks for your speedy reply.
    I’m using VMware 9 and have had a similar problem with other PE’s where they worked fine in QEMU. I’m happy you have confirmed this. I’ll uninstall it and try an earlier VMware player.

    Regarding portable apps, i’d like to add to the Portable Apps menu which is already there plus add one i have made myself. It’s a simple standalone searchbar which opens the default browser.
    Also, is there a way to point to a folder from VMware where i can run other portable apps and standalone executables without having them included in the ISO?

    After i learn how to do this i will send you a copy of the searchbar as i’m sure you will want to include it in your future PE’s.

    Thank you for your generosity. This is the most excellent PE i have ever seen.

    Regards.

  15. Tone says:

    Oh by the way, i was delighted that i could run my tweaked version of opera 12 including all of my extensions. This is the first PE that has ever allowed me to do this.
    What i’m hoping to do eventually is have a PE that includes all of my portables sitting in a nice 12 gig ISO, running from a USB external.

  16. Tone says:

    in a VMware Player – preferably QEMU ( as it runs as a portable )

  17. Tone says:

    Ok, i got it all sorted.
    I had to make a fresh Win 8 .vmdk in VMware and enabled shared folders for the other query about running other portable apps from a seperate folder.
    I got write errors whilst trying to update the Portable Apps direct.
    Is there a reason the Windows Firewall is turned off by default?

  18. Tone says:

    Is there a limit to how many portable apps you can install?

    • gandalf50 says:

      No there isn’t a limit. The amount of memory you have will of course limit how many apps you can run at once and the more apps you install the larger your file becomes and the longer it takes to load. I wouldn’t go overboard with trying to include every imaginable app.

  19. Tyler says:

    I spoke to you on technibble a while back about modifing this PE to run D7. You stated that internet Explorer is ot part of the build thus why D7 is not working correctly. I have tried messing around with the defaultapps.ini file in D7 but I believe that file just points to downloads.

    My question: Is there any possible way to add Internet Explorer to this build? If so can you give me any hints on how to get this done?

  20. Tyler says:

    I understand that but is there anyway that I can modify it to use Internet explorer.

    • gandalf50 says:

      Not that I’m aware of. It may be easier to contact D7 and see if its possible to associate the program with a different browser.

  21. norm says:

    when i try to download this your sky drive asks for a user name and password?

  22. Donm says:

    Undoubtedly the best PE boot disk ever! Also a fantastic UI with more utilities that one will ever need. It’s so well done there’s no wonder you have added a time limit to prevent piracy. Can’t thank you enough.

  23. BrandonM says:

    Hi Everybody,

    Looking for a password reset utility to reset or at least create a new local windows 8 user account. I setup one of my pcs with a Microsoft account vs a local account and now I can’t get in due to a username and password issue. I logged into the Microsoft site and my password works fine… Any ideas if there is something on this ISO or a link to a utility that will work?
    Let me know. Thanks a lot for reading this!

  24. corey says:

    Hi thank you for this works well however with systems with uefi it will not boot. I’ve tried to and the uefi boot file, it boots but hand after windows logog and thoughts to make it work with uefi?

  25. Corey says:

    Hi how would i get this to work with uefi boot?
    when i take the boot.wim to the windows pe and build iso when booting it shuts down the system.

  26. tdo722 says:

    Hi gandalf50,

    Can you show me how you added the driveimage xml to a winpe.wim file? I have the winpe.wim file from WAIK and all I need is just driveimage xml. I need to upload this wim file into my WDS server so I cannot have a big wim file. Thanks, tdo722

    • gandalf50 says:

      The easiest way might be to use dism to mount the wim file and remove the apps you don’t want and then re-save the wim. Google dism commands for more info

      • tdo722 says:

        Thanks gandalf50. What about iscsi? I tried to add it but when I booted into winpe and ran net start msisci then I got an error message that said “not a valid win32 application”.

  27. jmdbox says:

    Great work, this is a pretty slick live cd. Oh for anyone who might want to mod anything.. check out “dism gui” —>
    http://dismgui.codeplex.com/

    i just found it easier then command line tool for modding wim files. I used it successfully to change the wallpaper since i prefer a very dark backround.

  28. Aloh says:

    Sorry, but how to get this image to USB so it can also boot from USB?

  29. Jonathan says:

    hello, is possible change keyboard layout for pt-br abnt2? thank you

  30. Don says:

    Hi Gandalf50, Great PE… I confirm this x86 PE will not boot into UEFI unless turned off…I also performed an experiment with Win 8 PRO install discs…The ‘Win8 Pro x86′ disc will not boot into UEFI ‘BUT’ the ‘Win8 Pro x64′ disc will boot with UEFI turned on….Can your Win PE x86 be converted

  31. Don says:

    to an x64 version..or..created in x64

    • gandalf50 says:

      I am working on a x64 version as well as windows 8.1 pe in both versions. Hopefull get it done during the holidays.

  32. Don says:

    Thanks……I will definitely keep monitoring this site for your x64 update !

  33. Mark says:

    I have got to say this PE is great. I have used one the was built on Windows 7 32 bit. I needed one that had USB3 drivers installed. I have put Ghost 11.5 and Macrium Reflect into the software. Tried to put in tape drivers with using the command line that said it was successful, but in the device manager it was not loaded. Used the same files and loaded in your pe and it worked like a charm. I was wandering if after installing in winpe could I just copy the registry files in config folder in system32. Then after in dos prompt expand the wim file and copy and over right the files then compress back the wim file? Hope all this makes sense.

    • gandalf50 says:

      It kind of makes sense. Give it a try. Just make sure to copy the boot.wim into the sources folder on the iso and the re-save the iso. Let me know if it works

  34. itsrlong says:

    Has the iso been removed? I can’t download it…

  35. Mark says:

    I have put Ghost 11.5 and Macrium Reflect into the software. Also it has recover options from Windows 7 which works seamless on Windows PE5.0. It is a zip file that you can put on a USB or on a hard drive for access so you can do a complete backup. I have to say that gandalf50 has made a great PE from windows 8 32 bit. Most software needs to be run in 32 bit. If anyone incorporates more useful tools let us all know. The link is
    http://sdrv.ms/1l5rPBo

  36. itsrlong says:

    Mark,

    your link http://sdrv.ms/1l5rPBo doesn’t work.

  37. Mark says:

    I re-uploaded the link. This is the new one. Sorry about the confusion. It is still built on gandalf50 winpe.
    http://sdrv.ms/192p3dq

  38. ChrisR says:

    Perhaps it is well to quote the original project on which it was built
    http://theoven.org/index.php?board=29.0
    No ;) or a small thanks.

  39. Mark says:

    Hey ChrisR do know why the site http://theoven.org/index.php?board=29.0 hasn’t responded to creating a log on for new comers? I think both projects are exception for the novice computer user. Hopefully I can log on the web site.

  40. adam says:

    can the next version include this? I love the easy to use interface and its free http://www.disk-image.com/

  41. HW says:

    Hi Mark
    Love your work. Would it be possible to have just the OS and drivers with no software, but please add chinese character to it please. So the chinese can enjoy your good work too. Many thanks

  42. Lola Kumar says:

    Hey love your work.
    How do I integrate drivers into this build?

    • Mark says:

      The best way is to start with the Win8.1SE_2014-01-16 Builder. If you go through the Driver Integration under x86 you will see the drivers that I have in the builder and you can add or delete windows 8.1 x86 drivers.

  43. Mark says:

    I have posted how I did it on the web page http://prz42.dx.am/index.html . Hopefully this will help.

  44. rence says:

    Hi, can you please tell me how to add a Malwarebytes Anti-Malware? or can you please add it on your next release? Thank you./

  45. .yunus Khan says:

    Is it possible to include ghost64.exe and partedmagic? I would like to have this winpe, but your download link breaks down due to sky error!
    Would you please give a functioning link for download. Thanks

    • gandalf50 says:

      You are the first person to complain about some kind of error downloading. What is the exact error you are getting.
      I will look into adding partedmagic. I dont believe ghost is freeware.

  46. Tim Fitz says:

    Hi Gandalf
    I installed it on a multiboot thumb drive when I try to add apps from portable app site I get a screen saying not enough room for more apps.This is a 32gb drive with 10 gb used is there a way to make the file bigger for your win8 pe boot disk?
    Thanks

  47. Zed says:

    I cannot unlock a bitlocked drive. Manage-bde not available

    Am I doing something wrong?

  48. Frank Vandecruys says:

    Congratulations! The best PE ever.
    I have a licenced version of DRIVESNAPSHOT, is there a method for incorporating this?

    • gandalf50 says:

      There should be a shortcut on the desktop which downloads a fresh demo when the demo has timed-out. It’s a tiny file.
      This is much easier than having to mount the wim file and entering your license info into the registry offline and then re-saving it.

  49. Frank says:

    Great ISO!

    Over the years I used Bart PE, but it is a little outdated.
    One important feature would be adding Malwarebytes, SpyBot and AVG.

    One of the main reasons I used a live CD is for virus removal and password rest.

    Just my two cents…
    Thank you
    Frank

  50. omsai says:

    hi dear,
    above mention site how to download iso.

    • gandalf50 says:

      Click the download link. Once on my onedrive site RIght-click the iso you want to download and select download.

  51. Ryan says:

    Hi Sir,

    Does it support Bitlocker?

  52. Alama says:

    Hi Gandalf, Awasome idea !! Next step is x64 version :p Thanks for your work..

  53. Alama says:

    Oupssss Sorry, x64 version exist !! :) iget it ..

  54. jaskerx says:

    Would this work for flashing a Lenovo BIOS update? I’m using Linux and this would be perfect.

    • gandalf50 says:

      I ran the lenovo bios update utility for Windows 8.1 successfully on the standalone x64 version you can download here
      thinkpad lenovo bios update utility

  55. JMc says:

    Hi, I have just found your site and your disk looks fantastic. I however, have a WinPEv5 (ADK8.1) boot disk with my encryption recovery tools on it. When it boots you get the cmd window and then I navigate to the folder and run the exe to start the tools.
    I would like to incorporate the windows shell and also a file manager (previously used A43 in BartPE) and our copy of ghost so i can decrypt on the fly then ghost the disk (like i do in BartPE) Can you please give me some advice/links on how to add the shell and my utilites onto my WinPE encryption recovery disk. What to put where etc
    I would be very grateful. Many thanks

  56. vince says:

    Hi, thanks for the great work. I managed to boot n run the iso from ext hdd.
    I also managed to install drivers, but when I reboot the laptop, the drivers are gone. Is there a way to overcome this problem? Thanks.

  57. Bill says:

    Is there a version that includes Team Viewer, and Ghost already in the OS?

  58. OldDosBastid says:

    Excellent tool sir.

    A question. Would it be possible to use this as a replacement for winre.wim? Such as a local F9 customized recovery solution?

    So one could simply run a more robust recovery tool from their machine locally?

    I realize it would not help having the tool on the hard drive for some instances such as partition corruption. But it would certainly beat the basic RE for most other issues.

  59. viktor says:

    Hi, I have been very interested in making custom images for different reasons but as many I have run into problems with adding and modifing drivers and add on software like DirectX for possible gaming as I’m not an expter in this area. I would love to see at least directX 9 added if possible. Also is it possible for you to make a HEAVY version which has many programs and drivers added? I have 128GB USB 3.0 sticks which boot your current 8.1 in a few seconds and work well with my WiFi and sound but Nvidia Optimus fails to function as target drive is to little to install half my heavy softwares to ram. Thanks in advance and I respect if its not possible.

  60. Bill says:

    Hi There,
    would you be able to create a custom winPE for us with our own apps please ?

  61. Herman says:

    I run Internet Explorer in my own Win8PE
    But for one site i need the add ons:

    Name XML DOM Document
    Publisher Microsoft Corporation
    Status Enabled

    Name XSL Template
    Publisher Microsoft Corporation
    Status Enabled

    Name Free Threaded XML DOM Document
    Publisher Microsoft Corporation
    Status Enabled

    so i need Msxml3.dll

    Everytime when my Winpe restarts in need to allow Msxml3.dll *(3times)
    can i allow this automatic when my WinPe starts?
    Because whenn i start Your PE i dont need to allow its working perfectly. but how?? :$
    Thanks Gandalf!

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