VistaPE is the preinstall environment for the installation of Windows Vista. When you first boot to a Vista DVD, the GUI screen you see during installation is VistaPE. It was designed for use on DVD's and USB drives. It provides a graphical environment using a small amount of resources. It's very flexible in that you can add components to provide additional features.
Having a VistaPE bootable USB drive has some additional advantages:
- Familiar interface where you can run Windows programs
- Browse the Internet without leaving a trace on the host PC
- Remove undeleteable spyware and viruses
- Flash the BIOS in a clean environment
- Diagnose computer problems
Being able to remove spyware and viruses is an incredible handy ability. You should be able to remove all of those problems since they won't be able to start automatically. I've used mine many times to get rid of nasty viruses on other peoples computers.
Here's how to create a VistaPE USB drive:
What you need:
USB drive (128MB minimum, 1GB+ preferred)
Winbuilder 75 Beta 4
Windows Vista DVD (preferred) or Windows Automated Installation Kit
Computer with Windows XP or Vista
Let's get started!
Step 1: Copy Vista to the HDD
If you're using the WAIK, you need to burn the image to a DVD, then install it. You'll use the installed directory (usually C:\Program Files\Windows AIK) as the Vista file location.
Step 2: Running Winbuilder
Select the Server button and put a checkbox in VistaPE.net/project and click Download
Deselect everything except for the VistaPE Core option.
I unchecked some other options to speed things up, you can select applications that you want integrated into VistaPE.
Click download. This will take some time as it downloads scripts and files necessary for this operation.
Step 3: Setting up VistaPE
Click the Paths button. Enter the location of your Vista files from step 1. (C:\Program Files\Windows AIK if you're using the WAIK)
Optionally, you can specify where you want to output the VistaPE files and VistaPE ISO.
Step 4: Intermission
Or just stare at this picture...
Step 5: Copy VistaPE to your USB drive
Click the Script button
On the left column, expand the Finalize folder
Click on Create ISO/CD/USB
Click on the folder to set the root directory of your USB drive and browse to your USB drive
Click on the Make USB Boot Device button
Step 6: Formatting and Copying Files to the USB drive
*WARNING: All contents of the USB drive will be erased!
Once the drive is formatted, you should see a dosbox with files being copied to your USB drive
After that, the GRUB4DOS utility should pop up. This will put the required info onto your USB drive to make it boot to Gruub4Dos.
Click on the Disk radio button
Use the drop down to select your USB drive
That's it! Your USB drive should now be bootable to VistaPE!
Step 7: Video of all the steps
Unfortunately, Instructables won't allow me to link the video on my website, but you can watch it here.
Step 8: Boot to it!
Let me know if there's something confusing. I'll add some additional information later.
Windows Background: Blissin