After creating a custom Windows® Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) image, you must decide how the image will boot and where it will run from.

There are five methods of starting Windows PE by using a RAM disk. You can create bootable Windows PE RAM disk images on:

Normally, when you start a computer from a hard disk drive or a CD-ROM, Windows keeps operating-system file handles open and dedicated to that instance of Windows. Therefore, you cannot remove the CD that you used to start the computer. You cannot delete the hard disk partition from which you started the computer.

The small size of Windows PE enables the entire Windows PE operating system image to load into random access memory (RAM) and to start the computer from a RAM disk. The RAM disk boot feature provides a virtual CD file system in memory. Booting Windows PE from a RAM disk enables you to:


The following items are required for starting Windows PE by using a RAM disk:

  • An x86-based, x64-based, or Itanium-based computer.

  • A bootable Windows PE image created from a Windows PE 3.0 base image.

  • A minimum of 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM (when using the default Windows PE disk image).

See Also