To create a custom Windows® Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) image, you must first create a build environment. This describes setting up an environment by using the provided build script (Copype.cmd). This topic also describes general system requirements and default installation directories.

System Requirements

To build a Windows PE build environment, you will need:

  • An x86-based or x64-based computer running a Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008 operating system.


    Only x64-based (AMD64) Windows editions are supported from 32-bit preinstallation environments for cross-architecture deployments. Cross-platform deployments of Itanium-based Windows images are not supported. Additionally, deploying a 32-bit image from a 64-bit preinstallation environment is not supported.

  • The Windows OEM Preinstallation Kit (Windows OPK), Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK), or Windows PE Kit media.

  • A CD or DVD burner to create bootable CD or DVD media.

  • Image-burning software to create bootable CD or DVD media.

Default Installation Directories

Windows PE 3.0 is packaged and distributed through different channels: the Windows OPK and the Windows AIK. By default, Windows PE source files are installed in the following directories:

C:\Program Files\<version>\Tools\
C:\Program Files\<version>\Tools\<arch>
C:\Program Files\<version>\Tools\PETools
C:\Program Files\<version>\Tools\Servicing

Where <version> can be Windows OPK or Windows AIK Kit, and <arch> can be x86, amd64 or ia64. The \<arch> directory contains ImageX source files. The \PETools directory contains Windows PE source files. The \Servicing directory contains supporting sources files.

The feature packages are located in the following directory:


Where <version> can be Windows OPK, Windows AIK, or Windows PE Kit, and <arch> can be x86 or amd64.

To build a Windows PE Build Environment

Windows PE provides a custom build script (Copype.cmd) that creates a local Windows PE build environment. Copype.cmd creates an architecture-specific directory structure and copies in all of the required files.

  • At a command prompt on your technician computer, run the Copype.cmd script. The script is located at C:\Program Files\<version>\Tools\PETools. The script requires two arguments: hardware architecture and target destination.

    copype.cmd <arch> <destination>
    Where <arch> can be x86 or amd64 and <destination> is a path to local directory. For example,

    copype.cmd x86 c:\winpe_x86
    The script creates the following directory structure and copies all the necessary files for that architecture.


The \ISO directory contains all the necessary files to build an .iso file by using the Oscdimg tool with the exception of a Windows PE image (boot.wim). You must create custom boot.wim using the default Windows PE image (winpe.wim) and then copy the boot.wim into the \ISO\sources folder. The \mount directory is used to mount Windows PE images by using the ImageX or DISM tools. You must create a separate build environment for each hardware architecture.

See Also