Creating a Win7RescuePE Boot Disc Containing
Image for Windows

Note: The Win7RescuePE project is dead and no longer being supported. This tutorial remains in place only to support those users who are already using the Win7ResucePE project.  All other users should follow the TBWinPE tutorial which can be viewed by clicking here

This tutorial is a guide to creating a Win7RescuePE boot disc containing Image for Windows (IFW) and bootable as either a CD/DVD or as a UFD (USB Flash Drive). Win7RescuePE is a project that can be run from within the WinBuilder utility to create boot discs based on various versions of WinPE, while also providing a user-friendly Windows environment from which to work.

Requirements:

Before beginning, please review the following requirements for the project:

  • Operating System:

    Windows XP SP2 or later is required. Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 (or later), or Windows XP SP3 is recommended.

    Note: The computer used to create the Win7RescuePE boot disc can be running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of the supported operating systems.

  • Build Source:
    • Microsoft Windows 7 DVD (32-bit version)

      Note: Using a 64-bit Windows7 DVD as the source for a build is not currently supported. As a further clarification, the Win7RescuePE boot disc can be built from a 64-bit Windows OS, but it cannot be built using a 64-bit Windows 7 DVD as the source.

    • The Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK)

      The Windows AIK is required to build the Win7RescuePE boot disc. Depending of the version of Windows being used, you can use either the Windows 7 AIK or the Windows Vista SP1 AIK.

      These are very large downloads (1.3GB to 1.6GB). A high-speed internet connection is recommended. Once downloaded, the Windows AIK must be burned to a DVD and then installed (see Step 4).

      The download pages can be found here:

      • Windows 7 AIK:

        http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=696dd665-9f76-4177-a811-39c26d3b3b34

        If you use the Windows 7 AIK, make sure you're running one of the supported operating systems:

        • Windows 7 Family
        • Windows Vista SP1 (or later)
        • Windows Server 2008 Family
        • Windows Server 2008 R2 Family
        • Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2

        Note: Even though using the Windows 7 AIK on Windows XP isn't officially supported, a test build on Windows XP SP3 completed successfully. If you install the Windows 7 AIK on Windows XP SP3, you will most likely also need to install one or both of the .NET Framework and MSXML 6 SP1 programs (see Step 4).

      • Windows Vista SP1 AIK:

        http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=94bb6e34-d890-4932-81a5-5b50c657de08

        If you use the Windows Vista SP1 AIK, make sure you're running one of the supported operating systems:

        • Windows 7 Family
        • Windows Vista SP1 (or later)
        • Windows XP SP3
        • Windows XP SP2 with KB926044 installed
        • Windows Server 2008
        • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 with KB926044 installed
        • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2

        Note: Depending on the operating system being used (Windows XP SP2, for example), additional updates and/or programs may need to be installed (see Step 4).

  • Image for Windows:

    Image for Windows (IFW) must be installed on the system which you are using to create the build.

  • WinBuilder:

    WinBuilder is the program that actually builds the boot disc. It is normally recommended that the most recent stable version of WinBuilder be used. However, if you have problems creating a build using a different version, try the version used in the tutorial. As of this writing, the latest stable version is WinBuilder 080, released February 19, 2010. The procedure in this tutorial was tested using Win7RescuePE v.13 and WinBuilder 080 & 078 SP6. The WinBuilder download can be found at the following links:
    http://www.boot-land.net/forums/index.php?showforum=22 or www.winbuilder.net

  • Win7RescuePE Project:

    This project was initially available for download directly from the WinBuilder program. As of this writing, due to the loss of the domain name hosting the project and the fact that it hasn't been relocated, this is no longer possible. To aid in creating this project, the required files are available for download as a ZIP file. This file includes the full Win7RescuePE project and is available at the following link on the winbuilder.net site:
    Win7RescuePE Project Download (89.9MB) (Link has been disabled - see note below)

    Note: The winbuilder.net site is sometimes not available. If you have problems downloading the file, please try again a little later.
    The last known location of this project was:
    http://nativeex.exec-se.de/Downloads/Complete/Win7RescuePE/Win7RescuePE_2010_APR_10.zip

  • Hard Drive Space:

    Approximately 2GB of free space is required during the Win7RescuePE build process. Installing Windows AIK requires up to 1.5GB of free space.

  • Memory (RAM):

    The target system requires a minimum of 512MB. Note: Booting the Win7RescuePE build on a system with less than 512MB is not recommended or supported, though it may work if the build contains minimal programs.

Step 1: Download and Install WinBuilder

Download WinBuilder from the a link below. The latest stable version is recommended.
http://www.boot-land.net/forums/index.php?showforum=22 or www.winbuilder.net

The WinBuilder download page will look similar to the screenshot below:

The WinBuilder download will be in the form of a ZIP file containing one file (WinBuilder.exe).

Important Note: Since this file comes from another computer, Windows may block it. Whether this happens or not depends on the version of Windows and the security settings. If the file is blocked, it won't work correctly. To check if the file is blocked, right-click on the downloaded file, select Properties from the pop-up menu, and see if an Unblock button exists on the General tab. If it does, click the Unblock button. An example of a blocked file is shown below:

Extract this file to the folder from where you want to run WinBuilder. It is recommended that you create a new folder in the root of a drive (C:\WinBuilder, D:\WinBuilder, etc.) and extract WinBuilder.exe there. It is also recommended that the path to the folder and folder name itself do NOT contain any spaces, as this can cause problems under some circumstances.

Step 2: Download and Extract the Win7RescuePE Project

If not already done, download the Win7RescuePE project files from the following link: Win7RescuePE Project Download

Check if the project ZIP file has been blocked by Windows and unblock it if it has. See the Important Note in Step 1 for more information.

Extract the project ZIP file to a new folder. The project files will be located in the extracted Win7RescuePE_Upload folder. Using Explorer, browse to that folder and copy the Projects folder into your WinBuilder folder (C:\WinBuilder, for example). The WinBuilder folder should now look like the sample shown below:

Start WinBuilder by executing WinBuilder.exe. If running from Windows Vista or Windows 7, WinBuilder will need to be Run as administrator. If UAC is enabled (the default), click Continue or Yes at the UAC prompt to allow WinBuilder to run. If WinBuilder does not properly elevate itself, you can do it manually by right-clicking WinBuilder.exe and choosing Run as administrator from the pop-up menu.

When WinBuilder starts, the main screen will look as shown below:

Step 3: Install the IFW files in Win7RescuePE

IFW includes a utility (bartpe.exe) that will install the files required to include IFW on the Win7RescuePE boot disc. This file is located in the IFW installation folder (C:\Program Files\TeraByte Unlimited\Image for Windows\V2, by default). Successfully using this utility requires that the Win7RescuePE project already exists in WinBuilder (as outlined in Step 2 above).

If WinBuilder is currently running, exit it before proceeding.

Start the bartpe.exe utility and select the Win7RescuePE option for the PE Builder Type. In the PE Builder Location field, browse to the WinBuilder folder and select that folder. For example, if WinBuilder is installed in the C:\WinBuilder folder, then the PE Builder Location field should contain C:\WinBuilder. In the Product Key fields, type in (or copy/paste) your registered name and IFW product key. To start IFW automatically on booting the Win7RescuePE disc, select the Run Image for Windows automatically check box (this option can be also be selected or unselected later from within WinBuilder). If you plan to place the Win7RescuePE build onto a UFD (or other writable media), select the Preserve key for writable media option. Additionally, you can select whether or not to include TBIView, TBIMount, and the TeraByte OSD Tool (these programs must be installed to be selected).

Press OK to complete the setup. When the utility completes, you should get a success message.

Note: If you are using Windows 7, you may have a Program Compatibility Assistant window displayed when you exit the IFW PE Builder utility (bartpe.exe). If this happens, you can safely select the This program installed correctly option.

There will now be a TeraByte folder under the Projects\Win7Rescue\Apps folder within the WinBuilder folder. The TeraByte folder will contain multiple files (depending on options selected), including ifw.script, as shown below:

Run the WinBuilder program. You should now be able to select the Image for Windows script under Apps >> TeraByte section and then be able to select or unselect the checkbox options available:

  • Start IFW Automatically
  • Add IFW Shortcut To Desktop
  • Add IFW Shortcut To Quick Launch
  • Run from RAM (boot.wim) - Recommended

You can also select which optional programs to include (if selected when plug-in was created).

These options can be changed as desired for each build of the boot disc. Note: In order to ensure that IFW is correctly accessible in the build, it's recommended to leave the Run from RAM... option selected.

Note: It is not necessary to run the IFW PE Builder utility (bartpe.exe) before every build. That is only required when you want to upgrade the IFW version, although you could also do that by copying the files imagew.exe, cdboot.f35, and cdboot.ifd from the IFW installation folder to the TeraByte folder under WinBuilder. If desired, you can also edit the ifw.ini file within the TeraByte folder to change the default IFW settings before a build.

Step 4: Install Windows AIK

The Windows AIK is required to build the Win7RescuePE boot disc. Depending of the version of Windows being used, you can use either the Windows 7 AIK or the Windows Vista SP1 AIK. The download pages can be found here:

The Windows AIK download from Microsoft will be an ISO file, approximately 1.3GB to 1.6GB in size. Once downloaded, burn the ISO file to a DVD with a utility such as BurnCDCC. This utility is included with IFW and can also be downloaded from TeraByte Unlimited at the link below:
http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/downloads-free-software.htm

To start the install, insert the DVD and wait for the Windows AIK welcome screen to appear. If the DVD doesn't autorun when inserted, you can open the DVD drive in an Explorer window and then double-click startcd.exe. Be sure to note the installation requirements on the welcome screen, which specify which versions of Windows (and Service Pack levels) are supported by Windows AIK.

Select Windows AIK Setup from the welcome screen menu. After some initialization and the license agreement screen, the following dialog will come up:

The defaults shown above will work fine and it's recommended to keep them. If you are unsure if there is enough free space on the installation drive, check the required disk space before proceeding by using the Disk Cost button. When ready, click Next to start the install. At completion, the following screen will appear:

Note: The Windows AIK requires both the .NET Framework and MSXML 6.0 to be installed. If they are not already installed on the system, Windows AIK Setup will detect this and request that you install either/both of these items first. Both are available to install from the same DVD and appear on the welcome screen menu as .NET Framework Setup and MSXML 6.0 [SP1] Setup. Windows XP (in particular) will usually require the installation of these programs.

Step 5: Configure Win7RescuePE Before Building the Boot Disc

Run WinBuilder (if it's not still running from Step 3). It should be on the initial screen and show the Win7RescuePE project.

With the Win7RescuePE item highlighted in the left pane, click on the Source button at the top. The Paths configuration screen will now be visible as shown below:

The key item on this screen is the Source directory, which tells Win7RescuePE where to find the source for building the boot disc. The Target directory and ISO file items can be left as they are by default.

Since you'll be using a Windows 7 DVD as the source, insert the DVD into a DVD drive and use the "browse" button in the Source directory dialog to select the drive letter for the Windows 7 DVD. In the screenshot above, the D:\ drive is the location of the Windows 7 DVD. For convenience and a somewhat faster build, you can also copy the contents of the Windows 7 DVD to a folder of your choice on the hard drive and then specify that location for the Source directory setting. For example, if you copy the contents of the DVD to the folder C:\Windows7DVD, then that location should be specified for the Source directory setting.

Next, select the Script button at the top and then select Configuration in the left pane. This brings up the Configuration screen for Win7RescuePE as shown below:

The settings shown above are recommended for the first build. The only change from the default settings is to set the Screen resolution to 1024x768 or higher (IFW will not fit on the screen at lower resolutions). Click the Save button to save the change.

Expand the Build section in the left pane and highlight the PreConfig item. Verify the path to the Windows AIK installation is correct. By default, this setting should be correct unless you installed the Windows AIK to a non-default location. If necessary, browse to the correct folder to set the correct path.

Click the Get Info button (it will process for a few seconds) and then click the CheckSource button to verify that Win7RescuePE can find both the Windows 7 DVD and the Windows AIK. For example:

For the first build, you can unselect (uncheck) most of the included Apps scripts (these scripts are not required for the build). Unselect:

  • CDVD
  • File Tasks
  • HD Tasks
  • Net
  • Security
  • Supplementary
  • System

Note: If you decide to leave some (or all) of the default scripts selected, please make sure that the Apps >> HD Tasks >> Imaging >> TeraByteUnlimited script is unselected. This script is one included with the Win7RescuePE default scripts and not the one you want to use in your build.

Step 6: Configure IFW

To ensure that IFW will be included on the boot disc, expand the Apps >> TeraByte section in the left pane and verify that the Image for Windows item is checked (it should be by default). When the Image for Windows item is highlighted, the IFW configuration screen will be displayed in the right pane. These options can be set to your preferences for each build. A screenshot of the IFW configuration screen is shown below (and also in Step 3 above):

For your first build, it's recommended to leave the options set a their default values.

Note: For the best results with a variety of boot media (ISO, CD/DVD, UFD, etc.), please leave the Run from RAM... option selected.

Step 7: Build the Win7RescuePE Boot Disc (the ISO file)

This step will build the boot disc and create the Win7RescuePE ISO file, which will be created (by default) in the ISO folder under WinBuilder, and will be named Win7RescuePE.iso. Please note that creating Win7RescuePE on a USB flash drive (UFD) will require some additional steps after this one and will be covered in Step 8 below.

Highlight the Win7RescuePE item at the top of the left pane and click the Play button at the top-right of the screen (the blue triangle) to start the build. The Win7RescuePE main screen is shown below as a reference:

The screenshot below shows the build in progress:

When the build completes, WinBuilder will return to the normal Win7RescuePE screen.

If you are creating a UFD rather than a CD/DVD, you can skip to Step 8 at this point. Otherwise, continue below to create the CD/DVD.

The file Win7RescuePE.iso will be created in the ISO folder as shown below. The actual size of the file will depend on the configuration options chosen, as well as the scripts included in the build.

The ISO file can be burned to CD/DVD by using a CD/DVD burner application capable of burning ISO files. As mentioned previously, the TeraByte Unlimited free utility BurnCDCC is ideal for this purpose and is included with IFW. It can be downloaded from TeraByte Unlimited at the following link: http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/downloads-free-software.htm

Note: If you are using Windows 7, you can also burn the ISO file to a CD/DVD by right-clicking on the file and selecting Burn disc image from the pop-up menu.

Step 8 (optional): Create the Win7RescuePE Boot Disc as a USB Flash Drive (UFD)

Once you have completed Steps 1 through 7 above, you are now ready to create a bootable UFD.

Expand the Finalize section in the left pane and then highlight the Copy to USB-Device item. If the Script button on the right is not already pressed (it should be), click it. You should see the screen shown below:

Plug in the UFD (if not already plugged in) and determine its Windows drive letter. In the appropriate box in the screen above, use the browse button to select the root directory of the UFD (the example above has it set to F:\).

Next, click the script's Play button (the little green triangle) to run it.

Click OK when asked to format the UFD.

The HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool will run.

Make sure the UFD is selected in the Device drop-down box. Important: Be very careful to select the correct drive. The formatting procedure will erase all data on the selected drive.

Select the format type you want (FAT32 or NTFS) using the File system drop-down box.

Enter a label for the UFD. In this example, the label has been set to Win7RescuePE.

Next, check the Quick Format box and then click Start to format the UFD.

Verify all information is correct and then click Yes on the warning dialog.

When the format completes, a summary screen will be displayed as shown below:

Click OK, then Close the HP Format Tool dialog to continue the process of setting up the UFD.

Next, Grub4DOS will be setup on the UFD. Click OK to continue:

Click the Disk radio button and then select the UFD from the drop-down box. Important: Be very careful to select the correct drive. You should be able to tell which drive is the UFD by the size. Click the Refresh button for the Part List drop-down box and then select Whole disk (MBR) from it. Check the Don't search floppy option. Finally, click the Install button.

If everything went correctly, you should see the following success message:

Press ENTER to close the window and then click the Quit button to close the Grub4DOS Installer.

During the file copy process, a screen similar to the one below will be shown (shows file copying in progress):

When the file copy process has completed, you'll be back at the main WinBuilder screen.

The UFD device is now ready to boot. You will need to set the UFD as the boot device in order to boot from it. Typically this can be done by either going into the BIOS setup and changing the boot order, or by selecting the UFD device from a menu of boot devices that can be brought up (on some systems) at boot time by pressing a hot key (F8 or F11, for example).

The Win7RescuePE Desktop:

Booting and initializing Win7RescuePE will typically take several minutes, depending on the system, how the boot disc was configured, and the type of the booting device (CD, UFD, etc.). A UFD will usually boot faster than a CD/DVD on most newer systems.

The Win7RescuePE desktop will look similar to the screenshot below, depending on the options selected in the Win7RescuePE configuration. The PENetwork utility (shown on desktop below) can be used to configure the network and map network drives if needed.