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Image for Windows V2 Reverts to Trial Mode in BartPE, UBCD4Win, or VistaPE on a Flash Drive (or other Writable Drive)

Important Note: BartPE is obsolete. The BartPE environment is based on Windows XP and may not build or function correctly on current/newer systems. Additionally, the Bart PE Builder program and documentation is no longer available from its original source. Using TBWinRE or TBWinPE is recommended.


A BartPE, UBCD4Win, or VistaPE build that includes Image for Windows has been created on a writable drive (USB flash drive, hard drive, etc.). The first boot-up starts Image for Windows normally. Subsequent boot-ups cause Image for Windows to start in trial mode.


The imagew.ini file on the drive did not have the read-only attribute set.

When Image for Windows successfully applies the registration information obtained from imagew.ini, it deletes the registration information from the file. (That is, it deletes the line in imagew.ini beginning with Key=.) Because of this, the next time the drive is booted and Image for Windows is run, the registration information is not found and the program starts in trial mode.


Before booting to the drive, make sure the imagew.ini file is marked as read-only.

Starting with Image for Windows version 2.52, the BartPE/VistaPE plugin program (bartpe.exe) includes a new option: Preserve key for writable media. If selected, this option marks the imagew.ini file as read-only when it creates the plugin files. However, the read-only attribute for the file is not always maintained by the PE builder when the file is copied.

Using BartPE: A standard BartPE build will correctly keep the read-only attribute for the file. Using PeToUSB to copy the build to a flash drive will also keep the attribute.

Using UBCD4Win: The read-only attribute will exist on the file in the build's plugin\ifwv2 folder. However, when the build is created and the file is copied into the BartPE\PROGRAMS\ifwv2 folder, the attribute is lost. As a result, when the file is copied to the destination drive, it is not marked as read-only. However, if you manually set the read-only attribute on the file before running the UBUSB.exe program, it will retain the attribute when copied to the drive.

Using VistaPE: If you follow the general instructions for creating a VistaPE build that includes Image for Windows (found here) and select the option to Run all programs from RAM, the read-only attribute is irrelevant. However, if you don't select that option, you will have the problem as WinBuilder does not keep the attribute when it copies the file.


  1. After creating the build and copying the files to the flash drive (or other writable drive), browse to the imagew.ini file on the drive and manually set the read-only attribute. The location of the file varies by the build type:

    • BartPE & UBCD4Win: \Programs\ifwv2\imagew.ini

    • VistaPE: \Programs\IFW\imagew.ini
      Note: This only applies if you have not selected to have all programs run from RAM.

  2. Right-click on the file, select Properties from the pop-up menu, check the Read-only attribute box, and then click OK.


Technical Notes:

If the registration information has already been removed from the imagew.ini file, you can add it back into the file and then set the read-only attribute. There is no need to recreate the build to fix the problem.

The required format is as follows:


Where User Name and XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX represent your own registered user name and key.

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