SVBus

Create GRUB4DOS/WinPE bootable USB Drive

"...Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)..is a minimal..operating system with limited services, built on the Windows..kernel. It is used to prepare a computer for Windows installation, to copy disk images from a network file server, and to initiate Windows Setup...." (from What is Windows PE?)

WinPE is included in Windows installation media and is used to run Windows Setup. A WinPE bootable USB drive can be created using tools included in Windows NT 6.* and Windows NT 10.*.

If you are not confident with using command-line applications the consider using Rufus as an alternative to the process documented below. The current Rufus release can also be used to download Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Installation Media.

Windows Boot Manager menu after adding the Grub4Dos entry -

WinPE screenshot. This is an unmodified boot.wim file from Windows Installation Media - this version of WinPE defaults to running Setup.exe. The command-prompt/console was accessed by pressing the Shift + F10 keys.

Requirements

Step 1 - DiskPart

Run the following commands in DiskPart, replacing disk # with the disk number for your USB Drive and letter=# with an available drive letter. Please note that this process is covered in more detail here. And remember to use caution as the commands listed below will wipe your target disk.

E.g.

Step 2 - Copy WinPE Files

Copy the following folders (and contents) from Windows 7/8/8.1/10.* or Server 2008/2012/2016/2019 installation media (DVD or .iso) to the USB disk -

Copy the following files from Windows 7/8/8.1/10.* or Server 2008/2012/2016/2019 installation media (DVD or .iso) to the USB disk -

Your USB drive should contain the following -

Step 3 - Copy GRUB4DOS Files

Download GRUB4DOS from the http://grub4dos.chenall.net/ site - version 0.4.5c-2016-01-18 was used during testing.

Extract/Copy for following files from the GRUB4DOS download to the USB drive -

Your USB drive should contain the following -

Step 4a - Add GRUB4DOS entry to Windows 7/Vista BCD Store

Run a batch file with the following contents (replace BCDSTORE=#:\Boot\BCD with the path to your USB drive - e.g. BCDSTORE=X:\Boot\BCD) -

Step 4b - Add GRUB4DOS entry to Windows 8/8.1/10.* BCD Store

If using Windows 8/8.1/10.* (and probably Server 2016/2019) source files then you will also need to set the {default} entry bootmenupolicy to legacy. The new style graphic boot menu introduced in Windows 8 (bootmenupolicy standard) will not display the Grub4dos menu entry. Run the following code (replace BCDSTORE=#:\Boot\BCD with the path to your USB drive - e.g. BCDSTORE=X:\Boot\BCD) -

Document date - 29th June 2019