Building a boot USB, DVD or CD based on Windows 7 with Winbuilder và Win7PE SE TutorialBuilding a boot USB, DVD or CD based on Windows 7 with WinBuilder và Win7PE SE Tutorial

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Bart’s PeBuilder và derivative sầu works based on it lượt thích UBDC4Win. Having a bootable USB drive sầu or CD I can run Windows tools from just comes in hand so often for task like malware/spyware removal, system recovery & harvesting locked files for “pro bono pen-kiểm tra purposes”. Unfortunately, the Bart’s PE project has not been updated in awhile, and Windows XPhường is getting kind of long in the tooth, so I went looking for a replacement. For those wanting khổng lồ build something a little newer, check out WinBuilder.

WinBuilder is essentially a scripting framework for making bootable Windows PE CDs/DVDs/USBs. It does this by allowing you to lớn scrape components off of the Windows install truyền thông and the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK), as well as allowing you lớn create scripts for adding 3rd buổi tiệc ngọt apps onlớn the boot truyền thông. There are a bunch of sub-projects based around WinBuilder, lớn name just a few:

LiveXP: Uses Win XP.. as a source & is meant for repair và administration

Win7PE: Uses Windows 7 32 or 64bit as a source

VistaPE-CAPI: Based on Vista of course

NaughtyPE: Based on Windows XPhường. và aiming to have better truyền thông media tư vấn than most bootable truyền thông (based on the name, you can guess the rest of it’s intended purposes)

MultiPE: Build boot truyền thông from Vista or Windows 7 sources

There is a bunch of others projects as well

This article will proceed with showing you the basics of building Win7PE SE boot media, as Win7PE SE is my distribution of choice when it comes khổng lồ WinBuilder projects (mostly because I’ve sầu not played with the other projects enough yet). Take a look at the WinBuilder site khổng lồ see if one of the other projects fits your needs better. For these instructions I’ll be assuming you have sầu Windows installed on the C: drive lớn avoid using awkward wording lượt thích & the like. Most of this article was written using WinBuilder 80 for testing, but you can try the betas if you can find them.

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Basic layout of WinBuilder

There are many sub-windows that you may have lớn bring up, but this quick bản đồ should help you out when I refer to sections of the main interface later in the article.


1. The Play button, cliông xã it khổng lồ tell WinBuilder to lớn start compiling our distribution.

2. Tools has various interfaces for editing & creating new scripts.

3. Download lets you fetch new projects & updates lớn projects you currently have sầu from the repositories. If you have sầu no projects already downloaded, the Download window will start by mặc định when you fire up WinBuilder.

4. Under the Source button you can point WinBuilder to where you are keeping your Windows install media files.

5. The Script panel, there you can choose what scripts lớn enable. Cliông chồng on a heading’s kiểm tra box khổng lồ select all sub scripts in that category.

6. This section will show configuration options you can phối for the script khổng lồ use if any are available.

7. This little edit ibé lets you edit an individual script. Useful if you need khổng lồ pachồng in some binaries, or make little changes.

8. This smaller Play button just runs the current script. It’s very useful for testing out your own scripts as your code them.

Grabbing the stuff you need

All the items I’ll be using in this article are không tính tiền, with the exception of the Windows 7 install truyền thông (& I hear you can use the trial versionkhổng lồ build your project if you wish). Here are the items you will need, along with the URLs you can tải về them from:

Windows 7 x86 (32bit) or x64 (64bit) truyền thông media (I use the 32bit version of Windows 7 as my source for driver reasons, but build my truyền thông on a box that is running the 64bit version.)

That’s the core files you will need, I’ll point you towards more items to download later (such as plugins/scripts).

Setting up our build environment

I’ve been using Windows 7 64bit as the host OS on by build box, but these instructions should also work on 32bit versions with some minor changes. I use Windows 7 32bit as my source install truyền thông for making the boot CD/DVD/UFDs, so it won’t be supporting more than 4GB of RAM but should hopefully be easier to lớn work with hardware wise.

1. First, install the Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7 (WAIK). No need lớn burn the ISO, you can just unpack in with 7-Zip or the lượt thích. After “unzipping” KB3AIK_EN .iso find StartCD.exe cộ, choose Windows AIK Setup, then next ,next, next away till it’s installed. After our first build, when WinBuilder grabs the files it needs, we may be able to lớn uninstall WAIK to save sầu space.

2. Copy your Windows 7 install truyền thông media lớn some directory on your computer. You could also just unpaông xã the ISO of the DVD with 7-Zip if that is what you have available. I put my install truyền thông media files in C:ootfunw732.

3. Make sure you have WinBuilder.exe cộ in a directory that is not in a user’s profile folder (ie, not in C:Users ). I put mine in C:WinBuilder or C:BootFunWinBuilder depending on my mood.

4. Lets run WinBuilder.exe pháo for the first time. WinBuilder.exe cộ will start off in a thư mục by itself, but we will get the rest of the build environment now by letting WinBuilder download it for us:

a. Run WinBuilder.exe


b. Ok past the “you need to be an admin” warning (unless you are not running as an admin, in which case heed the warning and login as an administrator). I don’t think you need to lớn turn off UAC, but keep it in mind if you have sầu problems. Turing off Anti-Virus software may be a good idea as some scripts may raise red flags if you add password recovery tools.

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c. Time khổng lồ choose the things to tải về. My recommendations::

updates.boot-l&.netis kiểm tra by mặc định, leave it that way to lớn be checked is another good thing to check, if for no other reason than to get Paraglider’s useful help file on WinBuilder scripting. (after download it should be in the ProjectsParagliderWinBuilder.chm sub-folder)


d. On the left hvà side drop down choose “Complete” instead of just “Recommended”


e. Now cliông xã Download. This may take awhile, depending on your available bandwidth.

5. Ok, now we need to lớn grab one extra little tệp tin. Copy bcdedit.exe pháo from

C:WindowsSystem32 to lớn C:WinBuilder ProjectsToolsWin7PE_SEx64

if you are running WinBuilder on a 64bit system, or

C:WinBuilder ProjectsToolsWin7PE_SEx86

if you are running WinBuilder on a 32bit system.

Note: The 64bit/32bit platkhung type choice is based on the system you are using to run the WinBuilder scripts, not the source install truyền thông.

These next notes you can largely be ignore unless you have sầu problems: For whatever reason, when I use Win 7 32bit as my build platform, the Retrieve Tools or preconfigure scripts seem to just find bcdedit.exe pháo without my intervention, but if I’m building on a 64bit system I have sầu khổng lồ copy bcdedit.exe pháo manually inkhổng lồ tools. Also, many instructions out there seem to lớn indicate you have to copy these files:

imagex.exe wimgapi.dll wimmount.inf wimmount.sys wimserv.exe


C:Program FilesWindows AIKToolsamd64 lớn C:ootfunWinBuilderProjectsToolsWin7PE_SEx64 orC:ootfunWinBuilderProjectsToolsWin7PE_SEx86

depending on build platform. Copying them manually seemed unnecessary for me, some pre-configure script grabbed them for me automatically when I did my first build as long as I had WAIK installed. Your mileage may vary, so kiểm tra with the forum’s build instructions if you have issues as I can’t really troubleshoot for you remotely.

Now on lớn the building...

Building our first CD/DVD/USB

At this point after choosing a source we can probably just take the defaults, cliông chồng play, & be done with it. However, there are some key scripts và tweaks I’d lượt thích to lớn point out before we hit play và build our bootable truyền thông media.

1. Choose a source by clicking on the source button. In my case, it’s c:ootfunw732, the thư mục where I extracted my Windows 7 32bit install truyền thông lớn.


2. Under the Drivers section choose Driver Integration. Take a look at the path %GlobalTemplates%Drivers_x86 option, & clichồng explore. This should open a window to lớn where you need lớn put drivers, assuming you are building from a 32bit source (for 64 bit choose %GlobalTemplates%Drivers_x64 of course). Extract the driver packs you downloaded earlier inkhổng lồ this directory. Sub folders are allowed và encouraged for organization sake.


3. Under VirtualTest you can choose if you wish lớn demo the boot ISO in a VM. Just leave sầu it set lớn the default of “Best Emulation” for now. If you have sầu VMWare Player installed it should load in that, otherwise it may load in QEMU.

4. Under Tweaks choose the wallpaper script & find something you would lượt thích khổng lồ set your background khổng lồ.


5. Under WriteMedia choose “Copy khổng lồ USB-Device”. This is of course optional, but I’ll be using it for these instructions.


6. Let ‘s hit the play button và hope for the best.

6.5. Not much for you khổng lồ vị here but wait. Just before the USB creation part, WinBuilder should be building your distro ISO. This may take awhile, and keep in mind the fewer scripts you enable the quicker it will be. After it is finished it should come up in a VM for you khổng lồ look at and kiểm tra. If the Virtual Machine fails don’t worry too much. Just because the Virtual Machine fails lớn boot right does not mean your boot truyền thông media won’t work, I’ve sầu seen odd results depending on the amount of memory the VM has & what drivers I load. Your ISO will be in a subfolder of the directory you ran WinBuilder from named ISO và be called Win7PE_x86.ISO. If you chose not khổng lồ create a USB boot device then you’re done.


7. When the USB install interactive parts come up you will receive sầu a few informational OK windows you have lớn dismiss. Choose your flash drive, check “Quiông xã format” khổng lồ save sầu time, make the filesystem FAT32 (if you plan khổng lồ play with dual booting the USB later) or NTFS then hit start. After the format is finished ok past it và the Grub4DOS installer should appear. Choose your drive, then hit install. Quit the grub installer and WinBuilder should finish by coping the needed files your USB drive sầu.


We should now have an ISO we can burn, and a bootable USB flash drive! Yippy!

A few notes for when things go khổng lồ hell

It’s possible you may get an error message like:

“Wimfltr Service Running Wimaoi.dll v6.1 not compatible with Wimfltr Running To fix Read 'Waik Troubles'. Exiting...”


click OK & it should take you to a page that will give more details on naming files in such a way that it will get rid of the error. I’ve sầu had good luông xã with rebooting and WinBuilder just finding the right version of Wimfltr to use the next go around.

Another tip is khổng lồ watch the error logs to lớn figure out when things go to lớn hell, and either fix what is wrong with those scripts or just disable them if you don’t really need the functionality they provide. Saving out the logs into lớn HTML format is helpful to make them easier khổng lồ read, & you get khổng lồ see which path variable points khổng lồ where, this is very helpful when you try lớn make your own scripts. If you forgot to save them look in the logs folder lớn see information logs from previous builds (HTML format in 7-Zip archives). This assumes the "Save sầu Log File" script is enabled under the “Finalize” heading.


Here is a simple example script I made for adding Softperfect’s Netscan khổng lồ my distro, read the comments to get a better understanding for what it is doing. cảnh báo that this script does not use some of the more advance feature of WinBuilder’s scripting framework, such a a GUI for making configuration changes. Also take note of the Level variable. Level sets when the script will be ran, with 1 being ran before 2 and so forth.