Q: How can I create a USB stick with the new version of Windows PE installed on it?

A: To create a USB stick with the Windows PE environment that's part of the Windows 8 Assessment and Deployment Kit is very simple. First, make sure you have installed the Windows 8 Assessment and Deployment Kit.

Then launch the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment, which is a command prompt with all the deployment tools available. In the example below, I use the folder d:\PEBuild as my build staging area. Run the commands below in the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment window:

  1. Populate the staging area with the 64-bit version of Windows PE:
    copype amd64 d:\PEBuild
  2. Mount the boot.wim copied to out staging area under the mount sub-folder of the PEBuild area:
    dism /mount-image /imagefile:d:\PEBuild\media\sources\boot.wim /index:1 /mountdir:d:\PEBuild\mount
  3. Add the WMI package to the PE environment:
    Dism /image:d:\pebuild\mount /add-package /packagepath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\winpe-wmi.cab"
    Dism /image:d:\pebuild\mount /add-package /packagepath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\en-us\winpe-wmi_en-us.cab"
  4. Copy the DISM set of tools to the Windows PE environment and the bcdboot tools:
    xcopy /s "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Deployment Tools\amd64\DISM" d:\pebuild\mount\DISM\
    xcopy /s "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Deployment Tools\amd64\bcdboot" d:\pebuild\mount\bcdboot\
  5. Unmount the image commiting the changes:
    Dism /unmount-image /mountdir:D:\PEBuild\mount /commit
  6. Create a USB media connected to I: from our PE staging area:
    Makewinpemedia /ufd d:\PEbuild I:

You now have a bootable Windows PE USB stick.