Booting WINPE 2.0 off a hard disk


    I am trying to install and boot WINPE 2.0 off another parition created on my hard drive.  I've followed the instructions exactly from the Microsoft WAIK Reference Guide and also from Microsoft Technet (found here:

When I mark my WINPE partition as active and try to boot from it, I get a NTLDR missing.  I dont think WINPE 2.0 uses NTLDR... regardless, I tried copying and ntldr to the root of my winpe partition and that didnt work either.  

Can anyone tell me what steps I'm missing?
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Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
Try this article from Technet published February 2008:
kklkklAuthor Commented:
I followed that articl exactly.. I even used the script mentioned in the article, but its still not working.  I am sure I'm missing something.  Here's what I'm trying to do:

I have one physical hard disk.  I have  two partitions on it.  C:\ has Windows XP on it.  G:\ is where I'd like to store my WINPE files.

I followed the WAIK user guide on creating a bootable WINPE hard disk to the point where I start using bcdedit, except that I stored all my winpe files on G:\

At that point, I ran the scrpit, followed the directions in the link mentioned above.

Am I supposed to see a menu option or something which lets me choose which system I want to boot into?  Or do I just make the winpe boot partition active and that will solve the issue as well.

Ideally, what I would like to do is just run a script that makes the G:\ active and reboot the machine, thus allowing WINPE to boot, but that didnt work for me either.. I kept getting an NTLDR missing.

Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
Yes, you should see a menu option for it.  I have something setup a bit differently.  I have WinRE (WinPE really) setup on the same partition as Vista (see and it is accessed via the F8 key.  Works great.

You're right: Windows 2.0 (Vista based) does not used NTLDR, but WINLOAD as given in this lab:

I would triple check what ramdisksdipath is set to and if you really have the correct boot.sdi in
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kklkklAuthor Commented:
I actually like your idea of using WinRE and using F8 to boot into it better.  Do you have any instructions on how I can build a WinRE partition on my hard drive and access it via the F8 key?

Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
I actually used the instructions from:   In your case, the only thing different would be creating the partition for Windows PE.

The article gives you some guidance on partition for Windows PE:


The hardest part about installing Windows RE seems to be deciding where to install it. The following considerations should go into deciding which partition to choose (listed in the priority order):

The partition should not be the same as the Windows OS partition. This is so that you can boot into Windows RE even if your OS partition becomes corrupt or inaccessible for any reason. This helps maximize the chances that you would be able to boot into Windows RE when your main Windows installation is in trouble.

The partition should be hidden so that users do not accidentally delete files or corrupt the Windows RE installation in anyway. Microsoft has defined a special partition type for this specific purpose. On MBR disks, the partition should be assigned partition type 0x27. And on GPT disks, the partition should have the partition type GUID: {DE94BBA4-06D1-4D40-A16A-BFD50179D6AC}.

The partition should not interfere with any advanced volume management functionalities, such as dynamic volumes. Any hidden partitions after the Windows OS partition may interfere with dynamic volume creations. Therefore, the Windows RE partition should be created before the Windows OS partition.


GPT are used for dynamic disks, so if you aren't using them your partition type would be 0x27.  You would need to use a program such as partition magic to change the partition type or use diskpart and the setid command:

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