WinPE beginner

I’ve just started messing around creating my own Windows PE flash drive and/or boot DVD.
I’m using WinPE builder and have been able to make a USB drive that boots directly to the command prompt.
I’ve played around w/ portable applications and so far have been able to get a portable file explorer to work but not easy. I must change drives & folders to run the setup for the program. The install works from drive F that is installed on drive X, but what’s weird when I’m through w/ WinPE, what’s created on the X drive seems not to stay. When I’ve finished the install the portable file explorer will work and looks as it should, but I do believe there’s a way to make the file explorer startup automatically instead of me going through the manual setup each time…this is where I’m at now. If it’s possible, I want to start the file explorer up automatically when WinPE boots instead of the command prompt, and I believe this can work through the startnet.cmd but haven’t had any luck w/ that yet.
As you can tell, I’m a severe WinPE beginner.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
add the portable explorer to your winpe

   Create a text file called Winpeshl.ini by using a text editor (such as Notepad) with the following structure. For example,
    AppPath = %SYSTEMDRIVE%\myshell.exe
    %SYSTEMDRIVE%\mydir\application1.exe, -option1 -option2
    application2.exe, -option1 -option2

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   Set the AppPath entry to the path to your shell application. The path can either be fully qualified or use environment variables, such as %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\Myshell.exe. The AppPath entry does not support command-line options.  Save the file to %SYSTEMROOT%\System32 of your customized Windows PE image.     Recapture your Windows PE image

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Mike TLeading EngineerCommented:

The mistake you are making is thinking that WinPE is like a normal OS. It isn't. It loads into memory only so the X drive is not a physical disk at all it is memory so when you reboot content it is lost. You therefore cannot treat it like a portable USB and install anything to X:.

To make anything permanent you have to edit the WIM file which is what unpacks into RAM, add files manually and edit the INI file as David has shown.

kevluck373Author Commented:
I've got the file manager to come up now at the start, but for some reason it will lock up not too long in use. This is another problem I'll deal w/, but as stated before, I have some severe learning to do.
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