Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) Technical Reference
Published: February 29, 2012
Updated: May 31, 2012
Applies To: Windows 8, Windows Server 2012
Windows® Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) is a minimal operating system designed to prepare a computer for Windows installation by starting a computer that has no operating system. During deployment of Windows, Windows PE can be used to partition and format hard drives, copy disk images to a computer, and initiate Windows Setup from a network share.
Windows PE is available as a stand-alone product to customers who have the appropriate licensing agreement, and is an integrated component of many Windows technologies, including Windows Setup and Windows Deployment Services.
Windows PE 4.0 is based on the Windows® 8 operating system.
Windows PE 4.0 is included with the Windows ADK. Download the Windows ADK from this website.
In This Section
Learn the benefits, common scenarios, limitations, dependencies, and supported drivers and technologies of Windows PE, and understand the optimal environment and order of operations.
Create and customize Windows PE for image deployment.
Determine how Windows PE will boot and from where it will run, and build the image by using the available tools and settings.