The page about Bart's PE explains how to create a Windows XP based bootable CD. Similar to BartPE, there is a Preinstalled Environment (PE) for Windows Vista as well. The current version of this Vista based Preinstalled Environment is reasonably stable and easy to build.
The most important use of a Windows based bootable CD/DVD is getting access to a NTFS partition to edit and copy files to a safe external location. Especially when Windows won't boot anymore, a bootable Windows CD/DVD is very useful to get access to the personal files. Besides the support for NTFS partitions, it is very easy to extend VistaPE with many useful tools. The needed scripts for plug-ins are downloaded from the server automatically when the plug-in is activated: a manual download and configuration is not necessary!
VistaPE offers some advantages above BartPE where the most important is the better support for hardware (like the support for many SATA connections and RAID configurations). The better support is caused by the bigger database of hardware drivers by Windows Vista. When the SATA or RAID drivers are already available, they don't have to be added manually at the startup of VistaPE which result in immediate access to those hard disks! The biggest disadvantage of VistaPE is the consumption of system resources which results in a long time to boot the PE (especially on an older computer, and only if the hardware is supported). In those cases, it is better to use BartPE...
With the free tool WinBuilder (download: www.vistape.net) and the installation DVD of Windows Vista, it is easy to build VistaPE and burn it on a CD or DVD. To start WinBuilder, it is necessary to unzip the downloaded RAR archive first with a free tool like 7-Zip (download: www.7-zip.org/nl/). After activation of plug-ins at the tab Scripts, they are downloaded (or updated) from the server automatically on the tab Download. For a problem free building of VistaPE, keep the following tips in mind:
ATTENTION: Sometimes it is hard to download from the website www.vistape.net, probably because of the limited bandwidth. When the downloading of scripts results in errors, give it another try later on.
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