Step-by-Step Solutions for Common Problems.

WinPE/BartPE Support

Run our programs from a boot CD-ROM. This article describes the BartPE boot CD-ROM. As an alternative, you can also use the easier to create, ready-to-use Runtime Live CD.

What is WinPE?

Microsoft's WinPE is a stripped down version of Windows XP capable of running from boot CD-ROMs. Its name stands for "Windows Preinstallation Environment". It is used as an installation platform for OEM/Enterprise customers.

WinPE does not require a hard drive to boot, it can run solely from a CD drive using the memory for dynamic data. This feature makes WinPE appealing for data recovery and system maintenance purposes. In fact, you can run our software from such a CD-ROM.

WinPE is not available for end user customers, but all files needed for WinPE to run are included in a retail Windows XP installation CD.

What is BartPE?

Bart Lagerweij's PE Builder is a utility that allows you to create your own bootable CD-ROM ("BartPE") by extracting the necessary files from your Windows XP installation CD.

PE Builder lets you add other applications by using "plugins". Below you can find plugins for most of our products.

Another extremely useful feature of BartPE is the ability to create a boot CD-ROM that provides network access. Yes, you can even surf the Internet from such a CD-ROM.

Watch our tutorial on YouTube about creating a BartPE Boot CD-ROM.

Available Plugins

Since the bootable CD-ROM extends the possible uses of our products, we have generated plugins for most of our products:

The plugins contain the necessary files from Runtime Software, the plugin ".inf" file and a brief help page. If the software needs a license key you can enter the license key in the application at run-time or in advance in a certain section inside the ".inf" file. We kept the plugins as small as possible; therefore, we did not include the help file (CHM) or the startup flash logo.

Possible Uses

The most compelling benefit of BartPE is that you can run our data recovery software on the affected computer without interfering with the hard drive you want to recover data from. Remember, if you want to recover data you must not write anything to the affected drive, leaving you in trouble if the drive in question was the system (C:) drive. With a bootable CD-ROM and our plugins you can recover your data without installing a new operating system.

Here are some typical uses:

  • Do a data recovery with GetDataBack without having to install a complete Windows operating system. Boot from a CD-ROM and run the data recovery entirely from there using the RAM for dynamic data. Copy the recovered data to another hard drive or - if you have network access enabled - to a network destination.
  • Edit your hard drive with DiskExplorer. Have unlimited access to any area on any of your drives. For example, after booting from the CD-ROM you can let DiskExplorer overwrite your whole drive with zeros.
  • Easily make an image of a drive, locally or through the network.
  • Use a boot CD-ROM and restore your system drive from a backup with DriveImage XML.
Creation of a bootable CD-ROM

Download Bart's PE Builder from to a working computer with a CD/RW drive. If you are in a data recovery situation this computer must not be the computer where want to recover data from.

Please read Bart's notes and instructions on PE Builder. Beside the text you are just reading, we cannot provide support regarding BartPE and PE Builder.

Extract the download to c:\pebuilder. Make sure you leave the directory structure intact.

Download the desired plugin from the list above. In PE Builder click "Add" and select the downloaded CAB file.

Finally, for the "GetDataBack for FAT" plugin, your directory structure should look like this:
















Add any other plugins you might need.

Start PEBUILDER.EXE and follow the instructions. You will need to provide a Windows XP /w SP1 installation CD-ROM. If you do not have Service Pack 1 on this CD-ROM follow the instructions at

Make sure the desired plugins are displayed and enabled. If you want network support you need to enable the "Network Support" plugin. Click "PluginHelp" for more information.

Let PE Builder create the ISO image.

Using your favorite CD-ROM burning software burn this ISO image to a blank CD-ROM.

Now you are ready to boot from the just created CD-ROM. After boot-up click on Go->Programs and select the program you want to run.


We do not endorse running our programs under WinPE or a boot CD-ROM created with PE Builder (BartPE). You assume all risks from the use of our software. Since WinPE is a very reduced version of Windows XP you should run our software only if special circumstances prohibit the use in a full Windows XP. Some features might not be available and our software might behave unpredictably. Due to limited resources on WinPE our software can close unexpectedly. When using our software under a boot CD-ROM the help system and foreign language modules are not available.

When you use our software or the plugins posted above beyond the restrictions of the shareware evaluation version you must have purchased a valid license key from Runtime Software, LLC. You are not allowed to give away boot CD-ROMs containing the full version of our software. You are not allowed to use a boot CD-ROM to circumvent license restrictions.

We do not provide support for creating a bootable CD-ROM or for the use of our software running from a bootable CD-ROM.

PE Builder is copyrighted by Bart Lagerweij.
Windows XP and WinPE are copyrighted by Microsoft.
DiskExplorer, GetDataBack, Captain Nemo, RAID Reconstructor and HDHost are copyrighted by Runtime Software, LLC.