Wednesday, June 1, 2016

WinPE USB creation process

To create a basic bootable WinPE USB drive, use the following steps.

Launch an evaluated command prompt.  Use the following commands.

c:\windows\system32> diskpart

diskpart> list disk

diskpart> select disk #

diskpart> clean

diskpart> create partition primary

diskpart> select partition 1

diskpart> active

diskpart> format fs=fat32 quick

diskpart> assign letter x



Download the Windows ADK for your operating system via the link below:

Install Windows PreInstallation Environment (Windows PE); deselect the other components.




First find the DandISetEnv.bat batch file under Deployment Tools subfolder and execute it to set the variables within the command line session.


Find the copype.cmd batch file and execute the following command:

copype.cmd amd64 c:\temp\winpe_amd64


This will change the directory of the command prompt to the destination by default.


Copy the output to the root of the USB drive with the following command.

robocopy c:\temp\winpe_amd64\media x: /e /xd *-*


At this point, the USB drive should be ready to boot from. 


Some available commands are listed below.

Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit and Data Eraser

The Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit is a diagnostic tool that performs tests against the Surface hardware and software pieces significant to hardware operation to report on any specific problems that it finds. It works for Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Surface 3 LTE, Surface 3, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro.

Also included within the toolkit is the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser.  It is an utility that can be used to create an USB boot drive. An USB stick of at least 4 GB is required since OS boot files are copied along with the data wiping application.

The Surface device must be configured to boot from USB in the firmware. To do this:

  1. Turn off the Surface device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up button.
  3. Press and release the Power button to power the device.
  4. Release the Volume Up button.

Once booted to the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB drive, the utility provides 3 options:

  • S = initiate the Data Erase process
  • D = this option allows you to run diskpart.exe to manage the partitions on the device
  • X = cancel the operation and shut down the device

The Microsoft Surface Data Eraser Utility works for the Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Surface 3 LTE, and Surface Pro 2.


OSFClone is a free, self-booting solution which enables you to create or clone exact raw disk images.  In addition to raw disk images, OSFClone also supports imaging drives to the open Advance Forensics Format (AFF). AFF is an open and extensible format to store disk images and associated metadata.


Easy2Boot is an utility for Windows or Linux to create a bootable USB drive.

Office 365 Support and Recovery Assistant

Office 365 Support and Recovery Assistant is an utility to check for common issues with Office 365.


SmokePing measures latency and packet loss that can be analyzed over time to reveal changes in latency that can be used for troubleshooting or network planning. It does this by firing off Ping packets at regular intervals and recording the response times. Spikes that show up on graphs of the data gathered indicate when response-time troubles arise and can help narrow down investigations into their causes.


OpenNMS is a network monitoring service.  OpenNMS can generate its own events or receive events from outside sources, such as SNMP Traps, syslog or TL/1.

Ringtone Maker for Windows 10 Mobile

Ringtone Maker allows for the creation of a custom ring tone based on an existing music file.

Remove lines with a particular character within Notepad++

Notepad++ has a feature to remove lines within a text file that includes a particular character.  To start the process, use Control + F to open the Find dialog box.  Access the Mark tab.  Enable the Bookmark line option.  Enter the character to search for.  Click on the Mark All button.  This should select the line or lines within the main window.

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Under Search –> Bookmark, use the option Remove Bookmarked Lines.

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