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Table 1: WinPE and WinRE Commands and Programs

How To Make and Use a Bootable WinPE Drive
By

WinPE and WinRE commands and programs

Name
WinPE
WinRE
Explanation/Notes
arp
Yes
YesX
The TCP/IP address resolution protocol maps between MAC and IP addresses
assoc
Yes
Yes
Manage associations between file extensions and file types/applications
bcdedit
Yes
Yes
Manipulate Windows Vista Boot Configuration Data store
bootcfg
Yes
No
Enables users to manage contents of the boot.ini file (Vista uses BCD but maps to boot.ini)
bootrec
No
Yes
WinRE’s premiere boot recovery tool (along with bootcfg)
cd
Yes
Yes
Change/list directory command
chkdskYes
Yes
Checks layout and structure of Windows disks, with some repair capability
chknftsYes
Yes
Checks layout and structure of NTFS volumes at boot time
cls
Yes
Yes
Clears the command window
color
Yes
Yes
Lets users set foreground (text) and background color in the command window
copy
Yes
Yes
File copy command
date
Yes
Yes
View or set today's date
del
Yes
Yes
File delete command
dir
Yes
Yes
List directory contents
diskpart
Yes
Yes
Create, modify, and manage disk partitions at the command line
doskey
Yes
Yes
Command line editing, recall, and macro definition tool
echo
Yes
Yes
Repeats input text verbatim
endlocal
Yes
Yes
Ends localization of variables in a batch environment
erase
Yes
Yes
Deletes one or more files
exit
Yes
Yes
Closes command window environment (reboots WinPE, closes WinRE command window)
find
Yes
Yes
Search for input text string in one or more target files
format
Yes
Yes
Format hard disk, UFD, or floppy disk
ftp
Yes
YesX
Invoke command line File Transfer Protocol client services
ftype
Yes
Yes
Use to display filetypes or to manipulate files by type
ipconfig
Yes
YesX
Display or manage Windows TCP/IP configuration
md
Yes
Yes
Make new directory (same as mkdir which is not listed here but works)
more
Yes
Yes
Manages screen output in screen-size chunks
mountvol
Yes
Yes
List, create, or delete a volume mount point
move
Yes
Yes
Move files, renames files and directories
net
Yes
YesX
A whole family of network service and function controls
netsh
Yes
YesX
Another whole family of network service and function controls
nbtstat
Yes
YesX
Display statistics related to NetBIOS over TCP/IP traffic on the network
netstat
Yes
YesX
Display general TCP and UDP connections, port assignments, and activities
path
Yes
Yes
Show or manipulate contents of the Windows path variable
pathping
Yes
Yes
Send an orderly sequence of PING commands to all nodes on a network path
ping
Yes
Yes
Send an ICMP echo request to some target address to assess reachability and response time
popd
Yes
Yes
Changes to directory specified in the pushd command (command extensions must be enabled)
print
Yes
Yes
Provides access to print services from the command line
prompt
Yes
Yes
Changes command prompt shown in the command window to solicit input (command extensions must be enabled)
pushd
Yes
Yes
store desired directory target for popd (command extensions must be enabled)
recover
Yes
Yes
recover readable data from a damaged or defective disk drive
reg
Yes
Yes
command line registry editing/inspection tool
regedit
Yes
Yes
Both WinRE and WinPE will open the built-in Windows Registry Editor
regsvr32
Yes
Yes
use to register or unregister OLE and ActiveX controls, important for troubleshooting
rem
Yes
Yes
inserts a text comment into a batch or script file
ren
Yes
Yes
same as rename; use to rename files or directories
replace
Yes
Yes
replace one or more files in a source directory from a target directory
rmdir
Yes
Yes
delete directory (also rd)
robocopy
Yes
Yes
robust file copy for Windows offers wide range of copy controls/checks
route
Yes
YesX
inspect and manage the contents of TCP/IP static routing table
rundll32
Yes
Yes
manages relationships between DLLs and devices on a PC; important troubleshooting tool
set
Yes
Yes
inspect, add, alter, or delete global environment variables
setlocal
Yes
Yes
inspect, add, alter, or delete local environment variables
sfc
Yes
No
system file checker; use with /verifyonly to check Windows OS files
start
Yes
Yes
opens a separate window to run a program or command
subst
Yes
Yes
use to associate a path with a virtual drive letter
time
Yes
Yes
view or set current time
title
Yes
Yes
sets title for command window
tracert
Yes
YesX
traces all routers between sending and target Internet hosts
type
Yes
Yes
writes contents of target file to command window display
ver
Yes
Yes
displays Windows version in use (6.0.6001 for Vista SP1)
verify
Yes
Yes
verifies accuracy of file copies upon completion
vol
Yes
Yes
display or alter disk/volume name
xcopy
Yes
Yes
tool for copying multiple files and entire directory structures

Note: yesX in the WinRE column means the command interpreter recognizes the command, but because WinRE doesn’t load network drivers, it do

Display all 13 comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    masterwhitman , January 29, 2009 3:52 PM
    What, no mention of BartPE or UBCD4Win (Ultimate Boot CD for Windows)? These are two projects that are vastly superior to Microsoft's method (both are built on WinPE but have expanded capabilities) and are far easier to use.
  • 3 Hide
    richwag , January 29, 2009 8:32 PM
    Nice guide. Never knew about it. Thanks.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 30, 2009 1:52 AM
    when I saw this I thought it was going to be a review of Bart's PEBuilder... It's saved my a$$ many times. Far superior to WinPE...

    How about a comparison/companion article? or an article on tools gearheads & techies find indespensible?
  • 0 Hide
    average joe , January 30, 2009 2:11 AM
    Vista's PE is far more advanced than XP's. The BartPE project is based of XP's PE. Barts is amazingly useful and I can't wait till they move to from PE 1.1 to PE 2.0.

    Some "fairly new" systems will not boot from usb so always carry a cd version as a backup.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 30, 2009 11:46 AM
    "I usually grab Imagex.exe and the Package Manager using the commands shown in the next screen capture."

    Hmmm... I don't see a 'next screen capture' showing the commands used to get imagex and Package Manager.
  • 0 Hide
    LightWeightX , January 30, 2009 1:24 PM
    Good start to the guide until you get to the WinRE. In section 5, step 2, you describe using imagex and the secret is the number 2 argument however you do not give an example of the command. In the WinPE you use a 240 MB partition, then in WinRE you state you need at least 512 MB.
  • 0 Hide
    sdybas , January 30, 2009 3:06 PM
    Show us howto "use imagex to grab the Windows RE image from the Vista-installation media." Thanks.
  • 0 Hide
    jfutima , January 31, 2009 12:45 AM
    Yes please follow up on the last few comments, I am stuck in that spot.
    Thanks.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 31, 2009 3:55 PM
    Good article, but it makes a few omissions and goofs here and there.
    1. For using imagex to grab the WinRE image, check out this link:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/winre/archive/2006/12/12/creating-winre-using-waik.aspx
    2. "x64" won't work when you're using copype.cmd - it has to be "AMD64". Just replace all instances of x64 with AMD64 in this procedure, and it'll work.
    3. For the image showing how to grab imagex and the package manager, click on the picture above the text to open up the gallery, then click one pic forward.
  • 0 Hide
    jfutima , February 2, 2009 7:32 PM
    thanks suigi!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 8, 2009 2:08 PM
    There's another option I've found to be a lifesaver for disaster recovery. I can't afford to lose access to my business laptop, but I also am lazy and tend not to back things up, so I do 3 things:

    1. I synchronize two laptops using Microsoft's free Windows Live Sync. This synchronizes specified folders, even through firewalls. I used to use FolderMatch or Syncback SE manually, but Live Sync is completely automated and works over the internet or home network. This makes sure I always have two copies of my data. It also protects against laptop hardware failures to some extent, although since I don't have all the exact applications on both computers, it's not a complete solution.

    2. To protect against outright disk failures and boot problems, I always clone my laptop drive. It's cheap insurance for $50 for a 120GB drive. Use DriveClone (drive must be the same size) or Acronis (can size partitions down or up) and make a clone of your "golden" image. Typically, this is a "virgin" install of all my apps, with updates. I keep the clone in a safe place, and if I ever have a disaster, I just pop the virgin drive in, and recover my data from my backup laptop.

    3. For email, which contains a lot of my critical data, I use our corporate Exchange server which automatically gets backed up. Because we have size limits, I keep my own archive instead of relying on Exchange. At the end of the year on New Years Eve, I take my entire Inbox, Sent Items, Calendar, and Contacts for the year and store them to a shared Live Sync folder. This keeps my .OST file down to a manageable size, and keeps my infrequently accessed archives in a safe place.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 11, 2009 5:09 PM
    I may have to try this, just to see how it compares to the product I just purchased... Active@Boot Disk. It's basically the same idea, but a lot easier and it comes with some tools that look very handy, including a password changer, disk-clone, etc. I'm not advertising for them, I only just installed it yesterday. Typical Murphy's-law kind of thing, right after I buy something, I find a free version. I suspect the free version wouldn't eventually have given me what I wanted, but I'm wondering after reading some of your comments, how would I install an application to the PE version? I tried on one app and since there's no registry to change, I get an error. I recall reading somewhere about how to get around that, but don't remember where.

    Great article, can't wait to try it out. Always nice having multiple ways of doing a similar task. Often one tool won't work for some reason, where another one does just what you need it to.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 15, 2011 11:42 AM
    Stupid people, Bart's is WinPE
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