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Booting WINPE from USB


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I hope I'm not asking an old question.

I have created USB sticks, with WINPE that boot successfully. No problem there.

I use a program called PE2USB.EXE which creates a bootable USB stick from my WINPE 2003 SP1 source.

I need the USB to ask 'Press Any Key to Boot ...' that a 2003 CDROM will do. At the moment it does not ask, but always boots the USB.

I know it is something to do with the BOOTFIX.BIN. Usually it is removed so the question is not asked, but I eed it to be asked, as I will be leaving the USB stick attached to servers so they can be rebuilt remotely.

I have copied the BOOTFIX.BIN to the root of the USB, it is already present in \MININT, but I never get asked the question.

Can anybody help?

PS. I don't want to use the ramdisk method of booting an .iso of WINPE off the USB either. As at the moment I can have a custom IP address for each USB stick, for each server.

Edited by j14nsx
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My answer would have been to put in the BOOTFIX.BIN too; maybe it's some sort of limitation to the USB stick? Odd... I'd wager that if you built it using the ISO Ramdisk method you could get it to work, but I know you don't want to go down that road.

Not to ask a dumb question, but have you tried googling something like "USB PE Bootfix.bin" or thereabouts? I'd wager you're not the first person who needs something like this...

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I'tell you how I manage that problem, my way is not necessarily the one you want or the best one.

I use Grub4DOS as a boot manager.

Read this:


AND search on the 911cd forums for threads with "Grub4DOS", AND read them.

Basically I boot from the stick into grldr and have a menu.lst similar to the one posted here:


of which the relevant part is:

# This is a basic menu.lst file for GRUB4DOS

# Following is the timeout for the default choice

# By not pressing any key during the timeout, the default will be chosen

timeout 10

# Following is the menu item that will default

default 0

# This reflects the "normal" behaviour of a PC

# i.e. booting the first partition of first harddisk

# By setting it as default with timeout 10 seconds (see above)

# We try to replicate somehow the "Press any key to boot from CD..." message

# of Microsoft Install CDs, this way if no key is pressed, as an example for

# unattended installs, the system will boot "normally" even if CD (or USB stick) is inserted

# of course if the "any" you press is [ENTER] system will boot from this entry

title Boot Hard Disk MBR on (hd0,0)

chainloader (hd0,0)+1

rootnoverify (hd0)

Latest version of Grub4DOS is here:



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