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VistaPE logo.png
VistaPE Live CD.png
VistaPE booted off a Live CD
Developer(s) nightman
Initial release December 1, 2006
Stable release
12 RC1 / 21.10.2008
Preview release
v12RC1 / October 21, 2008 (2008-10-21)
Development status continued/under development
Platform the Live CD should run on any x86 computer

VistaPE is a project (set of scripts) for WinBuilder to create a Live CD based on the kernel of Windows Vista.
VistaPE uses technology from and largely resembles Windows Preinstallation Environment 2.0 (from Microsoft), but has a graphical shell, expanded set of supported devices and functions, and can run almost any Windows program.


  • Possibility to either fully or partially load VistaPE at startup into memory (boot.wim)
  • Support for a large number of SATA/RAID/SCSI/NIC drivers (thanks to the DriverPacks project).
  • Able to read and write NTFS/FAT32/FAT/Ext2/Ext3 partitions
  • Full networking support
  • Automatic hardware detection (PnP)
  • Booting from CD/HDD/UFD/Network
  • Compatibility with Microsoft Windows Vista
  • A wide range of programs and shells (Explorer, LiteStep, BS Explorer ...)
  • Automatic creation shortcuts for programs
  • No limits regarding the maximum number of open processes
  • Ability to remove VistaPE boot media while VistaPE is running (using boot.wim)
  • Full multilanguage support

Portable applications[edit]

It is complicated to install applications on the RAM of a Live CD, and all the changes made to those programs and the installation itself will be lost once the computer is rebooted, so a good alternative is to use portable applications, that can be run from either the Live CD, or from a USB flash drive connected to the computer; there is even software dedicated to create those portable applications (VMware ThinApp, Virtual Application Studio or others).


The default Live CD is less than 200MB in size.[citation needed]

See also[edit]