Bart’s PE Builder helps you build a “BartPE” (Bart Preinstalled Environment) bootable Windows CD-Rom or DVD from the original Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 installation/setup CD, very suitable for PC maintenance tasks.

It will give you a complete Win32 environment with network support, a graphical user interface (800×600) and FAT/NTFS/CDFS filesystem support. Very handy for burn-in testing systems with no OS, rescuing files to a network share, virus scan and so on.
This will replace any Dos bootdisk in no time!

I was following this a few (probably about 8 now…) months ago when it was dealing with the legal side of things, and was temporarily unavailable. I had forgotten about it until I stumbled across it in a search for other info last week. I haven’t actually made mine yet, but I plan to soon. I thought it looked awesome back then, and it only seems to have improved since then. It can be extended via plugins, which appear to require a bit of manual work to install (downloading programs or including your own licensed versions).

It’s really a basic version of Windows XP on a CD or DVD. This means it can get around some limitations imposed by any form of DOS boot disk (even if it’s emulated on a CD). You can access storage devices not detected by the BIOS (USB or some fibre channel devices) and very large (>2TB) NTFS volumes. Obviously not a huge deal to everyone, but if you need it, you can’t really do without it. The process for making this CD, especially with lots of custom stuff, is probably above most AOLers, but if you’re interested in this sort of thing, you can probably handle it.

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