Booting into another operating system can sometimes be the only course of action available when it comes to troubleshooting PC issues.
This helps if the installed operating system won't boot anymore for whatever reason for example. This can happen after data on the hard drive became corrupt, after a successful malware attack or a system update that did not work correctly.
There are plenty of options to boot into a different environment. It is for instance possible to use a Linux live environment for that, use the original Windows installation disc to open troubleshooting tools, to use a boot disc that comes equipped with multiple tools, or to create so-called Windows PE environments
AOMEI PE Builder is a free program for Windows that lets you create such an environment with minimal effort. All that needs to be done is to start the application after installation and click next a couple of times to do so.
You only need the application itself and no third-party tool or Windows disc or ISO image. It needs to be noted though that the software is only compatible with Windows 7 or newer on the client side and Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer on the server side.
Choices can be but do not have to be made to customize the output. Here is a quick overview of what you can customize during setup:
Several tools are added on top of that as well. AOMEI has integrated the company's own backup solution Backupper and partition manager for instance as well so that they can be used when you boot into the environment.
To use the environment, simply boot into it. If you have burned it to DVD, insert it into the drive of the PC and make sure DVD boot is prioritized over booting from hard drive. The same is true for booting from a USB Flash drive that you have copied the data to.
The computer boots into the environment automatically then, loads drivers and provides you with access to the Windows Desktop.
You can start all tools included on the disc or drive automatically from there or connect to a network to download data using the network connection
What I like the most about AOMEI PE Builder is that it is dead easy to setup and use. If you find the integrated tools sufficient, all you need to do is decide if you want to burn the environment to a DVD or copy it to a Flash drive.
Since core troubleshooting programs such as a partition manager, backup software or boot manager are included, there is little that you may require in addition to what is delivered by default.
It is however easy to integrate other programs, as long as they are portable, so that it is possible to use a different program for a task already supported or add programs for tasks that are not.
It may make sense to add a portable web browser for example or an anti-virus solution that can be used with or without network connection.
This is a great tool that can be very useful.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.