Create a bootable Windows environment with AOMEI PE Builder

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 25, 2014
Windows, Windows software

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.

aomei pe builder

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:

  • Add files and portable tools to the environment. A couple of tools are already included by default including the file recovery software Recuva, the search tool Everything or the pdf reader Sumatra PDf.
  • Add drivers. This can be useful if devices are not supported by default by Windows or only with limited functionality.
  • Decide whether to burn the data to disc, create a bootable USB Flash drive or save the ISO file to the local hard drive.

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

Closing Words

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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AOMEI PE Builder
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  1. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    Does it come back after every “moment” update?

  2. Baloney said on March 9, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah right.. Like this is going to stop defender from running =) This is comedy gold right here.

  3. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    no ‘about the author’ paragraph?

  4. Gregory said on March 9, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    For permanent disable defender is if removed complete from system no just change permission folder.

    Just this is joke.

  5. moi said on March 9, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    simpler, load Autoruns (SysInternals)
    – filter “Defender”
    – untag all entries
    – reboot
    nothing has changed since my 1st modification years ago

  6. John G. said on March 9, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    I wouldn’t disable Defender imho, it has too many hidden roots inside Windows itself. One time I tried to uninstall it using brute force scripts and then the Onedrive feature stopped working definitely. A reinstallation was needed and since those times I prefer to maintain Defender untouched. It’s a better method to install another antivirus and it will disable Defender in a safer and easier mode (e.g., Avast is the best in this way, and also Panda Cloud Free is good too).

  7. boris said on March 10, 2023 at 12:19 am

    You can not stop defender from running in background or remove it without some penalty. All you can do is to limit telemetry.

    1. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:52 pm


      It’s probably Smartscreen which is preventing WD from being disabled. Get rid of that and the problem should be solved:

  8. hoho said on March 10, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Remove Windows and go for Linux.

    1. basingstoke said on March 10, 2023 at 2:51 pm

      Linux sucks dude. Besides it’s not comparable to Windows, these OSes are in different classes entirely.

      1. Derp said on March 10, 2023 at 4:36 pm

        I use Linux as my daily driver. It’s far more stable than Windows. When’s the last time you used Linux, 2010?

      2. Bromosexual said on March 11, 2023 at 2:04 am


        You’re right, dude. Bro, linux is just a bunch of code that starts before the OS, dude. Brobrodude, that shit ain’t even got emojis, dudebrodudeman! Dudebro, it’s no way near as cool as Windows with its hardcoded abilities to make money off the user, bro. Yo brodude man, you’re the coolest dude ever man, bro. Dude.

      3. basingstoke said on August 16, 2023 at 7:20 pm

        Lol what? Windows 7 doesn’t come with any Emojis

  9. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Download Autoruns and remove the checkmark from Windows Defender. It doesn’t remove it, but it will never run.

  10. Simon said on March 10, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Just use “Defender Control”:

    Per this video,
    it also works on Windows 11 too…

  11. Someone said on March 10, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Win Defender, is completly the most succesful free-built in antivirus of Microsoft. Really nice product. Saved my ass a lot of times. Has updated malware database, completly strong defence
    from whatever smart screen disables. Or if you want better and more upgrated (paid) program,
    you can go further. But defender is always on your side.

  12. CalixtoWVR1 said on March 10, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    Why would one disable Windows (or Microsoft) Defender in the first place?. I consider this to be playing with fire big time. Everybody knows that if one is using another A-V, Defender will be disabled on its own and won’t be in one’s way.

  13. Ed D said on March 10, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    Why would I want to disable Windows Defender in the first place? It’s a great anti virus in my opinion. Been using it since Windows 8 and and never had a problem or a virus. Why mess with a good thing, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  14. owl said on August 17, 2023 at 1:57 am

    How a ridiculous article!
    I am thoroughly stunned.

    Why Should You Disable First-Party Windows Defender?
    I can only think that it is “malice or perversely intention (want you to buy a third-party AV where you can expect a back margin)” to guide invalidation without showing the premise.
    No sane company will use third-party closed source programs (such as AV).

    As I thought, “Ghacks Technology News” seems to be coming to downfall.

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