16 January, 2008

How To Create "Windows Xp Live CD"

You may have heard about Bootable Windows CD's and Live CD's of different version of Linux system, but what we are trying to do is make your very one Windows xp live CD (yes! you heard it right, it is not just a bootable CD but "live CD")

Before describing how to make a Windows xp live CD, let me tell you when and how you can use this CD:

It will give you a complete Win32 environment with network support, a graphical user interface (800x600) and FAT/NTFS/CDFS file system support. Very handy for burn-in testing systems with no OS, rescuing files to a network share, virus scan and so on

With Windows Xp live CD You can:

--Boot your system after some fatal error, with support of network in 800x600 GUI.

--To boot and fix your windows xp problems, even when you are unable to boot into safe mode.

- -Backup your all personal documents to safe drive or external drives before formatting your C drive after a system failure.

- -Use for other various purposes "as and when necessary".

Well now-a-days different utilities and methods are available to create the XP live cd but the easiest way to do this is using a software called Pebuilder. Using it, you can create an XP Live CD in just few minutes.

Before you begin, prepare the Tools/Software's you need:

1. Pebuilder3110al.exe, the main software needed for this process; which is a freeware and can be downloaded from: http://www.nu2.nu/download.php?sFile=pebuilder3110a.exe which is 3.15 MB.

2. Main Plugins: xpe-1.0.7.cab (the GUI shell) that can be downloaded freely by selecting from http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=126922&package_id=140740

or directly from:


or from

http://tinyurl.com/2ct72t which is only about 482 kb in size.

3. Nero Burning ROM

4. A (bootable) XP CD

Now the Process:

First Download the latest PE Builder version (self-installing package) and install it.

Start PE Builder (pebuilder.exe). When you start PE Builder for the first time it will ask if you agree with the license agreement.

While running for the first time PE Builder will ask to search for windows installation files. If you don't have your windows XP setup/installation files on your system you must insert the original Microsoft Windows XP installation/setup CD at this point. Otherwise follow these steps:

1. Look in the "Source" tab Under "Builder" and specify the source path to the Windows installation file. This should be your Windows XP installation bootable CD, or win xp installation folder back up in your hard drive, where the i386 folder resides (Please be aware and informed that the files you have at c:\windows are not installation files. They are your already installed files! and it won't work here.)

  1. Click "Plugins" and add the plugins you've downloaded. and click on "Add" and browse to the location where "xpe-1.0.7.cab" is saved and include it in the plugins.
  2. Since you've included xpe-1.0.7.cab, disable "nu2shell" and the "startup group"
  3. Specify the ISO image file by giving a name to ISO file and selecting a location to save the ISO image and dick "Build" (Be sure that you have checked on "Create ISO image")
  4. After that's done, use Nero (or any other burning software) and bum the image into a blank CD.

Voila! now your very own "Windows xp Live CD" is ready and can use it as and when necessary.

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