Bart PE is a very useful tool for IT admin, because it gives the possibility to access an unbootable system by booting from the CD-Rom, and then enjoy a Windows like environment (some people would say there is nothing to enjoy there, but…) with network access, disk utilities, anti-virus and a lot of other tools…

What is BartPE ?

BartPE is a software created by Bart Lagerweii that enables you to create CD-Roms from which you can boot your computer into a Windows like environment.

Then, you can have access to the network, use anti-virus, anti-spyware, check your hard drives with Checkdisk, transfer your important files to a network drive or a USB hard drive, go to the internet and download…

It is really impressive in the sense that it gives you access to your computer in about the same way that your operating system does.

Also, it is customizable: you can add many plug-ins and functionalities to a basic core of capabilities.

I use it at work, and it saved my life a couple of times, because:
– it enabled me to rescue data files out of an unbootable system to a network drive or a USB hard drive. I could then proceed to a full re-installation (with HDD format) with peace of mind : the files of the user were safe.

– I could clean a system of viruses that prevented it to boot normally.

– I could repair a damaged HDD with Checkdisk and enable the system to boot again.

How does it work ?

First, download and install on your computer the Bart PE core application.

Then, choose the plug ins that you want to add to the basic core from an very extensive list of sites.

Add the plugins to the core, configure them…

Finally, create a CD-ROM image and burn it.

Everything is explained in detail, and all the downloads are available at

Is it legal ?

As long as you have a valid Windows installation CD-Rom, this is legal.

A ready made version ?

I created a version of BartPe for myself. It includes the following plugins and functionality:
– Network drivers for Dell optiplex desktop up to SX 280 and GX 620, for IBM ThinkPad T41 and T43, for Dell Precision 670. May work for other models also.
– USB hard drives drivers.
– diskPart, Chkdsk.
– Mcafee antivirus, Ad-aware anti-spyware.
– Acrobat reader.
– Mozilla firefox.
– Irfanview (image editing)
– Remote desktop connection
– Putty (SSL client)
– Registrar lite to edit the registry.
– Treesize to analyze how the HDD is filled.
– UltraVNC (including server)
– Unstopcoppy
– WinRAR, Winzip

As I already wrote above, it saved my life a couple of time…

You can download the ISO image to burn the boot CD-Rom from here