Windows PE 2.0 is the core deployment foundation for Windows Vista. It is designed to make large-scale, customized deployments of the new Windows Vista operating system notably easier. When Windows Vista launches, Windows PE 2.0 will be available to all Windows Vista corporate customers.
A pre-release version of Windows PE 2.0, built for Windows Vista, is available for download and testing, for all corporate customers participating in the Windows Vista pre-release program. This is now included as part of the Business Desktop Deployment (BDD 2007) solution, available here.
Microsoft Windows Pre-installation Environment (Windows PE) 2.0 is a bootable tool from Microsoft that provides operating system features for installation, troubleshooting, and recovery. Windows PE is not a general-purpose operating system. Instead, it is designed to be used for three specific tasks:
Installing Microsoft Windows Vista. Windows PE runs every time you install Windows Vista. The graphical tools that collect configuration information during the setup phase are running within Windows PE. Additionally, information technology (IT) departments can customize and extend Windows PE to meet their unique deployment needs.
Troubleshooting. Windows PE is also useful for both automatic and manual troubleshooting. For example, if Windows Vista fails to start because of a corrupted system file, Windows PE can automatically start and launch the Windows Recovery Environment. You can also manually start Windows PE to use built-in or custom troubleshooting and diagnostic tools.
Recovery. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) can use Windows PE to build customized, automated solutions for recovering and rebuilding computers running Windows Vista. For example, users could start their computers from Windows PE recovery CDs or recovery partitions to automatically reformat their hard disks and re-install Windows Vista with the original drivers, settings, and applications. Click here for more information.