Do I need WINPE?

Computer Active (UK) - - Problems Solved -

QI’ve seen Macrium Re­flect men­tioned in your pages many times, so thought I’d give it a go. I down­loaded it OK, but as soon as I tried to in­stall it I was pre­sented with a box ask­ing me to ‘Con­firm down­load’, stat­ing that it wanted to down­load a com­po­nent called Mi­crosoft WINPE that’s hun­dreds of megabytes in size. What is this? Do I need it to run Re­flect? Martin Hook

AWINPE is short for ‘Win­dows Pre­in­stal­la­tion En­vi­ron­ment’. It is not an in­te­gral part of Re­flect, and is there­fore not re­quired in or­der to run or use the pro­gram. How­ever, a key fea­ture of Re­flect does rely on WINPE — the abil­ity to cre­ate a res­cue disc or USB stick.

What WINPE specif­i­cally al­lows Re­flect to do is cre­ate a self-con­tained ver­sion of it­self that you can burn to a CD or DVD, or copy to a USB mem­ory stick. If your PC ever goes wrong and won’t start, then you can use your res­cue disc or stick to get it started, as WINPE pro­vides a stripped­down, bootable ver­sion of Win­dows that then al­lows Re­flect it­self to run. So, while you don’t ab­so­lutely need WINPE, we would very much rec­om­mend that you al­low it to in­stall.

If you’re wor­ried about disk space, you can choose where the WINPE files are stored. In Re­flect, open the Other Tasks menu, then se­lect Edit De­faults. Now, at the top, click the Ad­vanced but­ton and, on the left, se­lect Macrium Re­flect PE Files. Fi­nally, in the right-hand pane, tick the box of your pre­ferred drive and then click OK (see screen­shot). To cre­ate a res­cue disc or stick, click the disc icon at the top left and then fol­low the prompts.

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