Create Windows 7 Live Cd By Yourself

March 16, 2011

A CD/DVD that has a fully functional and completely operational operating system is known as a live CD or DVD. It is not necessary to install it on the hard drive and can be directly run from the CD. They are generally used to fix system crash and for data recovery from bad sectors of a hard drive. Unlike windows OS, every variant of Linux distributions in the market come with a live CD/DVD for new users to try out.

Generally, a live CD is created by using BartPE. But BartPE is now obsolete. It has not been updated since February 2006 and cannot be used to create live CD for Windows Vista and 7. BartPE has now been replaced by a software called WinBuilder which was started almost three years ago. It is based Windows Preinstallation Environment, also known as Windows PE. It supports almost all Windows operating systems along with their service packs. It also supports some non-Windows OS like ReactOS. This is a WinBuilder based tutorial.

Firstly, the user needs to copy the contents from their Windows 7 installation disk to the hard drive.

Then WinBuilder has to be downloaded and started on the computer .

Now ‘Win7PE’ has to be selected from the list of projects, and ‘Complete’ option is clicked from the dropdown menu. The ‘Download’ button is clicked next, to start downloading all the necessary files, almost 35MB in size.

After completion of download, the ‘Source Directory’ is pointed to the folder where the installation files of Windows 7 have been copied by clicking on the Source tab.

The live CD is ready to be created now, but the user can customize it by adding third party applications to it.

Adding Applications:

Applications can be added to the CD from the Add Scripts page. The user can search and add the desired applications here. One should be lucky enough to find such previously created scripts. The desired scripts are downloaded which should be within a few hundred kilobytes in size, and ending with .script extension. The script files are then copied to the directory:

\Projects\win7pe\Addons

In actuality, these scripts do not contain the actual applications, but are downloaded when the program is burned to the CD. The added application scripts can be seen under the ‘Addons’ folder. The applications can be customized, depending on how the script was designed by the author.

The user can also create his a new application script but it is a tedious process and needs professional guidance.

Customizing Appearance and Behavior:

The appearance and behavior of the live CD can be customized by clicking on ‘Main Configuration’ menu. Many features like boot skin, boot manager and language can be chosen in here and the screen resolution can also be adjusted.

Other behaviors of the CD can also be modified. The Windows Explorer button size can be increased or decreased by expanding the folder ‘Shell’ and then clicking on Explorer shell. Similarly the desktop wallpaper can also be changed in ‘App’ folder.  The boot screen can be customized by expanding ‘Finalize’ and clicking on ‘Create ISO’ option.

Creating Bootable USB:

The user can also create a live USB by clicking ‘Copy to USB device’ under the ‘Finalize’ section.

Finally the Play button is clicked to begin the burn process. The live CD is generally 250 MB in size but a 512 MB RAM is needed to run it.

The screenshot given below shows Windows 7 running entirely from a live CD. The total memory footprint is just over 500 MB while Internet Explorer and Microsoft Paint applications are open.

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One Response to “Create Windows 7 Live Cd By Yourself”

  1. Gracias! fabuloso aporte, voy a probarlo y te cuento.

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