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I have a 16GB USB flash drive that I want to set up like this:

  • It boots WinPE

  • It has useful diagnostic and system maintenance tools

  • There are several .ISO files of operating system install DVDs on the flash drive

  • I can mount one of the .ISO files and start an OS install.

Perhaps there's a way I can use Virtual CloneDrive within WinPE?

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If all you need to do is install the OS you could use Diskpart to partition the drive, ImageX to copy a custom .wim file to the partition and BCDboot to copy boot information to the system partition.

Check this out for more info.

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Personally, I use GRUB4DOS to do things like this. It's a boot loader capable of booting from ISO images, floppy images or partitions located on any media (USB, CDROM/DVDROM etc.). I personally have a USB stick with WinPE/ImageX, a huge collection of diagnostics and install media for Win7 and a few linux distros.

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Maybe you can try ImDisk. I've used this to install Windows 7 from a USB disk where Windows wouldn't install if it did not see its files on a DVD. I used the steps here to install the driver from the command line.

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