How to install Windows Preinstall Environment using USB Flash Disk(UFD) on Intel D865PERL Board

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Published on: Tuesday, 27th March, 2012

I went into trouble of finding a solution to format my old PC which uses Intel D865PERL motherboard. The only option left is to format using USB Flash Disk method which the motherboard supports, though it does not recognises flat file structures of the USB Flash Disk. I had 2 failed DVD drives so the only option left is through USB.

However, turns out that with Production 21 (P21) version of BIOS, the motherboard cannot understand a normal Windows Preinstalled Environment (WinPE) structure and it keeps giving a Boot Error as it does not understand how to read the bootmgr normally.

Therefore, after couple of days figuring it out, I managed to use FreeDOS to boot up a WinPE ISO image stored in the USB Flash Disk, installed Windows 7 on it, and let manage to get all components to work and successfully completed my Windows 7 32bit installation on the old PC.

I have detailed out the ways and method to prepare and install your WinPE on old motherboards (which mostly affects Intel boards) should you encouter unable to read boot file error when attempting to perform normal Windows boot from USB installation.

This workaround works well and once it is able to install the simple setup files it will ask for Media files to be loaded and gives an error that it cannot detect the necessary media to load drivers (your USB Flash Disk with winpe.iso Image file), you will need to switch to the normal USB Flash Disk with all the bootable flat file structure files (prepared using WintoFlash or RMPrepUSB, called PD2 in this guide).

Here is the guide and good luck.

How to install Windows Preinstall Environment using USB Flash Disk(UFD) on Intel D865PERL Board

1)      Requirements

  1. 2 Pendrives (or 1 pendrive if you want to format the same pendrive twice)
  2. RMPrepUSB
  3. FreeDOS (if not included with RMPrepUSB)
  4. Grub4DOS (if not included with RMPrepUSB)
  5. Windows Preinstall Environment ISO image (windows 7/windows xp)


2)      Preparing Files and Pendrives

  1. Use Notepad and create ‘menu.lst’ file with the following:
  2. Notice that ‘BOOTMGR’ is in capital letters to match winpe.iso  Boot Manager (change to small letters if it cannot find boot manager)

find –set-root /winpe.iso
map /winpe.iso (hd32)
map –hook
chainloader /BOOTMGR


find –set-root /winpe.iso
map –mem /winpe.iso (fd0)
map –hook
chainloader (fd0)/BOOTMGR
rootnoverify (fd0)


title 3 FLOPPY EMULATION – No ramdisk
find –set-root /winpe.iso
map /winpe.iso (fd0)
map –hook
chainloader (fd0)/BOOTMGR
rootnoverify (fd0)

3. Create an empty file ‘FDCONFIG.SYS’ with the following


4. Create an empty folder and put the following 5 files in

ii.     menu.lst
iii.    KERNEL.SYS   (if included in FreeDOS creation [RMPrepUSB], then rewrite if needed)
iv.     grub.exe          (if included in Grub4DOS creation [RMPrepUSB], then rewrite if needed)
v.      winpe.iso         (rename your Windows PE ISO to ‘winpe.iso’)


5. Plug in first Pendrive to PC [herein called PD1], run RMPrepUSB with the options:

i.      FREEDOS bootable
ii.     FAT32 (Boot as ZIP first, if not working then try to use Boot as HDD)
iii.    Choose folder created in step [c.] as folder to copy OS file after Format (Copy folder contents, not extract)
iv.     Start Preparing Drive


6. Plug in second Pendrive to PC [herein called PD2], run RMPrepUSB with the options

i.      WinPEv2 or XP bootable (depending on your Windows PE)
ii.     FAT32 (no additional Boot override options needed)
iii.    Select your Windows PE ISO image and ‘Copy OS files after format’
 [remember to let it extract the ISO contents while copying the os]. Alternatively, you can mount the image using Daemon Tools and use WintoFlash to prepare a normal bootable Windows USB Flash Disk.
iv.    Start Preparing Drive


3)       Installation

  1. Slot in the PD1 to the PC with D865PERL Motherboard
  2. Power up the PC and hit F2 to enter BIOS
  3. Check Boot Tab and ensure that PD1 is at highest priority at Boot Disk and HDD (depending on nature of Pendrive and how motherboard recognizes the pendrive)
  4. Press F10 and Save and Exit and wait for it to boot FreeDOS
  5. Once FreeDOS boots, try to use menu item 1 and 2 if possible.
  6. However, only Menu 3 (No RAMdisk) works for this motherboard with P21 version of BIOS version.
  7. The Windows installation should start by now.
  8. The windows installation might not be able to detect setup files and would request you to insert media to load the required drivers. This is because it could not read the ISO image file and cannot find the required files.
  9. Click ‘cancel’ and go back to the ‘Install Now’ screen and swap PD1 with PD2, then start installing Windows as usual.
  10. Over the course of windows installation, the system might restart to complete the installation, however, doing this will allow the BIOS to try to boot from PD2 which will ultimately give you a failure error.
  11. At this point, remove the PD2 from USB port and ‘alt+ctrl+del’ to allow the BIOS to boot windows installed in HDD first, then plug back PD2 and let the windows resume and complete its installation.
  12. After the installation, PD2 can be removed and you will have completed your Windows installation on Intel D865PERL motherboard.
  13. Good luck and enjoy!

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