3.1 Creating a Windows PE Emergency Recovery Disk

This section explains how to create a bootable Emergency Recovery Disk (ERD) using Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE). When it is booted, the ERD provides access to the Emergency Recovery application you can use to perform recovery operations on a device.

3.1.1 Prerequisites

Before you can create a Windows PE ERD, you must complete the following on the device where you plan to create the ERD:

  • Download and install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for the applicable operating system: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/get-started/adk-install. For Windows 10 1809 and later versions, you also need to download and install the Windows PE Add-on for ADK.


    • The ZENworks recovery application is designed to work with an ERD created from the Windows ADK and Windows PE. The ERD can be used to recover devices on any Windows operating system.

    • For Windows 11, generate the ERD using windows 10 ADK.

      You can not decrypt the Windows 11 agents with ERDs generated using windows 11 ADK. So as a work-around, you can use ERDs generated using Windows 10 ADK to decrypt the windows 11 agents.

      To decrypt the Windows 11 agents with ERD, perform the following steps:

      1. Generate the ERD using the windows 10 ADK.

      2. Connect the ERD to agent. For more information, See Launching the Emergency Recovery Application

      3. Open command prompt and change the C: drive name using the diskpart command interpretor. For example, change the C: drive name to F: drive name.

        You can also boot to ERD and once it loads, close the pe_erd_w32.exe application and then use the DOS prompt that is already loaded.

      4. Navigate to x:\program files\fde\pe_erd_w32.exe to launch the application. Once the application is launched, the F: drive that is actually the C: drive is displayed.

      5. Load the ERI and decrypt the F: drive. For more information, see Performing Recovery Operations

  • Download the Emergency Recovery application for Windows PE:

    1. In ZENworks Control Center, click Home.                       

    2. Under Common Tasks (in the left navigation panel), click Download ZENworks Tools.

    3. Click Administrative Tools > Full Disk Encryption.

    4. Click ZFDE_WinPE_Plugin.zip to download the zip file.

    5. Extract the downloaded zip file to C:\ and rename the folder winpe.

      For example: C:\winpe

3.1.2 Create a Windows PE ERD

To create a Windows PE ERD:

  1. Complete the Prerequisites for Creating a Windows PE Emergency Recovery Disk.

  2. In the C:\winpe folder, take the applicable action for your operating system:

    • Windows 7: Open the WinPE_7.txt file and follow the instructions.

    • Windows 8-8.1: Open the WinPE_8_0.txt file and follow the instructions.

    • Windows 10/Windows 11:

      1. Right-click the makepe.bat file and select Run as administrator.

      2. When the Command Prompt opens, press Enter to keep the default setting, or type the other option number and press Enter to choose a different platform.

      3. Press Enter for the next three commands or until the Media type option displays.

      4. The Media type defaults to option 1, ISO. Press Enter.

        The Command Prompt runs through a series of tasks and creates the Emergency Recovery image winpe.iso in the directory.

      5. Burn the winpe.iso image on to a DVD or CD to create your Emergency Recovery Disk (ERD).

The ERD is ready to use.