59611: Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud: how to create a WinPE-based bootable media

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Last update: Tue, 2020-11-17 19:30

Why WinPE bootable media is needed?

Bootable media ISO-image downloaded for Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud contains a Linux-based bootable image with tool necessary to perform a recovery from existing backups. This image contains common freeware drivers that cover most of the regular recovery scenarios on different devices.

The ISO-image is being updated along with other Acronis software, however new devices and drivers might be released which the media won't be able to cover at some point in time. In addition to that some manufacturers develop proprietary drivers that can't be inserted in the free ISO for legal reasons. Not only those drivers are not present in the media, some of the devices simply don't have any drivers for Linux at all.

Some known examples of such cases include:

If the bootable media image doesn't detect disks, network adapters, USB controllers and other devices the drivers need to be loaded manually. WinPE-based media provides an option to inject the drivers while creating the ISO-image as well as loading the drivers from the .inf files on the go.

Creating the WinPE media

The article describes how to build a WinPE-based bootable media. You might need to use a WinPE-based media to boot machines with specific hardware. For example, in case a Linux-based bootable media does not detect RAID arrays because RAID controllers use proprietary drivers and these cannot be integrated into a Linux-based bootable media.

Currently, Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud does not have the Bootable Media Builder component; it will be included in one of the next product versions. Meanwhile, use Acronis Cyber Protect 15 Bootable Media Builder.

To build a WinPE-based bootable media:

  1. Download Acronis Cyber Protect 15 installer here (Japanese locale: here) and run it on a machine without an Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud Agent installed.
  2. Bootable Media Builder is part of Acronis Agent installation. Select Install a protection agent:
  3. Click Customize installation settings:
  4. Manually select components by clicking Change next to What to install:
  5. Select Bootable Media Builder only:
  6. Start installation.
  7. After Bootable Media Builder is installed, launch it. It is located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\MediaBuilder\MediaBuilder.exe
  8. Click Next:
  9. Leave the first option selected and click Next:
  10. Select bootable media type: if you are not sure what type you need, select Windows PE (64-bit).
  11. Select Windows ADK to install. We recommend using the latest version: click download Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) and download Windows PE add-on 
  12. Close Bootable Media Builder and run the downloaded ADK file.
  13. Select where to install Windows ADK and click Next:

  14. Make sure Deployment Tools feature selected and click Install:
  15. Run the downloaded Windows PE add-ons file and install:

  16. Once ADK and Windows PE add-on installation is completed, start Bootable Media Builder once again.
  17. In the Select the bootable media type to create step, select Create WinPE automatically:
  18. Select bootable media GUI language and the firmware interface that will be used after recovery:

  19. Specify pre-configured network settings, if necessary:

  20. Do not make any changes on Management Server step, click Next:

  21. Optionally, add drivers for specific hardware. Add drivers for the hardware which is not detected by the Linux-based bootable media:
  22. Select the type of media to create:
  23. Review all the options you have specified and click Proceed.

Additional info

When you boot the machine with the WinPE media that you created, here is the first screen you will see.

You need to click on Manage this machine locally.

Please note that the Acronis Universal Restore functionality is not available in the media created by the way described in this article.

Here is the screen which you will see (note that there is no button "Apply Universal Restore")

The WinPE media described in this article is supposed to help with situations where the disks or NIC are not recognized by Linux bootable media due to lack of drivers.

If you need the Acronis Universal Restore functionality, please contact Acronis Customer Central with an indication to this point.