After creating your VistaPE CD, you may wish to boot it from a flashdrive or a USB hard drive. This guide can help you do that. I've tried to make the process as simple as possible and have tested it on multiple flashdrives as well as USB hard drives (FAT32 and NTFS partitions).
The exact same procedure can be used to allow an internal drive to boot your VistaPE setup. If you don't want to mess with your main hard drive and have an additional internal drive, you can set it up with VistaPE and use the BIOS to select which drive to boot.
I would like to thank K0lo on the Acronis Forum for his procedures, time and testing that went into creating these instructions.
Create a VistaPE project using WinBuilder. If you need help using WinBuilder to create a VistaPE build, you can find Mustang's Guide here. If you need any of Mustang's Acronis True Image or Disk Director plugins, you can find them here.
When creating your VistaPE build using WinBuilder, there are several important settings that need to be correct in order for the build to work properly.
Under Main Configuration make sure the Boot Manager is set to Grub4Dos (this is the default).
In all of Mustang's Acronis scripts, make sure to check the Run from ram (boot.wim) checkbox.
Under Finalize, make sure Create ISO is checked. The ISO image is needed to make the program install the Grub4Dos components in the build.
Plug in your USB Device (either a USB hard drive or flashdrive).
Open My Computer and browse to your WinBuilder folder. Then browse to the sub-folder Target and then VistaPE.
Select all the files and copy them to the USB Device.
In the example below, I've copied the files from D:\WinBuilder_072\Target\VistaPE to my flashdrive on F:\.
Copy or Move the file grldr from the boot folder on the USB Device to the Root folder. Grub4Dos looks for this file in the Root of all partitions and uses the first one it finds.
Now you need to install Grub4Dos to the MBR of the USB Device. To do this, the easiest way is to use the grubinst_gui.exe utility. Click here to download the program (other builds are available here). Extract the contents to a folder on your hard drive. In this example, I've extracted the files to D:\Temp\grubutil-1.1-bin-w32-19.
In Windows XP, just run the grubinst_gui.exe program.
In Vista, you'll need to run grubinst_gui.exe in Administrator mode. Right-click on the program file and select Run as administrator from the pop-up menu.
You may get a security pop-up window asking if you want to run the program. Select Run to start the program.
In Vista, if you have UAC turned on (the default setting), you'll get another warning. Select Allow to let the program start.
Once the program is started, select the Disk option, then click the Disk Refresh button and then select your USB Device from the dropdown box.
Now click the Part List Refresh button, then the dropdown box and finally select the Whole disk (MBR) option.
Leaving all the other options unchecked and cleared, click the Install button to install Grub4Dos to the MBR of the USB Device.
Hopefully, you'll get the message that the installation was successful. Press Enter to close the Command Prompt window.
Click the Quit button to exit the Grub4Dos Installer program.
Your VistaPE USB Device should now be bootable. Leave the USB Device plugged in and reboot your computer. Check the BIOS (if necessary) to make sure the USB Device is the first boot device. If everything works correctly, the USB Device should boot to the Grub4Dos menu. Select VistaPE to start VistaPE.
If you make changes to your VistaPE build, you can update the files on the USB Device by repeating Step 2 and copying the updated files to the USB Device. No further steps are necessary.