Yes, that is how WinPE image was built. We create a FAT32 partition and created an partition image of it.
The provisioning option already has the GUI ability to create a bootable Thumb drive.
Go to Tools | Distribtion | OS Deployment and highlight Provisioning templates. Click on the the Provisioning Boot Media icon.
However, you should be able to create a partition on your drive, copy the WinPE files, and set it to the active partition. Or you maybe able to change the Boot.ini on the normal drive to boot from the WinPE partition so you can choose to boot to either.
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It should also be noted that the "Create bootable media" option is ONLY for Provisioning, not OSD.
Thank you for the responses. One thing, however - is provisioning a seperate product? We have LDMS, Security suite, and AV. I am having issues fining info about provisioning. I thought it was only for servers.
Provisioning comes with the product, but like OSD, You need to pay for WinPE licenses..... So we can give the $$$ to Microsoft and not get sued. You should be able to find some info on Provisioning in the Management Suite Help documentation. It used to be only for servers, but now is a full blown desktop deployment tool as well.
As everyone has stated it is possible. We do it with a portable USB HD for locations that have very small pipes. Reasons we chose USB Hard Drive:
Most thumb drives have a fixed number of write cycles, so running an OS of them will kill the write features very quickly.
Speed. Just run any HD benchmark tool against a thumb drive and a USB HD (even a 4200 rpm drive). The HD will kill it every time.
When using PE for a recovery solution it is nice to have a couple hundred gbs for storage;)