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Talking Windows Pre-installation Environment

Project Status

This project is no longer maintained. Windows 10 now includes sound and speech support during setup, making a talking PE no longer necessary. This page is being retained here, as some people may still find it useful if they must still install Windows 7.


This project makes it possible for blind Windows users to independently install and repair Windows installations, as well as access files on computers that will not boot. This is possible through a specially modified version of the Windows Pre-installation Environment that will serve as a simple talking Windows desktop. It is possible to place this simple talking Windows desktop on a USB flash drive, optical media (CD/DVD), removable hard drive, or any other data device that the computer is able to boot. Note that your computer will probably not be able to boot these devices until you make BIOS changes that are described below. Speech for the desktop is provided through the free NVDA screen reader. Support for most commonly available sound devices is included, including ADI SoundMax, most C-Media devices, Creative AudioPCI/ES/SB devices, IDT High Definition Audio, Realtek AC’97 and High Definition Audio, Via High Definition audio/Vinyl AC’97, and others. USB audio is not supported at this time.

For further details, including how to use this to install Windows, or for info regarding how to create bootable media, please read the included readme file.

This is a free project that is provided entirely as-is. You assume all responsibility for its use.

To stay informed of updates, please subscribe to the RSS feed on this site, or else follow @bryansmart on Twitter.

Unlike similar solutions, this project is completely free for you to use and for you to share. If you feel that this project has saved you time, or otherwise been of value to you, a small donation would be greatly appreciated. Please send donations via Paypal to


Download bandwidth has been graciously donated by Andre Louis. Check out his web site for free music to use in your podcasts and videos.



This project was created using the free WinBuilder system for building custom WindowsPE disks. If you wish to create your own boot disks, keep in mind that WinBuilder is not entirely screen reader friendly, and the documentation for WinBuilder projects are sparse. You should expect the process to be frustrating.

I wrote a short article that describes the origins of this project, and provides details about the current problems. Anyone that wishes to try to rebuild this project should read it.

The Talking Windows Pre-installation Environment project is a fork of Al_jo’s Win7PE project. The source for the base Win7PE project, including NVDA support, can be found here.

The original Win7PE project is intended for PC repair, and includes a huge number of inaccessible apps. If you wish to create boot disks that are like the current TWPE release, then you will probably wish to start from my TWPE source project.