Wired has a piece on the many modified copies of Windows floating around on the torrent sites. Some of them sound extremely useful, including the bootable WinPE along with several WinXP installers on a single DVD. Of course, none of these are legal, but it’s still amazing how much people have been able to do with closed software. Imagine how much farther they could have gotten if they could modify the source code too.
In addition to two Chinese variants of Windows, the Super WinPE disc includes dozens of boot-time utilities for troubleshooting system snafus. One is an experimental “pre-installation environment” that uses a “mini-Windows XP” for system scanning and file recovery, similar to the popular Knoppix LiveCD version of Linux.