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Fast ISO Booting of Win7PE


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#1 gearmaker

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 01:47 AM

Hi all, I thought I would share something I came across while searching for the fastest way to boot iso file.
I use the tools and knowledge found here to help family and friends with their computers, just like many of you I'm sure.
My favorite winbuilder tool has been the LiveXP. I followed tutorial by amalux. It boots in 2min 30sec on cd. I've used it
many times. Then comes Windows 7. A new OS that I can still use LiveXP on for some things. Then add 64bit into the mix and
new tools like MSDART to repair and recover Win7 installs, so now I add winbuilder Win7PE. I think it is called Win7PE SE
to be exact. Another great tool from the many talented people here. However, booting it from CD was taking over 5min.
I used default setting in winbuilder of in-ram bootwim and grub4dos bootloader.I guess I'm impatient but watching that bar
" windows is loading files . . . " for 5min was driving me crazy!I tried stripped down lean versions of Win7PE but,
load times were always about the same.Then I read about the Zalman VE-200. I bought one and started putting all kinds
of iso tools on it and they booted!!! Programs too!!! I put the Win7PE iso on it and OH NOOO!! :pulpfiction: 7min and 38sec to boot!!
This is getting longer than I thought so please forgive me. After much experimenting I set winbuilder to build using
normal build (no in-ram bootwim) and normal bootmanager (no grub4dos).I put the resulting iso on the Zalman and I saw
the loading screen and then BSOD. stop0000007b. Then I read this : My link

This was from karyonix:

Use regedit (run as administrator) from other installed Windows.
Or boot Windows 7 DVD and press Shift+F10 to open cmd then type regedit.
Select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Click menu File, Load Hive...
Select (your USB drive)\Windows\system32\config\system file and Open it.
Give it a name sys.
Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\sys\ControlSetxxx\services\usbehci. Make sure its Start value is 0.
Do the same for usbohci, usbuhci, usbhub, usbstor in all ControlSet*\services key.
Select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\sys
Click menu File, Unload Hive...

I made the changes as detailed to the iso, again saved it to the Zalman and it booted in 1min and 38sec!! :smiling9:
To me this was HUGE !!! I knew the stop was from inaccessible boot device and remembered reading about changing usb start
values to 0 from 3.
Everything works great and it boots sooooo fast!
Anyway, that's what worked for me, maybe for someone else also!!

#2 Nuno Brito

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 09:25 AM

Very good tip, thank you for sharing.

It will be mentioned over the next weekly newsletter for sure!


:smiling9:

#3 gearmaker

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 11:31 AM

I should also mention that this procedure worked on my thumbdrive also. Not as dramatic improvement as on the
Zalman, but it still resulted in quicker boot time. I'm sure that the brand of thumbdrive has a lot to do with
speed as well.

#4 MedEvil

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 12:14 PM

Yes RAM booting has always been way slower, than direct booting, even when used with a CD.

If you're looking for a challenge. :smiling9:

The fastest boot times i even managed to acomplish for my NaughtyPE (XP based, 230MB) are:

1 minute 20 seconds from start of windows boot process till end of disk activity with full hardware detect, directly booted from a DVD.

around 20 seconds from start of windows boot process till end of disk activity with full hardware detect, directly booted from USB-Stick.

Compared to that, my Win7PESE is really slugish, with a boot time of about 3:30 min.
I think the main reason the Win7PEs are so much slower, is that they do way more stuff during boot, instead of during build, compared to the XP based projects.

:pulpfiction:

#5 pscEx

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 12:27 PM

I think the main reason the Win7PEs are so much slower, is that they do way more stuff during boot, instead of during build, compared to the XP based projects.

Or compared to the nativeEx_multiPE project having PEFactory :pulpfiction:

Peter :smiling9:

#6 al_jo

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 03:48 PM

Perhaps there is something ”wrong” with my PC/UFD, because when using this project:
http://al-jo.zxq.net...ll_and_quick.7z
my UFD boots the win7pe in about 30-40 sec.
:cheers:

Ps. The above 7pe project builds in 4-5 minutes (one extra minute to make UFD ready)

#7 amalux

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 04:36 PM

I don't really understand the 5+ min. 'RAM booting' thing, it reminds me of the old pre RAM booting days of waiting for the CD to load files. I regularly boot large Win7PE_SE (400+ MB) images from UFD on modern laptops in 30-40 sec. (LiveXP even faster); is it because I format NTFS, grub menu configuration or some other variation? This seems like a mystery; I too would be very annoyed waiting more than a minute to boot from any medium.

On older hardware, which can be quite slow booting from USB; I use the trick of adding ISO to internal hard drive (takes one time, 2 min. investment) which gets me back to very fast (30 sec.) boot times.

:cheers:

#8 MedEvil

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 04:57 PM

al-jos project is smaller and therefore boots faster by default. But it's not that much smaller. :cheers:

I think, instead of just talking absolute times, it would be better to talk about loading speeds of the wim, in addition to the total time.
This way we could distinguish between faster hardware and better optimized PE.

@amalux
What Win7 PE do you use? 30-40 seconds loading time for the wim i have too on newer machines, but never ever 30-40 seconds for the whole boot process till disk access ends.

:cheers:

#9 amalux

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 06:05 PM

@amalux
What Win7 PE do you use? 30-40 seconds loading time for the wim i have too on newer machines, but never ever 30-40 seconds for the whole boot process till disk access ends.

I use many builds, always evolving, mostly based on ChrisR's Win7PE_SE and usually around 350-400 MB. Nine out of ten newer machines boot UFD to desktop in well under a minute, occasionally there will be an odd delay in loading RAM, with the loading bar creeping across the screen instead of zipping to completion in a few seconds as normal. I admit I don't understand this behavior, I assume it's some bottleneck in the system, RAM, ports, controller, drivers etc. I normally don't have time to investigate further and just pull the UFD, switching to other boot method.

Older machines are definitely a problem booting to UFD/USB (especially USB-HD) so I know to avoid USB altogether on those. I think there are other considerations, UFD type/speed, formatting (not just NTFS vs. FAT), PE image type/configuration, grub/BCD setup etc. If I ever have time to fully investigate I'll be glad to report findings with details.

:cheers:

#10 al_jo

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 06:39 PM

Just tried with this little project:
http://www.mediafire...1dsrs6c4ysyc8d4
with 120 app scripts. Final iso = 306MB, Wim = 290MB
Boot time = 45 seconds = full access to all hardware!
:cheers:

Ps. Using fat32 on the ufd…

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#11 Aye Htay

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 06:41 PM

I agree with amalux.
When I use Lenovo modern laptop, loading time is 16M/s.
Using Kingston 16gb usb flash, it loads 1gb Mini8.img image within 1 min and 8 sec and boots up additional 10 sec with fully fuctional, such as networking + Video + Audio.
But my old desktop, it took 25 min. :cheers:

regards,

ah

#12 MedEvil

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 07:24 PM

Thanks al_jo, will test your linked project and see how fast it will go on my computers.
Maybe it will lead to pinpointing some troublesome features/scripts.

:cheers:

#13 pscEx

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 08:13 PM

@Al_jo!

You are the best Joker I got to know in the past.

I downloaded your link, defined my source CD and started.

After about 12 minutes build time the project created an ISO (or at least processed a script "4 - Create ISO").

How with this (virtual ?) ISO I can reach the phantastic UFD boot time of 45 seconds?
I did not find a script in your project to create the UFD :cheers:

Peter

#14 pscEx

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 08:15 PM

EDIT: Sorry, duplicated entry again. Thanks forums's SW.
I cannot delete, only ovwerwrite with this text.
Peter

#15 amalux

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 08:24 PM

Just tried with this little project:
http://www.mediafire...1dsrs6c4ysyc8d4
with 120 app scripts. Final iso = 306MB, Wim = 290MB
Boot time = 45 seconds = full access to all hardware!
:cheers:

Ps. Using fat32 on the ufd…

Thanks al_jo for this nice project :cheers:


I'll try it myself on a NTFS UFD, that is if I can figure out how to put it on a UFD :rofl:

:cheers:

#16 al_jo

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 08:31 PM

Thanks al_jo for this nice project :cheers:


I'll try it myself on a NTFS UFD, that is if I can figure out how to put it on a UFD :rofl:

:cheers:

@Amalux & PscEx
Sorry, I'm almost always using Sardu to make the bootable ufd.
Will include "USBDeviceBCD.script" tomorrow.
:cheers:

#17 pscEx

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 08:34 PM

@Amalux & PscEx
Sorry, I'm almost always using Sardu to make the bootable ufd.
Will include "USBDeviceBCD.script" tomorrow.
:cheers:

:cheers:
Peter

#18 al_jo

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 10:20 PM

Well, maybe it’s tomorrow now?
So, new project with Usbdevicebcd included.
And some new scripts, not fully tested yet…
http://www.mediafire...aws37p7qw7qe36o

:cheers:

#19 gearmaker

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 01:01 AM

al_jo , I tried your project as well with a load time of 5min. Maybe my mainboard is showing it's age. It is a 4yr
old DFI Infinity. I'm wondering now if maybe my bios is not supporting USB 2.0 boot speed. The other reason I posted
is to find what others are experiencing.I have never seen a boot.wim load in under a minute.When my computer first
boots the post screen does show USB 2.0 EHCI. But whether it boots at that speed I don't know.Is there a test for
USB 2.0 bootup? :cheers:

#20 allanf

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 03:03 AM

.

#21 al_jo

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:58 AM

@gearmaker
Here is what I do concerning booting a win7pe from ufd:
1. Make the iso with winbuilder
2. Defrag the iso with wincontig
3. “Install” the iso to the ufd with Sardu
Here is a small “movie”:
http://46.194.143.24...src=SAM&speed=1
:cheers:


Ps. Sometimes choosing rear instead of front usb port can make some difference.
Ps2. I’m using a CBM 2GB wristwatch ufd :cheers:

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#22 MedEvil

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 10:31 AM

To test boot speed, just stop the time, it takes to load the wim ito RAM. Then devide the size of the wim by the seconds it took to load it.

Also note, that the wim is loaded into memory not with a DMA mode, but a PIO mode, which puts a lot more stress on the CPU. So an older or slower CPU may prevent the USB port from reaching it's full potential.

When booting directly only the very first phase of the boot process uses PIO mode. As soon as the Windows Start screen appears, Windows drivers are used instead of BIOS calls, which means switching to DMA mode in most cases, which puts less strass on the CPU, so a higher speed can be reached with a slower CPU.
Also with direct boot, no dead weight has to be moved. That helps speeding up too.

:cheers:

#23 wimb

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 01:18 PM

I tried the project of al_jo and used SARDU to make the USB-stick, but could not auto boot 7PE
I got a black screen where I could fill in boot options and it will boot, but it should work automatic.

I found that the pe.cfg file in folder SARDU on USB-stick had a wrong entry.

Instead of APPEND boot ntldr=/bootmgr fs

it should read for automatic booting of 7 PE


APPEND boot ntldr=/BOOTMGR

Removal of fs solved already the problem.

:cheers:

#24 al_jo

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 01:53 PM

@Wimb
Hi.
If you don’t want the boot menu from Sardu, there is an usb
script named “USBDeviceBCD” for winbuilder.
I’m using Sardu because of the option to add 10+ iso’s…
:cheers:

#25 wimb

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 02:47 PM

@al_jo

Your script works, but unpacking the 7 PE ISO file is not needed and not desired by me.
I prefer to use BOOT_USB.exe where I can use the 7 PE ISO Boot Image file unchanged and can boot direct from Grub4dos Menu.

http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=24424

In this way I can combine many ISO files (also Linux e.g. PartedMagic) or IMG or VHD files.

:cheers:




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