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Win7PE vs Windows ThinPC for RDP client


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#1 doveman

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 08:54 AM

I've been planning to deploy Thinstation on my brother's old PC for him to RDP into his new Windows 7 box, but as the rdesktop client doesn't seem to support video redirection or RemoteFX I want to try the W7 RDP client to compare.

I imagine I can just build a Win7PE for this, although his old PC is a P3 933Mhz with 512MB, so I'm not certain it will work! If it will though, what are the supposed advantages of the what appears to be much larger Windows ThinPC, compared to Win7PE for a RDP client platform?

#2 sambul61

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 02:37 PM

If you follow the links from Windows Embedded 7 VHD - can it replace WinPE ISO? thread, you'll find that WES7 is highly customizable with the supplied Toolbox, and may have a smaller footprint than WinPE for some platforms. You can select desired functionality as well, including RDP. The obvious advantage is, you don't need ANY scripts at all after installing WES7 to a PC, and aren't limited to installing apps that were already scripted for WinPE. Just inject or install any apps natively - and you're good to go... :good:

A good idea though might be first installing WES7 onto a VHD, and then copying the VHD image file to your brother's HD, adding Win7 boot environment to the host drive, and booting WES7 natively from the VHD. This way you don't have to mod the existing OS install if any, and MBR changes can easily be reverted. Just follow Test New OS Releases on VHD Tutorial. :)
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#3 doveman

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 06:41 PM

Heh, your last post on that thread seems to be asking much the same question, is WES7 a replacement for WinPE, so I guess neither of us knows yet ;) Good tip about testing with a VHD though.

I guess I should just try and build a suitable PE (all I need it to do is RDP (and maybe run IE or Portable Opera or Portable Chrome occasionally to quickly check something without having to boot/resume the RDP server) to see how small I can get it, and by then maybe someone will have built a WES7 and we can compare sizes :)

#4 sambul61

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 06:47 PM

I guess, you should, if size is the main criteria, and you're more comfortable with familiar staff. WinPE is a useful MS past invention, and it served honestly for many years whatever MS wanted it to serve, so good luck with that. :)

I didn't compare sizes either because it wasn't important to me, since WES7 VHD booted from an old Vaio laptop as filedisk pretty fast (no need to boot into RAM), and that's all I needed to get past bothering with WinPE scripts. Every user or developer is free to make their own choices... and not only with WinPE... :thumbsup:

However, for a developer it makes sense to envision future demand and diversify product portfolio to fit the new tech. Otherwise one may eventually end up downloading his own scripts and apps...due to fallen demand. Not to mention empty Paypal account... :dubbio:

#5 doveman

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 07:30 PM

I'm mainly concerned with size as I'm looking to replace the old, (relatively) power-hungry HD with a 4-8GB Crossflash card and a CF->IDE adapter, which will be faster than the old, small, HD in there at the moment (and certainly use less power).

Obviously with a RDP client station one wants it to boot quite quickly as well, so keeping the size down will help it compete with Thinstation in that respect.

#6 sambul61

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 08:16 PM

8Gb Crossflash would be pretty good for a WES7 VHD with a full line of popular apps, except some monsters. You can try both ways to broaden your skills, and your brother wouldn't depend on any scripts. :)

#7 doveman

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:30 AM

I'm still trying to get my head round which would be the best way to build a Win7 RDP client that's as small and uses as little RAM as possible and boots the fastest. As it's only intended to be used as an RDP client, I'm not really concerned with being able to install other programs/scripts and I'll just put some portable apps on the CF card.

There's so many options I'm a bit overwhelmed and whilst I'll probably experiment with them when I've got more time, I'm a bit under pressure to just get this done.

Options include:

Building WES7 (seems to be the most complicated because I've got to learn all about using the toolkit)

Installing W7 to a Virtualbox, updating and stripping it down and then copy the files to the CF card. Then boot the destination PC with that and let it install the necessary drivers (I'm not even sure this will work though!)

Build W7PE

Do this http://reboot.pro/14...133#entry131133

Do this http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23931

Do this http://reboot.pro/9830/

So if anyone can advise me which approach to take, that would help a lot and save me wasting my time trying out the inappropriate (for this project) methods. I'm guessing it's probably not necessary to bother with VHD as I can have the Win7 RDP client and thinstation on the CF card together and choose which to boot with grub4dos, but if it's better to use a VHD I'll just do that. I'll probably stick an nlite XP on there as well (with a write filter to protect the CF) to use in case the Win7 server goes down, and various portable apps that can be shared between Win7 and XP.

#8 doveman

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:51 PM

Actually, I'm starting to doubt whether there's any point in using Win7 rather than XP for an RDP client. I overlooked that RDP7 is available for XP which seems to bring all the benefits included in Win7 except for Aero support and for that both the client and the server have to be using Aero, and none of my intended clients can! The audio redirection and multimedia (i.e. video) support all seem to be in RDP7 for XP.

#9 sebus

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:19 PM

I really like WES7 for RDP. Nice & fast

I cheated & used Wyse ready image

Just re-created it from BRB0_0827_4096 in Workstation 8:

1. restore the par1.img with physdiskwrite to VM with IDE HD
2. create image of the restored partition with Ghost32 to image
3. clean IDE HD with diskpart
4. create primary partition with diskpart leaving at least 100 Mb of free space
5. Restore Ghost image BACK onto the newly created partition
6. make the restored partition active
6. bootsect /nt60 c:
7. mount registry hive c:windowssystem32configsystem & stop 4 wyse services
8. rename few drivers in c:windowssystem32drivers
9. edit unattened in c:windowspanther (you can change administrator password here)
10. wait till machine build itself
11. reboot to WinPE again & disable autoadmin logon in HKLMMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogon & any policies you want
12. login as administrator & (if you want) disable the filter (shortcuts are on the desktop)
13. uninstall any unrelated software (but for this you need to adjust any references to Z: in registry)

It does what I need it to do, I am sure it could do even more

sebus




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