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The Universal PE


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#1 mr-roboto

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:35 PM

I have a PE based on XP, created using BartPE, that's a ten year old project.  I also created a LiveXP project disc a couple of years ago, based on W2K3.  I also have a Win7-based PE that's not of my creation.  None of these are universally applicable.  Old reliable (XPPE) doesn't boot on most newer PC (Vista and above), even with the DriverPacks Mass Storage drivers slipstreamed in.  LiveXP is a little better, however is much better than XPPE booting from USB media.  And the Win7-based PE doesn't  like XP-class PCs very much.  Can't ask questions about it or do anything to it, as it was given to me.

 

My real question:  is there a project (not limited to what I've already tried) that will work on almost every platform, from an old Dell Optiplex PIII clunker to a year-old Windows 7 laptop (not concerned about Win8 PCs for now), so I can have a single PE disc ?  Obviously, it would have to be x86-based, but otherwise I want something much simpler than my XPPE disc which includes the kitchen sink.  My next project would just focus on a full suite of DriverPacks Mass Storage/LAN/Chipset drivers, Ghost, SmartDriverBackup and a couple other odd programs.

 

Since I no longer work in a store, I don't have the facilities to experiment and compare different projects/systems, so I'm looking for just a head-start on a PE project that's most likely to meet my criteria.  Thanks in advance for your consideration.



#2 MedEvil

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:04 PM

Since you already ruled out Win7 based PE for older PC. You can only go with XP / Win2k3 based one.
NativeEx_barebone is a bare metal PE. Part of MultiPE these days, i believe.
LiveXP you already know.

But, i don't know, if what you want is even possible.
How about a Disk/stick with multiple PE?

:cheers:

#3 pscEx

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:53 PM

To avoid misunderstandings:

 

multiPE does NOT create an universal PE which can mix XP, Vista, Win7 functionality on demand. That's technically impossible.

 

But multiPE can create one CD / UFD containing PE1 / PE2 and PE3. Whenever technically it is possible, apps like a WEB browser, are only ONCE on the ISO / USB.

 

The decision which PE has to be booted, must be made by the user during boot of the ISO / USB.

 

Peter :cheers:



#4 wimb

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:01 PM

1. Make_PE3 Program to Create Portable Windows 7 PE  http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23931

 

2. LiveXP Project LX.061412 of amalux http://reboot.pro/to...-portable-apps/

Download Links here http://reboot.pro/to...-15#entry162656

 

3. Windows 8 Recovery USB-stick

In Windows 8 use Configuration > Recovery to make Recovery USB-stick.

To save space and time you can Uncheck to Copy Recovery Partition (needed in case of Factory Restore)

 

BIOS or UEFI Secure computer boot with boot.wim into Recovery RAMDISK X:

and one can use Advanced Options e.g. System Restore or Command prompt

Windows 8 Recovery ramdisk is as good (even better) than WinPE 4.0

 

In Windows 8 Recovery environment using command prompt, I can launch notepad and via File open get Explorer browser GUI

and can launch with R-mouse menu as administrator any 64-bits program e.g. WinNTSetup2_x64.exe to Install any Windows version ......

by mounting with R-mouse any Windows Setup ISO file. :1st:

http://reboot.pro/to...e-2#entry166256

http://reboot.pro/to...party-software/

http://reboot.pro/to...e-4#entry166946

 

================================================================================================================

 

Not PE but Universal for booting with Portable USB-harddisk connected to any Hardware:

 

4. Portable XP in VHD booting from Grub4dos Menu is Universal

http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23553

 

5. Windows 8 booting direct from USB is Universal

Use WinNTSetup2 for direct Install of Windows 8 on USB

http://www.msfn.org/...winntsetup-v23/

http://reboot.pro/to...t-usb-harddisk/


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#5 mr-roboto

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:01 PM

Since you already ruled out Win7 based PE for older PC. You can only go with XP / Win2k3 based one.
NativeEx_barebone is a bare metal PE. Part of MultiPE these days, i believe.
LiveXP you already know.

 

But, i don't know, if what you want is even possible.
How about a Disk/stick with multiple PE?

:cheers:

 

@MedEvil:  The only absolute statement I'm making at the moment is that I've maintained a working PE project for ten years in order to fix a couple thousand PCs.  I'm not biased against a x86 7PE project at all, esp if someone w/ a post count like yours would suggest a candidate.

 

I've seen the MultiPE thread, off the top thought it was just a 'See what's possible' kinda curiosity, but perhaps I should give it additional consideration.

 

Thanks for the use of the brain cells.



#6 mr-roboto

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:11 PM

To avoid misunderstandings:

 

multiPE does NOT create an universal PE which can mix XP, Vista, Win7 functionality on demand. That's technically impossible.

 

But multiPE can create one CD / UFD containing PE1 / PE2 and PE3. Whenever technically it is possible, apps like a WEB browser, are only ONCE on the ISO / USB.

 

The decision which PE has to be booted, must be made by the user during boot of the ISO / USB.

 

Peter :cheers:

 

Peter:  So there would be custom folder names for the core files for ea PE (eg \PE1, \PE2, and \PE3) and (let's say) an \Apps folder for Firefox, Ghost, etc.  One would pick the preferred PE from a ISOLINUX/SYSLINUX boot menu.  That could definitely be a workable solution.

 

Thanks for the use of the brain cells.

:good:  



#7 mr-roboto

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:25 PM

Make_PE3 Program to Create Portable Windows 7 PE  http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23931

 

<snip>

 

@wimb:  Actually, I began reviewing your Portable Windows 7 PE thread on reboot, immediately after making my original post.   :smiling9:  



#8 MedEvil

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:14 PM

mr-roboto, i'm partial to Win7PE_SE as it delivers the most complete PE3, imo.
wimbs MakePE used to be better, but development has stoped and it has fallen behind since.

Still both are based on Win7 with all the advantages and disadvantages that go with it.

Imo, a CD / DVD / USB-Stick with a PE1 and a PE3 is the most uiversal solution.

If you look for small PE, i would recommend psc MultiPE.
If you look for big and full featured, a combo of LiveXP and Win7PE_SE, would fit the bill.

And then there are Wimbs Live XP and - Win7, which require a USB-HDD. But if you planed on using a USB-HDD anyway, they are most full featurted and make installing extra apps very easy.

Hope this helps. :cheers:

#9 mr-roboto

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:39 AM

mr-roboto, i'm partial to Win7PE_SE as it delivers the most complete PE3, imo.
wimbs MakePE used to be better, but development has stoped and it has fallen behind since.

Still both are based on Win7 with all the advantages and disadvantages that go with it.

Imo, a CD / DVD / USB-Stick with a PE1 and a PE3 is the most uiversal solution.

If you look for small PE, i would recommend psc MultiPE.

 

<snip>


Hope this helps. :cheers:

 

Yes, the post helps.  I'm going to try MultiPE initially.  I will report back to the thread with my experiences.  For the record, my impression is that most (like yourself I suspect) use a PE as a Live Windows system as I use Live Linux media.  I use a WinPE purely to repair and recover Windows-based PCs, so my needs are less demanding feature-wise.... :thumbsup:



#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:23 PM

And then there are Wimbs Live XP and - Win7, which require a USB-HDD. But if you planed on using a USB-HDD anyway, they are most full featurted and make installing extra apps very easy.

AFAIK the Hard Disk is not a "requirement", it is a "suggestion" (due to the increased speed and - in some cases - better compatibility) but a USB stick - possibly with the "flipped bit" is also a possibilty.

I would say that with newer USB 3.0 (when available) and overall "fastish" sticks the "gap" with the (USB 2.0) HD approach is narrowing (of course an USB 3.0 Hard Disk - when available - will probably still be faster):

http://www.tomshardw...-3.13,2289.html

http://www.tomshardw...erage,2292.html

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#11 wimb

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:41 PM

USB-stick can be used for Portable XP VHD, but I prefer Portable USB-harddisk for speed, capacity and besides

USB-harddisk can be partitioned easily and have e.g. BOOT + SYSTEM + DATA primary partitions visible in Windows.

 

:cheers:



#12 Agent47

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

I work as a IT support person and here we use live XP daily. So far i didn't see a single PC which won't bootable with live XP. Live XP with latest mass-storage driver pack will work on PCs from P3 to latest Intel 3rd generation laptops. Since LiveXP can't read GPT partitions i recommend a dual boot setup with Win7PE or Wimb's MakePE3.  



#13 wimb

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

GPT partitioning is usual for machines that have UEFI firmware,

but MBR partitioning for USB-harddisk can be used for UEFI firmware.

 

In case of UEFI then I recommend my MultiBoot approach described here

http://reboot.pro/to...t-usb-harddisk/

 

Use WinNTSetup2 for direct Install of Windows 8 on

portable USB harddisk with FAT32 BOOT  and  NTFS Win8 SYSTEM partition.

 

That solution can boot any machine (UEFI or BIOS)

and is capable to read GPT partitions e.g. for repair of the registry

http://www.tweaking....try_backup.html

 

The MultiBoot USB-harddisk has now:

- UEFI booting of Windows 8 Or Linux Parted Magic ISO

- BIOS booting of any VHD IMG or ISO using Grub4dos boot menu e.g. Universal Portable XP VHD

The Portable XP VHD has the Complete MassStorage DriverPack Installed

(CriticalDeviceDatabase entries + Services are created by IMG_XP_Compact.exe for all MassStorage drvers)

 

 

:cheers:



#14 MedEvil

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:41 PM

AFAIK the Hard Disk is not a "requirement", it is a "suggestion" (due to the increased speed and - in some cases - better compatibility) but a USB stick - possibly with the "flipped bit" is also a possibilty.
The problem was never the speed (unless one used a supermarket model ;)), but the constant writes to the drive.

:cheers:

#15 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:07 PM

The problem was never the speed (unless one used a supermarket model ;)), but the constant writes to the drive.

Well, no.

You have to make a philosophical choice. (based on rough estimations).

 

If you disable in the booted XP the NTFS Last Access Update via Registry:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem\NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate

or fsutil:

http://www.microsoft...r.mspx?mfr=true

 

The impact is not as bad as you might think, and since the early days the wear leveling mechanism and overall life of chips have changed greatly the life expectancy.

 

I made (and made up in the sense that I used completely fictional data :w00t:) a nice set of graphs for you (attached).

The probabilities in 2nd series of the graph "Lifetime" are "fixed" (no matter if you buy good quality/brand or "el-cheapo") and are always bigger than 1st series, on average 10 months since getting the stick, 3rd series "kicks in" :ph34r: making 1st series even more irrelevant ;).

 

And, JFYI, meet the 5 Gb  :w00t: "USB stick" :dubbio: of which I do have a few ;):

http://www.memoryc.c...microdrive.html

 

:cheers:

Wonko

Attached Files



#16 MedEvil

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:06 PM

The impact is not as bad as you might think,
Well at least the registry is written back constantly on a regular Windows.

and since the early days the wear leveling mechanism and overall life of chips have changed greatly the life expectancy.
This test would suggest you're right.
http://www.bress.net...Drive-Last.html

:cheers:

#17 MedEvil

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:09 PM

On the other hand i would be scared to use SDD based on this test.
http://www.xtremesys...ce-25nm-Vs-34nm

Lifetime in months instead of years, sometimes even month!

:cheers:

#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:35 PM

A side-side note :dubbio:.

Everyone that took part to the (nice) test here:

http://www.xtremesys...ce-25nm-Vs-34nm

is/was running Windows 7 x64.

Anyone using two systems (one Windows 7 32 bit and one Windows 7 64 bit) that can do a short test (say a couple days of usage) to meter how much more data is written on a 64 bit system when compared to a 32 bit one?

Would there be a noticeable increase? :unsure:

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#19 MedEvil

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:18 PM

I think, main stressor was the stress program they used to write to the SSD, not the windows.

My point was more, that a HDD would laugh at those numbers.

Also interesting, that with wear leveling the TTL of the drive can be given in TB instead of writes per sector. Which imo makes it easier to predict TTL under the intended usage.

:cheers:

#20 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:35 PM

I think, main stressor was the stress program they used to write to the SSD, not the windows.

Sure, I was going "lateral".

Rather than using a (meaningless) time period they basically measured "amount of data written" (which I find correct).

For what the SSD (or the actual chips in it) knows there is no difference about WHAT wrote or is writing the data, I was (maliciously ;)) hinting that the same model SSD with the same "average" use may wear earlier on a 64 bit system than on a 32 bit one simply because there is more amount of data transfer (maube :unsure:) on a 64 bit OS than on a the same OS, but 32 bit version.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#21 cdob

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:16 PM

I think, main stressor was the stress program they used to write to the SSD, not the windows.

Compare TiB written.
You have to interpret real lifetime to your usage.

A lifetime testing uses special testing conditions to get results.
Real usage limetime is longer.

One death after 685 TiB written, after continous writing half a year.
This is a special testing condition: writing 24 hours per day

Which disk is written 24h per day at full speed in real life?

Even at 30 TiB writing per year, this example last 20 years in real life.

I'm writing about 1 TiB per year at system SSD.
I don't care about SSD lifetime.

#22 MedEvil

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:59 PM

I'm curious, do you have a swapfile on a SDD?

:cheers:

#23 Win8-user-2013

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 02:42 PM

please I read "in Windows 8 Recovery environment you can install windows by mounting with R-mouse any Windows Setup ISO files by mounting with R-mouse any Windows Setup ISO file"

 

I tried it but i can not mount any ISO file in  Windows 8 Recovery environment on a USB-HarddiskDrive.

I do can run 64bit apps by right click and "run as administrator".

​Can someone guide and or correct me?

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

''



#24 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 04:47 PM

please I read "in Windows 8 Recovery environment you can install windows by mounting with R-mouse any Windows Setup ISO files by mounting with R-mouse any Windows Setup ISO file

I tried it but i can not mount any ISO file in  Windows 8 Recovery environment on a USB-HarddiskDrive.
I do can run 64bit apps by right click and "run as administrator".
Can someone guide and or correct me?
Thanks.

The idea is that you DO NOT post your semi-random question on the first TOTALLY UNRELATED thread you happen to find.

INSTEAD you start a NEW TOPIC in the APPROPRIATE area of the board, like here:
http://reboot.pro/forum/134-windows-8/
AFTER having duly checked that your question(s) are not already answered.

You are asking a (BTW completely "vague" questions) about Windows 8 and it's RE (Recovery Environment) on a thread which is about PE (Pre-installation Environment) made with particular tools and based on XP and Windows 7.

Whenever you say "I read" you should provide the SOURCE WHERE you read it, likely it is here:
http://reboot.pro/to...e-2#entry166256

This:

Windows 8 Recovery ramdisk is as good (even better) than WinPE 4.0



In Recovery environment using command prompt, I can launch notepad and via File open get Explorer browser GUI

and can launch with R-mouse menu as administrator any 64-bits program e.g. WinNTSetup2_x64.exe to Install any Windows version ......

by mounting with R-mouse any Windows Setup ISO file.

Which is VERY different from what you reported, it is WinNTsetup2_x64.exe that can be used to install from a Windows Setup .iso.
The program is here:
http://www.msfn.org/...winntsetup-v23/

:cheers:
Wonko




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