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Run from RAM etc.


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#1 pscEx

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:09 PM

Maybe this topic is better placed in "Tutorials". If yes, some admin may move there.

 

In XP (nativeEx and LiveXP) ice-age, app scripts got hard coded whether they should run directly from CD, or be included in the (provided by the nativeEx functionality) RAM disk.

 

Starting with Vista, NightMan invented the choice "Run from RAM", "Run from CD".

The app has been either included in the generated WIM, or copied to the "Rest of the world" in the generated ISO.

This method is used by most currently existing PE2 / PE3 projects.

 

With PE3 projects, the option to generate multiboot CDs, came up.

Here the first issue: (Example for the next is Opera-CD by Medevil, which can be run strictly from CD)

 

You generate a multiboot CD with PE1, PE2, PE3. All of the projects have Opera-CD. So it is burned three times with 6 MB to the final CD.

 

To avoid this redundancy, the option "Boot from BootMedia" is the solution. When creating the final multiBoot ISO, Opera-CD is only copied once to the root of the CD, outside the different PEx images. Shortcuts are adjusted to this configuration.

 

Now a small challenge:

You have an app which usually could run "Boot from CD" or "Boot from BootMedia".

But unfortunatelly this app sometimes updates some data from internet and writes them into the running PE, and therefore the data must be writable. Example: A virus scanner needs the latest data.

 

First solution: "Run from RAM" is not the best one:

When you are working with an old PC with maybe only 512 MB of RAM, RAM size could be insufficient to store the data. And next boot, you have to download the latest definitions again, ...

 

Better solution: "Run from VHD" (Virtual Hard Disk). The Virtual Hard Disk is an image placed "anywhere" and a writable file. All the new virus definitions are written into this file and available next boot.

 

FAQ: Where can I find all this functionality?

Answer: In multiPE

 

Peter



#2 JanuszChmiel

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:41 PM

Dear Peter,

I Am very sorry, that i have thought, that You had leaved my pleasment unsolved.

So clever algorithm will even enable me to use virtual memory if clamwin will need it? You are very smart developer. Because i have tested several utility, which are trying to force The NT core to use virtual memory while running in PE mode, but when triing to redirect The virtual memory placement to The virtual harddisk or to some USB media, i have got error message.

 

So i will try Clamwin with Yours MultiPE.

 

And thank You very much for Yours hard work.



#3 pscEx

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:44 PM

I hope (and am rather sure) that it will fullfill your requirements.

 

Peter :cheers:



#4 paraglider

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:57 PM

A vhd is only writable if its on writable media. Its not writable on DVD.



#5 paraglider

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:58 PM

Or if its in a iso mounted into a virtual machine.



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

I would add - just for the record - that only one type of .VHD file is suitable for this use, which is the "static" or "fixed" one.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#7 pscEx

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:54 PM

A vhd is only writable if its on writable media. Its not writable on DVD.

The Virtual Hard Disk is an image placed "anywhere" and a writable file.

The VHD is written to the local host, and in case of booting from CD / DVD automatically opened.

 

That is good for PE's  you only use in your local PC. For system administrators, of course, that does not work when they use the DVD on several systems.

 

Full use of the  VHD feature is possible only when you create a USB stick. Then the image is optionally copied to the USB stick.

 

There is a current manual workaround for use on DVD boot:

 

Copy the VHD image onto a local (or USB removable) disk, and manualy create an ImDisk hard disk from it.

 

Peter



#8 JanuszChmiel

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:17 PM

Dear Peter,

I can not find The .img file with virtual harddisk after finishing creation of bootable USB stick.

The project is fully functional, but where is The virtual harddisk file? Or must i manually copy it from some Multipe subfolder to The root folder of USB stick to make it work?

The script portable manager and Clamwin portable can create virtual local disk T: i see it on my computer, which is building The project.

My pleasmnet is, must i copy The .img file to The root folder of The bootable USB stick?

Last question.

Is there any difference between running Clamwin portable installation from bootable USB stick manually after booting? Or You have also made somethink with RAM boot so there is less memory allocation?

 

Thank You very much for Yours answer.

 

Special question for MR paraglider.

 

Why runscanner can not be used to display The system control panel applet of The offline XP host, but add or remove programs controlpanel appled can be used, for sighted users, NVDA screen reader can not communicate with this not standard window.

 

I use special rundll command to run add or remove programs from The offline host.

But why system and device manager can not be executed by this way.

 

It is very sad, i know about functioning alternative, from Nirsocher, but my dream is still to recall device manager from offline host or even sfc /scannow command, which would be used from PE environment to controll offline hosts.

 

And it is sad, that so talentet developer, who paraglider is is not want to experiment with such thinks.

 

Runscanner is The revolutionar tool and it is sad, that its development have been stopped.

 

Yours tool can be used as a Windows safe mode replacement while running Windows PE, but very very sadly, You are not aware because of it.



#9 pscEx

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:11 PM

I can not find The .img file with virtual harddisk after finishing creation of bootable USB stick.

The project is fully functional, but where is The virtual harddisk file? Or must i manually copy it from some Multipe subfolder to The root folder of USB stick to make it work?

The script portable manager and Clamwin portable can create virtual local disk T: i see it on my computer, which is building The project.

Should be done automatically when you create the USB stick.

 

To compare: In my system it is on <usb>\multiVHD\multiPA_VHD.img.

 

In the PE this image is mounted as T:

 

Maybe I made a mistake.

 

Please post the log.

 

Peter



#10 paraglider

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:33 AM

Development of runscanner has not been stopped. I have never been asked to get it working with device manager. However MS provides an offline device manager as well as many other useful tools with its dart package ( http://www.microsoft.../mdop/dart.aspx ) ( latest version dart8 compatible with win 8 ).



#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:37 AM

However MS provides an offline device manager as well as many other useful tools with its dart package ( http://www.microsoft.../mdop/dart.aspx ) ( latest version dart8 compatible with win 8 ).

Do I read it right as "MS provides in exchange for a hefty amount of money for licensing it"?  :unsure:

Or is it - like the WAIK - a "complimentary download" open to everyone?   :dubbio:

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#12 JanuszChmiel

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:22 AM

Dear Paraglider,

I will explain my pleasment related to runscanner modiffication.

 

As You know, Windows safe mode is and will be inaccessible for visually impaired users for ever thanks to The fact, that The aim of The safe mode is to load only minimum of services and device drivers. It is not problem of Microsoft corp, also Linux have safe mode.

 

Thanks to Windows PE projects and thanks to runscanner, visually impaired users can access offline systems more comfortably. Runscanner can be used not only for regedit to access offline registry, but also for other purposes. Such as to run some antivirus or spyware removal programs.

If visually impaired user wants to run those programs for this purposes, it is very complex for him.

 

Even commercial tools are not supporting screen readers, so The choice of this user is limited not only on The fact, if The tool is free or no.

 

Some Linux kernels are having issues with some chipsets and no every blind user is Linux kernel developer to put right kernel boot option as a blind user with no sight right to The boot prompt when starting Linux live CD.

 

The The results of my long term test is, that only WIndows PE projects can enable users to access really The majority of computers without no need to put boot options to The boot prompt.

It isw even possible to buy USB sound devices such as USB headsets or standard USB sound carts, The universal USB drivers shipped with WIndows starting from XP to Windows 8 are very often fully compatible with various USB sound devices, not only with USB headsets.

 

So MR Paraglider, would You try to debug This rundll command with runscanner, why device manager can not display The dialog Window?

 

I Am afraid, that this will not be possible because some NT kernel limitations.

 

So Mr Paraglider, try to execute this command and if it would be possible, try to modifi runscanner modules to support this, I Am ready to debug with You.

 

 

"%SystemDrive%\Program Files\Runscanner\Runscanner.exe" /t 0 /sd /ac /m+ /y c:\windows\system32\rundll32.exe c:\windows\system32\shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL "c:\windows\System32\system.cpl"

If The technique based on Microsoft management console will bring successfull results, it will also be enough.

 

The assumption, that this project would have The sense is, that user will respect The following facts.

User would had to use Windows XP ith SP3 with no updates to prevent hydden issues with some dll modifications, i believe, that ordinal numbers of procedures inside The dlls are The same.

No matter on Windows XP update.

 

You would theoretically release runscanner to support device manager also for WIndows 7 and later 8.

But may be, that it will be inpossible, but i would be very glad, if You could try it.



#13 paraglider

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:48 PM

@JanuszChmiel, Could you please create a new thread for your runscanner problems as these have nothing to do with the original purpose of this thread ( RunFromRam ). Note - it is never a good idea to run programs from a target windows folder as it can introduce all sort of compatability problems with your running PE. First you should create a PE that can successfully run system.cpl natively without runscanner. Then when that it working attempt to start the PE version of system.cpl using runscanner.






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