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Windows Image File Boot (WIMBoot)

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#1 erwan.l

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 08:18 PM

Hello Gents,

 

Just wondering if anyone had the opportunity to test the new WIMBOOT windows 8.1 feature?

 

More infor here.

 

If I read it well, the windows files look as if they stand on the logical partition but are actually stored/compressed within a WIM file

 

It seems there is a new DISM command line flag (/wimboot) to capture/apply WIM files.

 

Lets share experience...

The benefit on storage looks obvious but I am wondering about the performances (IO anc CPU).

 

Regards,

Erwan



#2 misty

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:37 PM

@erwan.l
Thanks for the information - looks like a very interesting feature. According to the information you linked to -

* WIMBoot is available only for UEFI-based PCs running in UEFI mode (legacy BIOS-compatibility mode isn't supported).

* WIMBoot is supported for solid-state drives and eMMC (Windows HCK compliant) drives. WIMBoot isn't supported on traditional drives that contain rotational components, or on hybrid drives that contain both solid-state and rotational drive components. WIMBoot works by taking advantage of the capability of solid-state drives to access different areas of the hard drive quickly.


I'll watch this space with interest as sadly I can't play - I can't meet the hardware requirements!

Regards,

Misty

#3 erwan.l

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 09:01 AM

Hi Misty,

 

Googling around it seems that the UEFI and SSD requirements are actually only recommendations.

I'll try to set some hardware at home and play with it these next days.

 

Regards,

Erwan



#4 azlvda

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:32 AM

already running WIMBoot on ACER W4

following this guide

http://forums.mydigi...BOOT-discussion



#5 erwan.l

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:44 AM

already running WIMBoot on ACER W4

following this guide

http://forums.mydigi...BOOT-discussion

 

Thanks for the feedback.

Are you using UEFI or MBR?

Are you running X86 or X64?

Are you using SSD or not ?

 

As a whole, did you save lots of space? Any downside on the performance side?



#6 erwan.l

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 11:05 AM

note : the "DISM Image Management Command-Line Options" MS web page has been updated on April 1st to reflect the /wimboot new flag.



#7 azlvda

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 11:06 AM

Thanks for the feedback.

Are you using UEFI or MBR?

Are you running X86 or X64?

Are you using SSD or not ?

 

As a whole, did you save lots of space? Any downside on the performance side?

 


 

UEFI

x86

flash memory 32gb

my install.wim around 3.2gb after full update syspreped using win 8.1 update 1

free space after installed some aplication including vmware workstation, office, 2013 + update, pro adobe acrobat XI around 13gb

hibernation active

system restore active

page file standard

theres no downside on the performance


Edited by azlvda, 12 April 2014 - 11:11 AM.


#8 erwan.l

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 11:36 AM

UEFI

x86

flash memory 32gb

my install.wim around 3.2gb after full update syspreped using win 8.1 update 1

free space after installed some aplication including vmware workstation, office, 2013 + update, pro adobe acrobat XI around 13gb

hibernation active

system restore active

page file standard

theres no downside on the performance

 

Thanks.

The X86 is already one good news (x64 is not mandatory then).

 

I am burning a Win8.1 update media as we speak.

My test hardware will be an old Lenovo T60 from 2006 with a 80gb SATA drive.



#9 misty

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 12:06 PM

My test hardware will be an old Lenovo T60 from 2006 with a 80gb SATA drive.

Please feedback as I have a similar piece of kit I can use for testing - if your setup works then my slightly newer (refurbished) Lenovo T400 should also work.

Regards,

Misty

#10 erwan.l

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 12:21 PM

My T60 would not let me use my x64 iso.

I switched to a T61 and it is now installing Windows 8.1 update X64 :)

 

I also have a T400 : this one should be no pb at all.



#11 erwan.l

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 12:43 PM

Windows 8.1 update X64 installed on a Lenovo T61. Wosk fine.

 

gEFRfm1.png

 

Now I guess I need to capture to a wim file using /wimboot and apply it back using /wimboot to test this new wimboot feature.



#12 erwan.l

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 04:03 PM

so far, no luck with /wimboot flag.

 

My OS is windows 8.1 x64 update 1, my drive is SSD.

But my bios is not UEFI and I am using a MBR partition : could be a limitation.

 

3rDudB3.png



#13 azlvda

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 04:19 PM

only UEFI

just try  on vmware capturing and installing image

it works

dont forget in vmx file

scsi0:0.VirtualSSD = "1"

firmware = "efi"



#14 erwan.l

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 04:38 PM

Actually the wimboot flag works now.

 

Using process monitor, I was able to spot that DISM was looking for windows\system32\wimbootcompress.ini within the folder i was trying to capture (c:\my_folder\windows\system32\wimbootcompress.ini).

 

Looks as if this flag was meant to capture a drive only and not a folder on a drive.

Creating windows\system32\wimbootcompress.ini in my to be captured folder did the trick.

 

It is deviating from the topic of this thread but I just wanted to be sure that /wimboot was working fine...

 

Will now follow a proper procedure.



#15 erwan.l

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 06:32 PM

ok it works :)

 

1-I made a WINPE out of the Windows 8.1 x64 update 1 iso (I used QuickPE).

2-I booted onto this Winpe.

3-I captured my installation : dism /capture-image /imagefile:e:\install.Wim /capturedir:c:\ /name:install /wimboot.

4-I formatted my C drive.

5-I applied my wim file to my C drive : dism /apply-image /imagefile:e:\install.Wim /index:1 /applydir:c:\ /wimboot.

 

 And voila :) Only 3GB occupied on C drive (17gb originally) and my files pointing to the wim file (8gb) on the M drive.

 

I shall add : 

-computer is an "old" lenovo T61 (supports x64 thus)

-computer has no UEFI / GPT (but classic MBR)

-i did not need MS ADK 8.1

-my setup does not have a MSR (microsoft system reserved) partition

 

 

YzEqh5C.png

 

edit : attaching a picture (from MS) adpated / simplified to explain my setup.

Attached Files



#16 erwan.l

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:36 PM

I have made 3 articles / how to here around Wimboot :

 

1. Using the "Original" i.e DISM method : here.

 

2. Using the "GUI" i.e CloneDisk method : here.

 

3. Using the "Alternative" i.e WimLib method : here.


  • wimb and misty like this

#17 misty

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 08:54 PM

This (still) looks interesting. Unfortunately I do not think I have access to the required Windows 8.1 update 1 sources as I'm running the Enterprise Evaluation version of 8.1 and update 1 does not appear to be available via automatic updates.

Just out of curiosity, what is the build number on the update 1 files? The 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation I'm running is 6.3.9600.16384. I'm currently downloading 9600.17050.WINBLUE_REFRESH.140317-1640_X86FRE_ENTERPRISE_EVAL_EN-US-IR3_CENA_X86FREE_EN-US_DV9.ISO - fingers crossed this is the update 1 iso! It's not obvious from the TechNet Evaluation Centre page (here) which version this actually is :frusty:

Will report back later if I don't hear from anyone before the download and installation completes.

Regards,

Misty

#18 misty

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 08:56 PM

P.s. Thanks erwan.l - if I am downloading the relevant .iso then I'm sure your instructions will prove useful. It's nice that someone else has gone through the pain so that I don't have to!

#19 erwan.l

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:46 PM

This (still) looks interesting. Unfortunately I do not think I have access to the required Windows 8.1 update 1 sources as I'm running the Enterprise Evaluation version of 8.1 and update 1 does not appear to be available via automatic updates.

Just out of curiosity, what is the build number on the update 1 files? The 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation I'm running is 6.3.9600.16384. I'm currently downloading 9600.17050.WINBLUE_REFRESH.140317-1640_X86FRE_ENTERPRISE_EVAL_EN-US-IR3_CENA_X86FREE_EN-US_DV9.ISO - fingers crossed this is the update 1 iso! It's not obvious from the TechNet Evaluation Centre page (here) which version this actually is :frusty:

Will report back later if I don't hear from anyone before the download and installation completes.

Regards,

Misty

 

My windows 8.1 U1 x64 source is 6.3.9600.17031.



#20 misty

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 11:10 AM

@erwan.l
This is a quick report. It (eventually) worked - woo-hoo!

Due, I suspect, to my setup it was not straightforward. I initially received -



A disk read error occurred 
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

On rebooting to WinPE 3.1 and checking the boot files on the Windows 8.1 Update 1 drive (hd0,1) they were all zero byte files in terms of size on disk (this was after the files had been captured and then applied with the wimboot flag).

After playing around for a while with different active partitions, booting via grub4dos, booting directly with bootmgr (or at least attempting to) I found a method that worked for me. I reapplied the wimboot Windows 8.1 files to (hd0,1), then copied bootmgr and the bcd store from (hd0,1) to (hd0,0), then booted grub4dos on (hd0,0) and ran chainloader (hd0,0)/bootmgr.

I'm writing this on a wimbooted Windows 8.1 Update 1 system (x86 Enterprise Evaluation).

This is a Lenovo Thinkpad X200 -

  • MBR type disk
  • Disk is a HITACHI Travelstar (SATA 2.5" drive (7200 RPM))
  • Used space on the OS boot partition is only 2.07 GB

I used the DISM method for this test as it's known to be working. I'll retry with wimlib when I have the time to do so.

Just out of curiosity, do you have a seperate boot partition? And do you use a third party bootloader/bootmanager?

I might try this experiment again with a seperate boot partition during the installation phase of Windows 8.1 Update 1 - before capturing and reapplying.

Regards,

Misty

P.s. Many thanks erwan.l



#21 erwan.l

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 11:23 AM

My T61 is setup as is :

 

-MBR

-SSD drive

-2 partitions : the system/boot/data one (C: - 60 gigs), and the "wim store" one (E: - 20 gigs)

 

One note thus : it seems that I have to perform a bcdboot c:\windows /s c:\ after each apply.

But it could be that my initial capture was missing a working BCD.



#22 misty

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 02:03 PM

One note thus : it seems that I have to perform a bcdboot c:\windows /s c:\ after each apply.
But it could be that my initial capture was missing a working BCD.

@erwan.l
Can you please check (and possibly amend) the instructions linked to in this post here - the wimlib method commands appear incorrect. I don't use the .cmd files included in the download, however I did copy and paste the commands into my own batch file. I believe item 3 (Capture the installation) should read -



wimcapture.cmd c:\ e:\install.wim --wimboot
Note the --wimboot, not wimboot.

The same correction needs to be made to item 5 (Apply our wim file) - also I believe that an image number needs to be specified in this command.

It may also be worth stating in your instructions (for both the DISM and Wimlib methods) that the bcdboot command (bcdboot #:\windows /s #:\ - where # is the volume containing the applied wimboot files) needs to be applied. I doubt that both you and I would both have the same problem with BCD store not having been captured properly.

The following screenshot was taken in WinPE 5.0 -
Attached File  bootmgr50.jpg   28.95KB   23 downloads

This one was taken in WinPE 5.1 -
Attached File  bootmgr51.jpg   29.1KB   20 downloads

This is the same file - note the zero byte size (on disk) in WinPE 5.0. Also, when attempting to chainload this file in Grub4dos, I received the following error -
Error 13: Invalid or unsupported executable format
It is clearly not there - just linked to. I suspect the bcdboot command physically copies the required files to the volume - I'll check this out shortly.

Thanks again for taking the time out to document your experiments.

Regards,

Misty

#23 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 02:08 PM

Also, when attempting to chainload this file in Grub4dos, I received the following error -

Error 13: Invalid or unsupported executable format
It is clearly not there - just linked to. 

 

Just in case, check the file extents for the file, with the blocklist command.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#24 misty

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 02:13 PM

Just in case, check the file extents for the file, with the blocklist command.

I'll have to reapply the wim file first. Will check this later and report back.

:cheers:

#25 misty

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 02:35 PM

@Wonko
Blocklist command (and output) with a newly appied wimboot image -

grub> blocklist (hd0,1)/bootmgr
(hd0,1)
And after the bcdboot command has been executed -
grub> blocklist (hd0,1)/bootmgr
(hd0,1)90864+779
@everyone
Screenshot of bootmgr properties as seen in WinPE 5.0 after the bdcboot command has been executed -
Attached File  bootmgr50-after-bcdboot.jpg   28.92KB   15 downloads

:cheers:





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