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WinPE RAM Usage


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#1 misty

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 08:19 PM

I decided to run a few tests using WinPE 5.1 - to test RAM usage across three different deployment scenarios -
  • Normal RAM boot (boot.wim loaded into RAM)
  • Flat boot (WinPE extracted to a volume - non-RAM boot)
  • Wimboot (similar to flat boot (see above) - but using pointer files)
I chose WinPE 5.1 as it's the only version of WinPE that currently supports wimboot. Also I haven't experimented with it much and felt like having a play.

I prepared the core file (boot.wim) using (shameless plug) the amazing MistyPE project. I included a few small programs and modified boot.wim from the Windows 8.1 Update 1 Enterprise Evaluation download - after the modifications (bblean (shell), a43 (file manager), Forensic Acquisition Utilities, dd for Windows, DMDE, TinyHexer and WinHex) my boot.wim file was approximately 197MB in size. No services were added, only a few files were added to the system32 directory and a few registry keys were added/changed (mainly file associations - open with (workaround), etc).

I also decided to use WinPE 3.1 for comparison purposes - as wimboot isn't supported I just tested the RAM and flat boot methods. WinPE 3.1 was also built with MistyPE - using the same settings and including the same programs as I used in my WinPE 5.1 build. boot.wim was 144 MB.

The results below in regards to RAM usage were obtained via task manager - no programs were running and WinPE had just finished booting -
  • WinPE: 5.1 (Method: RAM boot)
    • Total RAM: 3992 MB
    • Cached RAM: 94 MB
    • Available RAM: 3635 MB
    • Free RAM: 3543 MB
    • RAM in use: 449 MB
    • Size on Disk: N/A (before first run)
    • Size on Disk: N/A (after first run)
    • Pagefile size: N/A (after first run)
  • WinPE: 3.1 (Method: RAM boot)
    • Total RAM: 3992 MB
    • Cached RAM: 53 MB
    • Available RAM: 3607 MB
    • Free RAM: 3558 MB
    • RAM in use: 434 MB
    • Size on Disk: N/A (before first run)
    • Size on Disk: N/A (after first run)
    • Pagefile size: N/A (after first run)
  • WinPE: 5.1 (Method: Flat Boot)
    • Total RAM: 3992 MB
    • Cached RAM: 94 MB
    • Available RAM: 3833 MB
    • Free RAM: 3741 MB
    • RAM in use: 251 MB
    • Size on Disk: 668 MB (before first run)
    • Size on Disk: 2.03 GB (after first run)
    • Pagefile size: 1.37 GB (after first run)
  • WinPE: 3.1 (Method: Flat Boot)
    • Total RAM: 3992 MB
    • Cached RAM: 50 MB
    • Available RAM: 3752 MB
    • Free RAM: 3707 MB
    • RAM in use: 285 MB
    • Size on Disk: 0.99 GB (before first run)
    • Size on Disk: 1.00 GB (after first run)
    • Pagefile size: N/A (after first run)
  • WinPE: 5.1 (Method: WimBoot)
    • Total RAM: 3992 MB
    • Cached RAM: 92 MB
    • Available RAM: 3829 MB
    • Free RAM: 3739 MB
    • RAM in use: 253 MB
    • Size on Disk: 112 MB (before first run)
    • Size on Disk: 1.49 GB (after first run)
    • Pagefile size: 1.37 GB (after first run)
So just looking at RAM in use across the various methods and WinPE versions (which I calculated based upon total RAM minus Free RAM - both of which were as reported in Task Manager) -
  • WinPE Version: 5.1 in RAM - RAM in use: 449 MB
  • WinPE Version: 3.1 in RAM - RAM in use: 434 MB
  • WinPE Version: 5.1 Flat boot - RAM in use: 251 MB
  • WinPE Version: 3.1 Flat boot - RAM in use: 285 MB
  • WinPE Version: 5.1 WimBoot - RAM in use: 253 MB
Remember, nothing was actually running - other than the OS, shell and Task Manager.

Interestingly in the Flat Boot deployment WinPE 5.1 used less RAM than WinPE 3.1 - possibly because of the use of a pagefile which was created on first run. WinPE 3.1 did not create a pagefile. WinPE 5.1 WimBoot and WinPE 5.1 Flat Boot RAM usage was almost identical.

I used the default RAM disk size for both WinPE versions tested - 512 MB in WinPE 5.1 and 32 MB in WinPE 3.1. RAM disk usage will almost certainly start to reduce the amount of available RAM. In low RAM systems Flat Boot and WimBoot deployments are therefore recommended.

Also note that despite the WinPE 5.1 boot.wim being significantly larger then WinPE 3.1 boot.wim (53 MB / 37% larger) - once extracted from boot.wim and applied to a volume it used less space on disk (668 MB as opposed to 0.99 GB)

Strangely I find myself wanting a low spec/RAM system to test this further. If anyone has a system with 256MB RAM please can you try running WinPE 3.1/5.1 (RAM Disk and Flat boot methods) and report back.

I'm also curious about the following -

The point that needs to be checked/verified is the hardware compatibility of the various PE releases, I have no idea if PE 4.0/5.0/5.1 have some (or none) of the (IMHO senseless) architecture/hardware limitations of the corresponding "main OS", i.e. PAE, NX and SSE2:
http://windows.micro...-is-pae-nx-sse2

Again, does anyone have the hardware to test this? If yes, will you?

It would be very useful to determine the minimum RAM requirements for different systems.

Regards,

Misty

#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 11:21 AM

If I may, you could try those builds in Qemu (+Qemu Manager) "playing" with the different virtual hardware available in it and limiting the RAM available to the VM to (say) 512 or 1024 Mb.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#3 erwan.l

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 11:29 AM

My old long used batch file, always on my desk (i simply edit the iso name whenever needed).

 

Latest binaries here and here.

 

Note thus : qemu (i am using 0.15) and Win8/WinPe4 dont like to each other for now... If anyone could report success, I'd be interested...

SET SDL_VIDEODRIVER=windib
qEmu.exe -L . -m 512 -cdrom c:\test\winpe.iso


#4 misty

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:46 PM

If I may, you could try those builds in Qemu (+Qemu Manager) "playing" with the different virtual hardware available in it and limiting the RAM available to the VM to (say) 512 or 1024 Mb.

Thanks - don't know why I didn't think of this myself. As erwan.l has already pointed out, QEMU and WinPE 4.0/5.0/5.1 do not play well together - something I discovered whilst doing some other experiments in the Is WinFE Forensically Sound thread.

I therefore ran a quick test using VMWare Player. I tested Flat Boot (non-RAM) deployments of WinPE 3.1 and 5.1 and was very surprised to see that they both booted on a (virtual) system with only 128 MB RAM.

When I attempted to start DMDE in WinPE 3.1 on this system (with 128 MB RAM) it gave me an out of memory error.

Using WinPE 5.1 (which automatically creates a pagefile) on the same system I was actually able to start DMDE and capture an image of another virtual drive (1 GB in size). I noticed afterwards that the pagefile had grown to a whopping 2.63 GB! I was also able to capture an image using WinHex. Performance was, unsurprisingly, not great.

Performance on the same virtual machine with RAM increased to 256 MB felt markedly improved - although I didn't run any real comparisons and only tested WinPE 5.1. Time is limited at the moment.

This screenshot shows WinHex running in WinPE 5.1 on the system with 128 MB RAM - disk capture is in progres -
Attached File  winhex.running.on.128MB.RAM.jpg   197.53KB   1 downloads

Regards,

Misty

#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:28 AM

As a matter of fact that is exactly the reason why I suggested tests with Qemu (+Qemu Manager).

 

In my Qemu Manager (with Qemu 0.13) I can choose among:

Bitness: 32 bit vs. 64 bit

Hardware type: Standard ISA vs. Standard PCI

CPU:

64 bit: Qemu 64 bit/Phenom/Core 2 Duo/Core Duo/486/Pentium/Pentium2/Pentium 3

32 bit: Qemu 32 bit/Core 2 Duo/Core Duo/486/Pentium/Pentium2/Pentium 3/Athlon/n270

Number of processors.

Amount of memory.

Video card: Cirrus/Standard VGA/VMWARE svga-II

and many more settings in the advanced tab. (not that every combination of these makes actually sense, BTW)

 

As it was hinted earlier "real" 8/8.1 have some "hardware requirements":

http://reboot.pro/to...sults/?p=183949

that it is still to be determined if they apply (integrally or partially) to the corresponding PE.

 

For WinFE use, this is IMHO (and in practice) something that NEEDS to be EXACTLY ascertained. :ph34r:

 

The results of your experiences (that you so nicely shared with us :thumbup:) all seem to lead to a WinFE 4.x/5.x having "better" features when compared to a PE 3.x, but IF these hardware compatibiltes are confirmed, one would need anyway a PE 3.x to deal with machines (say) built in the 2000-2012 years, and a PE 4.x/5.x to deal with machines (say) built 2010 and later (feel free to correct the rough year range, it was determined by "common sense" more than anything else).

 

:duff:

Wonko



#6 erwan.l

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:43 AM

Well actually I believe the split is more between WinPE4 and WinPE5.

I would discard WinPE3 unless you have some really old computer prior to Pentium4 (these computers are probably/hopefully all dead by now!).

 

I have Windows 7 or WinPE4 running on machines that were released in 2003 (a lenovo t40 - p4 for example).

And looking at the requirements here, it could be that Win7 can run on even lower hardware.

 

I have Windows 8 or WinPE5 running on machines that were released in 2007 (a lenovo t61 - core2 for example).

Not much listed here on the hardware requirements except the PAE item.

 

There was a before/after Win8 and QEMU is a perfect example of this.

 

Erwan

 

Edit :

See lower posts about confusion between WinPE versions ...

I meant "I believe the split is more between WinPE3.x and WinPE4/5.x".

Win7 = WinPE3.x and Win8 = WinPE4/5.x



#7 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 12:25 PM

Well actually I believe the split is more between WinPE4 and WinPE5.
I would discard WinPE3 unless you have some really old computer prior to Pentium4 (these computers are probably/hopefully all dead by now!).

I have Windows 7 or WinPE4 running on machines that were released in 2003 (a lenovo t40 - p4 for example).
And looking at the requirements here, it could be that Win7 can run on even lower hardware.

I have Windows 8 or WinPE5 running on machines that were released in 2007 (a lenovo t61 - core2 for example).
Not much listed here on the hardware requirements except the PAE item.

There was a before/after Win8 and QEMU is a perfect example of this.

Erwan

@erwan.l
You seem like having lost count of the numbering :w00t:
XP/2003 -> PE 1.x
Vista :ph34r: /2008 -> PE 2.x
7/2008R2 -> PE 3.x
8-> PE 4.x
8.1->PE 5.x (though it should have been logically called 4.1)
http://technet.micro...y/dn293271.aspx

:duff:
Wonko



#8 misty

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 12:25 PM

@erwan.l


I would discard WinPE3 unless you have some really old computer prior to Pentium4 (these computers are probably/hopefully all dead by now!)....I have Windows 7 or WinPE4 running on machines that were released in 2003 ...I have Windows 8 or WinPE5 running on machines that were released in 2007

I personally prefer WinPE 3(.1) to newer versions of WinPE unless it's for Forensic use as WinPE 4.0 and 5.0 (and possibly 5.1) appear to write protect disks far earlier in the boot process.

For the record, the WinPE versions correspond (roughly) to the following operating systems -
  • WinPE 2.0 - 6.0.6000 - Vista
  • WinPE 2.1 - 6.0.6001 - Vista SP1 and possibly Server 2008
  • WinPE 3.0 - 6.1.7600 - Windows 7 and possibly Server 2008 R2
  • WinPE 3.1 - 6.1.7601 - Windows 7 SP1 and possibly Server 2008 R2 SP1
  • WinPE 4.0 - 6.2.9200 - Windows 8 and possibly Server 2012
  • WinPE 5.0 - 6.3.9600 - Windows 8.1
  • WinPE 5.1 - 6.3.9600 - Windows 8.1 Update 1
I suspect that you might have been confusing WinPE 2 and WinPE 3 when you stated that you would discard WinPE3. If you were, then I'd agree with you. Particularly as WinPE 3 appears to have less in the way of hardware requirements than WinPE 2.

Hope this all makes sense.

Regards,

Misty

Edit - looks like Wonko beat me to it!

#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 12:25 PM

Oops.
Cross-posting.
Ignore.

:duff:
Wonko

#10 erwan.l

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 12:37 PM

Damn, you are both correct (and fast!) :)

Totally got confused !

 

I meant Windows 7 (or Winpe 3.x) seems to work fine on pentium4 hardware (back to 2003).

And Windows 8 (Winpe 4 and 5.x) seems to work fine on core duo 2 hardware (back to 2007).

 

One big advantage thus on Windows 8 PE's is that it has recognized all my hardware so far (storage and network) when Windows 7 sometimes failed and I needed to inject extra drivers.

 

Sorry guys for the confusion !

I'll put an edit note in my original thread not to confuse future readers.



#11 misty

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 12:43 PM

As it was hinted earlier "real" 8/8.1 have some "hardware requirements":
http://reboot.pro/to...sults/?p=183949
that it is still to be determined if they apply (integrally or partially) to the corresponding PE.

For WinFE use, this is IMHO (and in practice) something that NEEDS to be EXACTLY ascertained.

:thumbsup: But who will do this? I personally don't have the hardware to check these requirements. I have not been able to find these particular requirements specified officially elsewhere - it could be that they are required for the installation process as opposed to the OS, who knows. MS has a habit of detailing incorrect information. Just look at the Windows Image Fileboot (WIMBoot) Overview where they (incorrectly) state...


  • 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.

...8.1->PE 5.x (though it should have been logically called 4.1)
http://technet.micro...y/dn293271.aspx

Yep - definitely agree. The differences between WinPE 4.0 and 5.0 appear to be about the same as those between WinPE 3.0 and 3.1. To confuse matters further I believe that WinPE 5.0 and 5.1 use the same 6.3.9600 codebase numbering! It's so unlike MS to be inconsistant :whistling:

#12 erwan.l

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 12:51 PM

Totally aggree.

 

-Wimboot MS supposedly requirements are actually recommandations are we have demonstrated on this forum : that mbr and/or x86 and/or standard disk will work too.

-indeed, i have a hard time to find detailed hw requirements for windows build (and indeed it is never clear if this applies to installation or running O.S).

-Correct : MS has not updated its codebase numbering between 8.0 and 8.1.

 

MS is everything but reliable in its documentation :(

 

As a whole, I have access (working in IT) to many different hardware so I can test pretty much.



#13 misty

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 12:52 PM

I forgot to report back yesterday. I did a few more quick tests using a Flat Boot WinPE 5.1 system with 256 MB RAM (the same setup as in post #4). I ran several disk image tests. All completed without error on this system -
  • clonedisk - reported completing in 36125 ms (36.125 seconds)
  • DMDE - 41 seconds (stopwatch)
  • WinHex - reported completing in 0:51 min (51.000 seconds)
The disk being copied was 1 GB in size - in the case of WinHex NTFS compression was used. For Clonedisk and DMDE the disk image was created in a NTFS Compressed folder - ensuring the same results.

Great results for Clonedisk - well done erwan.l :worship:

Regards,

Misty

#14 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 12:56 PM

I meant Windows 7 (or Winpe 3.x) seems to work fine on pentium4 hardware (back to 2003).

And Windows 8 (Winpe 4 and 5.x) seems to work fine on core duo 2 hardware (back to 2007).

Yep, and AGAIN, Qemu (at least my Qemu Manager and it's "special" Qemu 0.13) can emulate BOTH the "normal" Pentium 4 and a Core DUO, BUT the requirements for 8 (and 8.1) are about *something else" (on which I have NO ideas/experience on actual connection to hardware and corresponding - rough - years of production):

  1. PAE
  2. NX
  3. SS2

http://windows.micro...-is-pae-nx-sse2

 

I have right now NOT the availability of a proper source nor the time to build a PE 4.x or 5.x, maybe next week I can try a PE 4.x in my setup :unsure:

 

@Misty

Yes to all.

I don't really see why PAE can be a requirement (if one can have less than 4 Gb of RAM), and in any case it should appy to really old hardware, I remember using PAE in Windows 2000, thus with hardware dated 1998/1999/2000 or so)

The NX may be a real requirement:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NX_bit

http://en.wikipedia....crosoft_Windows

seems to place it around 2002-2004

http://technet.micro...y/dn482072.aspx

The SS2 seems more like an artificial limit introduced by the "default" for Visual Studio.

http://connect.micro.../details/565959

but still if the good guys used it, the result will need SS2

 

:duff:

Wonko



#15 erwan.l

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 01:01 PM

About qemu, it seems that it can host windows 8.x fine under linux.

 

Thus after some googling, the linux guys also met, at first, the same issue as I do (windows error 0x0000005D) but solved it thanks to the CPU qemu command line parameter.

It seems parameters like -cpu Nehalem or -cpu kvm64 solved it.

These cpu codenames are defined in a qemu conf file.

 

Unfortunately, this cpu parameter seems missing under windows.

 

So all in all, issue is related to the cpu which has to support NX (seems the first constraint) and possibly PAE and/or SSE2.

 

Edit:

will test with cpu-z both from an hardware running windows 8.1 and from a qemu running windows7.

in theory first one should have the nx flag, the second not.

 

Edit2:

cpu-z does not report the NX cpu flag. coreinfo does.



#16 erwan.l

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 01:26 PM

Ran coreinfo :

-"old" lenovo t61 (from 2007) : nx/pae/sse2 ok -> run windows 8.1u1 and winpe 5.1

-qemu 1.5.2 : nx not ok, pae/sse2 ok -> does not run winpe above 3.1

 

So at first look, I'd say that the NX cpu flag is a prerequisite.

 

Edit : more here about Windows 8 and the PAE/NX/SSE2 constraints.

 

 

An attempt to boot a system that does not have NX or SSE2 support results in a bugcheck. Users get the UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR code (0x0000005D) error

Attached Files



#17 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 06:18 PM

@erwan.l
Very good find. :)

The coreinfo tool on "normal" Qemu 0.11.1 (the "special" version that is included in Qemu Manager 7.0):
http://reboot.pro/to...image/?p=167861

Using the emulate cpu Core Duo has ALL THREE with asterisk (supported). (and that Qemu under Windows DOES HAVE a -cpu option)

I will try also with other cpu's/other later release of the same "special" Qemu (I have also the 0.13).

If either you or Misty could try the above Qemu Manager with a PE 4/5 it would be a nice thing.

:duff:
Wonko

#18 misty

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 08:33 PM

Using the emulate cpu Core Duo has ALL THREE with asterisk (supported)...If either you or Misty could try the above Qemu Manager with a PE 4/5 it would be a nice thing.

@Wonko
Just tested booting a WinPE 5.1 ISO. First test failed. Then I read your post properly and managed to find the settings for the processor type. After changing the CPU Type: to Core Duo it booted. :thumbsup:

Regards,

Misty

Update

I downloaded and installed qemu-w32-setup-20140418.exe from http://qemu.weilnetz.de/ (as linked to in post #3 - cheers erwan.l).

I then edited the batch erwan.l posted here and added -cpu Nehalem (tip in post #15 - also by erwan.l). New batch -
@echo off
SET SDL_VIDEODRIVER=windib
start qemu-system-i386.exe -L . -m 512 -cdrom D:\WinPE5.1.iso -cpu Nehalem
WinPE 5.1 booted :thumbsup:

#19 erwan.l

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 11:38 AM

I forgot to report back yesterday. I did a few more quick tests using a Flat Boot WinPE 5.1 system with 256 MB RAM (the same setup as in post #4). I ran several disk image tests. All completed without error on this system -

  • clonedisk - reported completing in 36125 ms (36.125 seconds)
  • DMDE - 41 seconds (stopwatch)
  • WinHex - reported completing in 0:51 min (51.000 seconds)
The disk being copied was 1 GB in size - in the case of WinHex NTFS compression was used. For Clonedisk and DMDE the disk image was created in a NTFS Compressed folder - ensuring the same results.

Great results for Clonedisk - well done erwan.l :worship:

Regards,

Misty

 

 

Thanks for this (positive) feedback :)

Latest discussions on this forum around imaging and speed indeed encouraged me to improve speed in latest CloneDisk version.



#20 erwan.l

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 11:42 AM

I report success too :)

See attached screenshot (WinPE 5.x running under QEMU 2.0.0 with coreinfo).

 

Will now try qemu manager.

 

For the record, below all possible cpu flags 

x86           qemu64  QEMU Virtual CPU version 2.0.0                  
x86           phenom  AMD Phenom(tm) 9550 Quad-Core Processor         
x86         core2duo  Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     T7700  @ 2.40GHz 
x86            kvm64  Common KVM processor                            
x86           qemu32  QEMU Virtual CPU version 2.0.0                  
x86            kvm32  Common 32-bit KVM processor                     
x86          coreduo  Genuine Intel(R) CPU           T2600  @ 2.16GHz 
x86              486                                                  
x86          pentium                                                  
x86         pentium2                                                  
x86         pentium3                                                  
x86           athlon  QEMU Virtual CPU version 2.0.0                  
x86             n270  Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU N270   @ 1.60GHz          
x86           Conroe  Intel Celeron_4x0 (Conroe/Merom Class Core 2)   
x86           Penryn  Intel Core 2 Duo P9xxx (Penryn Class Core 2)    
x86          Nehalem  Intel Core i7 9xx (Nehalem Class Core i7)       
x86         Westmere  Westmere E56xx/L56xx/X56xx (Nehalem-C)          
x86      SandyBridge  Intel Xeon E312xx (Sandy Bridge)                
x86          Haswell  Intel Core Processor (Haswell)                  
x86       Opteron_G1  AMD Opteron 240 (Gen 1 Class Opteron)           
x86       Opteron_G2  AMD Opteron 22xx (Gen 2 Class Opteron)          
x86       Opteron_G3  AMD Opteron 23xx (Gen 3 Class Opteron)          
x86       Opteron_G4  AMD Opteron 62xx class CPU                      
x86       Opteron_G5  AMD Opteron 63xx class CPU    

Attached Files


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#21 misty

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 03:49 PM

Wow - I'm seriously impressed with WinPE!

Using the same builds of WinPE 3.1 and 5.1 that I referred to in my first post I did some further tests in a Virtual Machine (VMWare Player again - I'd have used QEMU, but I'd still be waiting for it to load :whistling:)

I've used the Flat Boot method for these tests. My WinPE 5.1 had a tweaked registry to limit the pagefile size to 512 MB. I was able to boot WinPE 5.1 on a virtual system with only 84 MB RAM - and image a 1GB disk (to a file) using DMDE. WinPE 5.1 failed to boot when the RAM was further reduced.

Surprisingly WinPE 3.1 required more RAM in order to boot. I was able to boot to the desktop with only 96 MB RAM, however I wasn't actually able to run anything. I increased the RAM to 100 MB and booted successfully. Having created a pagefile using the following wpeutil command -
wpeutil CreatePageFile /path=X:\pagefile.sys /size=512
...I was then able to image a 1GB disk using DMDE. Without a pagefile I experienced out of memory errors.

Does anyone know how to set a permanent pagefile in WinPE 3.x? It would be useful to have a pagefile accessible at boot instead of having to run the wpeutil tool everytime I start WinPE.

I was able to Flat Boot WinPE 5.1 from a USB Flash Drive on physical hardware. As it took nearly an hour to extract boot.wim to this drive I haven't repeated the process with WinPE 3.1. I suspect that WinPE 3.1 will need to be tweaked to avoid 0x7b errors during boot. Any information and/or advice re this?

WinPE 3.1 can be Flat Booted from Read-only media (tested in a VM using an .iso file) and will create a scratchspace the same size as if the usual RAM Boot method is used (default is 32 MB). I haven't been able to Flat Boot WinPE 5.1 from read-only media.

Regards,

Misty

P.s. I did a few quick tests to establish the minimum RAM required to boot to the desktop when the same WinPE 3.1 and 5.1 builds were RAM booted. WinPE 3.1 booted with 244 MB RAM. WinPE 5.1 booted with 416 MB RAM. I doubt that I'd have been able to actually run anything though.

#22 cdob

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 04:30 PM

I suspect that WinPE 3.1 will need to be tweaked to avoid 0x7b errors during boot. Any information and/or advice re this?

Enable native USB boot: configure BootDriverFlags and PollBootPartitionTimeout
http://msdn.microsof...y/ff794567.aspx
http://technet.micro...y/ee731893.aspx
http://reboot.pro/to...p1/#entry127587

Be aware: this is not supported at WinPE 3.1 default USB files, works at many machines nontheless.
WinPE 5.1 uses similar BootDriverFlags and PollBootPartitionTimeout settings.
  • misty likes this

#23 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 07:36 PM

Question:

Does not Firadisk (or Winvblock or both) work fine as "filedisk" driver in Wimb's tools/projects, booting from USB? :unsure:

 

:duff:

Wonko



#24 misty

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 09:17 PM

@cdob
Thank you - the links proved most useful. I attempted a flat boot of WinPE 3.1 from a USB flash drive and did indeed experience an 0x7b error. On applying the registry settings you linked to I rebooted the USB drive and it worked :thumbsup:

:cheers:

For anyone else interested in testing this, I used the following batch file to edit my offline WinPE 3.1 files (don't forget to change the path to your USB drive) -

@echo off
SET USB=D:
reg.exe load HKLM\_Offline_System %USB%\Windows\System32\Config\SYSTEM
reg.exe add HKLM\_Offline_System\ControlSet001\Control /f /v BootDriverFlags /t REG_DWORD /d 0x6
reg.exe add HKLM\_Offline_System\ControlSet001\Control\PnP /f /v PollBootPartitionTimeout /t REG_DWORD /d 15000
reg unload HKLM\_Offline_System
echo.
echo.
echo.
pause
@Wonko
Thanks. As cdob's two registry modifications worked I'm not sure these alternatives are required. What would be the advantages of using WinVBlock or Firadisk?

Misty

#25 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:07 AM

I would see it as a "more portable" way, in the sense that with a little tweaking the exact same image could work from *any* media.

 

BTW, unknowingly, you just showed a form of lack of respect for erwan.l's work :w00t: :ph34r: by using NOT his nice :thumbsup: Offline Registry tool. :dubbio:

 

Maybe next time ;):

http://reboot.pro/to...527-offlinereg/

 

:duff:

Wonko






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