I ran the analyze command from WinRE.
Thanks for your winpeshl.ini suggestion, I will check that out as well. Hopefully I'll be able to use it to run my product, and with access to the desired partition - without laborious login processes.
My original goal for this thread was to ID the problems I had with the Surface, but I gave up on them since everybody will give you a piece of their mind, but almost no one will actually provide workable help. As such, me using VMware to determine whether WinRE is applicable for DoubleSpace, versus me not using VMware to fix my weird issues with the Surface, are completely different issues.
Ditto with Windows 7, that is a completely different topic all unto its own. You cannot downgrade a Surface, but I wonder if VHD booting might allow a downgrade to NT 6.1, or maybe even all the way down to NT 5.2. Merits a different thread, for sure.
To be honest I don't care much about my reputation - not because I don't want to, but because it is practically unmendable at this point; you could Google online and see that it has been ruined as of some years ago, again on a similar forum setting. All I do care about here is actually help people increase their storage space - those who actually need it - I realize you cannot please everyone, and there'll always be people talking crap about you, and taking every opportunity they have to take potshots at you, that's what happens invariably when you put something out there.
Repeated harassment by certain individuals leads me to conclude that I may have been overly sensitive to their viewpoints; for example, I had updated the FAQ page on my website per the concerns raised by Wonko; it appears to me more and more that he just has an ax to grind for whatever reason, and cannot be satiated no matter what gestures are put forth by myself. As such, I will be removing that FAQ update, since the EULA's shown by the installer ought to be sufficient for most practical purposes. There's no point in scaring people away, especially when they already have plenty of FUD scaring them about. Why would I let Wonko's admitted biases against me affect what I am doing myself?
In fact, it is really good to see that Wonko was not acting out of some selfless concern for the well-being of the software community at large, but out of an ax to grind with me personally; possibly because of actions I took to protect my reputation some years ago, during a forum incident at which time he probably heard of me for the first time (as he had shared at msfn). However one thing that I have understood thanks to Wonko is that having "RAR" in my brand name attracts bsolutely the wrong kind of audience for my product. For that I owe him much thanks, and my rebranding on that front is almost complete; I am definitely not going after the religiously opinionated geeky user type with my tool. Such users have all they need in their armories of software anyways; my tool could really not do much for them in absolute fairness to their use cases.
I also owe Wonko thanks for the WinRE idea, provided of course, that in further testing, it continues to prove viable. There's things you can learn from anyone, clearly
I have already shared DoubleSpace's code with Eric, I don't know how closely he looked at it, but it did not seem that there were any obvious issues with my usage of WIMLIB. Eric himself has found some superficial differences between configuration files created by his excellent library versus native Windows; I don't know if these (or other inexplicable matters) would account for the indefinitely spinning boot loader. It could be an issue in DoubleSpace, it could be an issue in WIMLIB, it could be an issue with the Surface, I really don't know at this time. Software development is extremely complex. There's bugs in all kinds of software, libraries, third party code, Microsoft Windows, etc. Only a naïve developer would make a claim unequivocally that the blame has to lie in some component or the other, without having exhaustively researched everything. And I don't believe I have to convince anyone here that Windows itself is full of bugs
I realize these forums do attract a lot of people who are very undertrained and don't read; I can assure you I am at the opposite end of the spectrum - but even this sometimes does not prevent mistakes of the sort you just corrected today. So thanks again for not only uncovering the difference between "r" and "p" in the batch file that I posted, but also for actually going out of your way to help.
I'd take practical advice from you any day, rather than crap from Wonko or anyone else. Wonko's a hypocrite as far as I'm concerned, he'll be the first to ridicule me for "not reading", for example; when he himself logged on to my OSS repo, found my documentation, and yet was unable to read far enough into it - that he had to ask about some obvious trivialities at another forum.