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Windows PE and Internal Windows Interdependecy for Internet Connection?


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#1 Disco Makberto

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 10:29 AM

Hi, group!

 

I have an old Windows PE based on XP as liveCD which I use via my HP laptop. This HP laptop computer has Windows Vista SP2 installed internally. Everything was normal, but somehow my internal Windows Vista SP2 stopped connecting to the Internet some weeks ago (due to malware, corruption, or what have you) and, at the same time, the Windows PE liveCD also stopped connecting to the Internet. Strangely, when I use Linux liveCD's, I can connect to the Internet with no problems at all. This unconnectivity of the Windows PE liveCD started to appear when my internal Windows Vista SP2 stopped connecting, so this makes me wonder if there is some sort of interdependency, though I don't think so, but then again....

 

I don't understand my situation, particularly when Linux liveCD's work faultlessly. This begs a related question, though. Under normal circumstances, if there is no internal hard drive (or with no OS installed there), can I still use Windows PE liveCD's? In the case of Linux liveCD's, yes, they can be used even if there is no internal hard drive (or, again, with no OS installed there).

 

All the best to everybody!

 

Carlos Albert

Disco Makberto

 

 



#2 pscEx

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 04:22 PM

Internet connection is just a question of some hardware including necessary drivers.

Of course the connection can be disturbed / prohibited by firewall rules etc. described in the OS.

Linux live runs well because it does not take care of underlying M$ OSs on the host.

With LiveXP CDs this is a bit more complicated.

Theoretically should a LiveXP system be as self supporting as a Live Linux.

But depending on the LiveCD producing application, it may be possible that some informations of the host OS are used.

Can you still rebuild your LiveXP CD error free? If yes, tell us the way. Maybe we can find the bad boy iside building the PE.

 

Peter



#3 Disco Makberto

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 02:51 AM

Hi, Peter!

 

That's really an option. Alternatively, I can re-install my Windows Vista as factory settings. But that will probably mean returning to Windows Vista RTM and not having an updated Windows Vista SP2, not to mention the fact that I will lose all my programs and data. But that is no problem since I can copy all that stuff to external drives prior to reinstalling.

 

As for totally independent Windows liveCD's that do not interact at all with the internal Windows, are you talking about something like the ETBoot liveCD? I know that one is fairly if not virtually independent. And I am planning on building it once I upgrade my computer (as a plus, this ETBoot project is very easy to understand...I almost know it by memory). In regards to the more traditional WinPE's, you are saying that depending on the "LiveCD producting application", there might be some interaction with the internal Windows. So which one is the best when it comes to complete independence to the internal Windows?

 

Some paid projects do not work, either. I tried "Active@ Boot Disk" liveCD and "Wondershare Live BootCD" liveCD (plus other similar projects), and, unfortunately, they cannot connect to the Internet, either.

 

Before I close, please note that the liveCD's worked perfectly before I had the issue with my internal Windows. This led me to think that the problem relies on my internal Windows and not on the liveCD's per se, but there might be some type of interdependency between the liveCD's and the internal Windows.

 

Take care,

 

Carlos Albert

Disco Makberto



#4 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 08:59 AM

Before I close, please note that the liveCD's worked perfectly before I had the issue with my internal Windows. This led me to think that the problem relies on my internal Windows and not on the liveCD's per se, but there might be some type of interdependency between the liveCD's and the internal Windows.

 

If I get this right till a given date in the past you had:

your HP laptop + installed Vista=Internet connection OK

your HP laptop + XP live=Internet connection OK

and after a given date:

 

your HP laptop + installed Vista=Internet connection FAIL

your HP laptop + XP live=Internet connection FAIL

 

It seems to me like it is possible that *something* changed in the HP laptop (either a setting in BIOS/UEFI or a real hardware issue of some kind).

What could it be (since in Linux it works) I have no idea, but it is entirely possible in theory that MS OS are more picky.

 

The "Internet does not work" is not an adequate description of what happens in either Vista or LiveXP, what have you tried to diagnose the problem?

Lan connection, DNS, router (if any), etc.?

 

 

:duff:

Wonko



#5 steve6375

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 06:04 PM

Did you try removing the power and the battery so that it is completely dead - wait 10 mins - then reconnect?

Then boot to Windows (NOT linux).



#6 Disco Makberto

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 08:28 AM

Hi, Steve6375!

 

Yes, I did, sort of. As a matter of fact, what I did (and around two or three times on different ocassions) was to unplug the DC connector, and let the laptop's battery drained out. Needless to say, that didn't fix the problems (after powering and booting).

 

Carlos Albert

Disco Makberto



#7 Disco Makberto

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 08:54 AM

Hello, Wonko!

 

Your first three paragraphs describe the issue correctly. As for your fourth or last paragraph, here's some background: I am using the Internet via cable modem, and after experiencing the problem with my internal Windows, I tried about a handful of applications, most notably "Complete Internet Repair" and "FixWin Utility". As I could not fix the probblem by myself, I telephoned my ISP, and they sent two guys on two different ocassions, though neither of them could fix my latpop (one of them even told me that my problem was expected because I was using an old OS...but I told him that Vista was still supported as of mid-2105). At the end, both told me to take my laptop to a computer repair shop. Well, I did that, but the guy at the repair shop (one more time) could not fix it, but he told me that the wireless wi-fi connection worked. Anyway, the guy at the repair shop offered me to re-install Vista, and I told him no because I could do that myself.

 

I suppose that my only real shot at fixing my laptop is to re-install Vista. But that would take me some time since I need take out and save my stuff from my internal Windows. As this laptop belonged to a family member of mine, I need to choose just my own stuff that I included there and not the rest (off-topic: apparently, one nice application to save photos and videos is "Free Easy Photo Recovery", but I am sure there are others that are equal or even better).

 

I have an important question, Wonko. Do you know if it is possible to run WinPE on lliveCD on a computer that has no internal hard drive at all (or an internal hard drive without an OS). If that is possible, I will aim at trying to set up a system as such.

 

Thanks,

 

Carlos Albert

Disco Makberto


Edited by Disco Makberto, 12 September 2015 - 08:56 AM.


#8 steve6375

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 09:23 AM

You can boot to WindowsToGo from a USB drive?

Use WinToUSB.  (tick the VHD option)

You can download a WIn8 or Win10 ISO from MS if you don't have one.



#9 Disco Makberto

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 11:36 AM

Hi again, Steve6375!

 

I think this laptop is not compatible with Windows 7 or newer OS'es (or if it is, it could be "borderline compatible") as result of its not-so-great resources. One way or another, I was thining about re-installing Windows Vista and using it as an external USB drive by way of something like PWBoot. But that is contingent upon the fact that WinPE liveCD's can work without an internal Windows.

 

Cheers,

 

Carlos Albert

Disco Makberto



#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 11:36 AM

I have an important question, Wonko. Do you know if it is possible to run WinPE on lliveCD on a computer that has no internal hard drive at all (or an internal hard drive without an OS). If that is possible, I will aim at trying to set up a system as such.

Sure it is possible, but the issue will then be to have a PE with fully functional networking (and in your case seemingly also Wi-FI) subsystems, which might be complex, particularly on a "laptop" because of the usual mess with drivers.

 

If you have the possibility (and provided that your laptop is "natively" supported by Windows 7) a PE 3.x (Windows 7 based) has more chances than a PE 2.x (Vista based) but in any case YMMGV.

 

A "portable" (not necessarily "WindowsToGo") Windows 8/8.1 may also be a good attempt.

 

Personally I would leave Windows 10 alone (unless you are sure that your laptop is fully supported by it) as there are some reports of drivers issues with non-very-recent systems (particularly but not only laptops).

 

Still, I don' t buy that a PE 1.x (Windows XP based) has any connection with an installed Vista, seriously the only thing that may have changed is firmware (BIOS) or settings in it, or some actual "hardware" error.

 

If I were you , I would buy an external hard disk of suitable size and image the laptop disk "as is", then transfer back to the new install just the stuff you are interested in.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#11 pscEx

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 02:30 PM

Most Winbuilder 8x build XP PEs grab some files from the host like internatioal settings or drivers.
Corrupt files of the host are of course also corrupt in the PE.
A corrupt network componen will disturb Internet connect in the internal system as well as in the PE.
For that reason in my first reply I asked for details.

Unfortunatelly successles.
Peter

#12 Disco Makberto

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 06:04 AM

Greetings pscEX, Wonko the Sane, and Steve6375!

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

As advised, I tried "Windows To Go - Windows 8" on USB. I was able to boot up, register my info, get into the Windows environment, but I could not connect to the Internet. In spite of this, an idea that I thought could be potentially revealing ocurred to me. I said to myself, "What about if I use my LiveXP on liveCD, and then I run something like 'Diskpar(titioner) GUI v2.0' to unmount "C Drive" and "D Drive" ("C" contains my internal Windows and "D" my HP Recovery partition) prior to connecting to the Internet? This would be like having no internal OS, right?". So I went ahead and did just that. After unmouning "C Drive" and "D Drive" and then trying to connect to the Internet, to my amazement, "C Drive" and "D Drive" were re-mounted. Again, please note that they were priorly unmounted. This makes me think that there is definitely some form of communication between WinPE and the internal Windows, so I think that pscEX is right.

 

As for rebuiling liveCD's, as I said, I will give a try to ETBoot when I upgrade my computer. I would not like to try again "WinBuilder" (or "BartPe", for that matter) since I think that ETBoot is better (1), and I am almost sure that ETBoot will be completely independent to the internal Windows. By the way, I wish I felt capable of taking out the internal hard drive of this laptop in order to try my liveCD without any hard drive, but a laptop has too many screws and variables that makes me feel not competent enough. If it were a desktop, then it would not be a problem (I have partially disassemble a couple of desktops).

 

Returning to the issue of lack of connection, I think that the culprit could be a corruped driver in the internal Windows, but I am not sure, for maybe it is a multi-problem. My Windows LiveCD's (including my LiveXP) are fine. I tried them on different computers belonging to family members, and all of them could connect to the Internet. So, again, the problem relies on my internal Windows and not on my liveCD's.

 

Best to all!

 

Carlos Albert

Disco Makberto

 

(1) "Better" when it comes to being independent to the internal Windows.

 

P.S.: Incidentally, I discovered a typo on the title of this thread, but I could not fix it. One way or another, it must read "Interdependency" and not "Interdependecy". Sorry for that.

 

P.P.S.: Also, I would like to express my deepest gratitute to the creators of "WinBuilder" and "BartPe". I don't want to sound as an unappreciative guy. They are still useful in many situations. And there are no better or worse projects....it depends on the goal of the user (:


Edited by Disco Makberto, 15 September 2015 - 06:18 AM.


#13 steve6375

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 07:54 AM

See if you can configure the BIOS so that it has no internal HDD and try that. Or boot from USB and backup the MBR and then wipe the MBR of the hard disk (e.g. use BootIce).

You cable modem connects to the HP via Ethernet - right?

And you are sure that a live linux CD still works - if so which one?

Did you try a BIOS 'reset to defaults'?



#14 Disco Makberto

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 09:07 AM

Hey, Steve6375!

 

Yes, I have tried the scenarios with the BIOS as you are describing. The behavior of WinPE is the same....but wait a minute! I am re-reading your statement: "Configure the BIOS so that it has no internal HDD". How do I do that? Most importantly, after performing the tests, can I re-configure the BIOS so that it recognizes the internal HDD again? As for dealing with the MBR, I would rather have somebody open the laptop, take the physical hard drive out, then I perform the tests, then have the guy re-attach the hard drive, and close the laptop. But again, I wish I could do everything myself as having a laptop disassembled is not that cheap.

 

Yes, I connect to the Internet via ethernet.

 

In regards to the Linux liveCD's that can connect to the Internet, you know, the ones that used to work before I had the problem with the internal Windows, they still do. For instance, Puppy Linux, Ubuntu, Parsix...most of the times I use different versions of Puppy Linux, though.

 

Cheers,

 

Carlos Albert

Disco Makberto



#15 steve6375

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 09:24 AM

Re. configuring BIOS - go into BIOS setup menu - find the hard disks page and change the HDD 0  option to <none> or <disable> if available.

Just re-enable it after testing.

 

Most laptops are really easy to remove HDD - usually a separate compartment underneath and a few screws...



#16 Disco Makberto

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 06:32 AM

Steve6375,

 

Unfortunately, I could not find that option within my BIOS. The headers were "Main", "Security", "System Information", "Diagnostics", and "Exit". I checked each and every entry under those but to no avail. One way or another, I will try to see if I can physically take the hard drive out of the laptop (assuming it is easy as you said).

 

Take care,

 

Carlos Albert

Disco Makberto


Edited by Disco Makberto, 19 September 2015 - 06:32 AM.


#17 Disco Makberto

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 04:30 AM

Re: Update!

 

I was able to take out the hard drive and do some tests, so my thanks to Steve6375 for letting me know how to take out a hard drive from a laptop. Unfortunately, my LiveXP on liveCD still refuses to connect to the Internet on this HP laptop. My Puppy Linux liveCD connects with no problems, and as a matter of fact, I am writing this message from my Puppy Linux liveCD even though I have no hard drive at this very moment. I will re-install my hard drive later today because it doesn't make any difference whether I have it installed or not when it comes to  booting and running my liveCD's. Incidentally, this laptop behaves a little bit weird without the hard drive; sometimes it doesn't boot from CD, and I have to try two or three times (but some other times it boots normally, of course).  Perhaps this is just a matter of cleaning the optical drive...or perhaps it works better with the hard drive installed. We'll see.

 

Thanks to everybody for the kind support provided!

 

Carlos Albert

Disco Makberto


Edited by Disco Makberto, 21 September 2015 - 04:31 AM.





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