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I can't start WINPE on the 2GB USB drive


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#1 noel

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 03:23 PM

Hello

For several years, I prepare my USB discs (disc or stick/pen/key ) to start on winpe.
I've been doing the same sequence since W10 with the disk manager:
- Initialize disk for MBR

- create a partition
- Format a Partition
- Activate this Partition
- After that, from ADK, I copy Boot directory, Bootmgr and WINPE files
- I modify the BCD file to start on VHD with Winpe

 

I do this sequence a hundred times for two years on various USB disks
Winpe's start-up has always been successful.

 

This week I buy a larger USK record, 2GB (1.8GB says systeminfo32.exe!)
I'm doing the same thing I did last week with my 500GB USB drive.

First i try only one partition 2go. I try also 2 partitions 1 Go.

On my old pc ( 5 ), the "bios" can't start the winpe of my 2GB Disk. In the start menu of "Bios" this disk is present.

 

I check BCD (I already have a mistake last year and I had posted a question without checking, shame on me!)
So this year I check and I check, the right files, the good BCD ... But I can't start on this 2GB usb drive.

 

For what?

Please, your idea will be greatly appreciated.

 



#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 03:34 PM

Describe "cannot start".

What do you actually see happening?

Is the computer and OS the same as you were using before?

Do you still have another working stick?

 

:duff:

Wonko



#3 noel

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 04:10 PM

Bonjour Wonko.

In boot Menu, i select my USB disk 2Go.  2To ( stupid papy) . Computer reboots. So i see the screen bios started again. and i click to enter boot menu because i stop the boot sequence and don't want to go on W10.

I try with a 550Go usb Disk : OK. I try with a pen/stick/key ( i don(t know the bood word) 8 GO, 16 Go : OK

I never see the bcd screen to choose between my 5 winpe "in construct".

Is it possible that ols PC don't play with a bigger size disk?

Thanks for your reply



#4 noel

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 04:12 PM

Oh i forget to reply on your last question. Actually, i play with winpe build v1903. I try the same Winpe on all the media usb.



#5 noel

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 04:14 PM

Sorry, I 'm too stupid. My disk is 2To And the oldder is 500 Go. Sorry to be so stupid !!!!

 

it's the beginning of senility for me



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 05:16 PM

Naaah, don't worry, it happens to everyone.
 
If your computer is old but still capable of running windows 10 it is not that much old.
 
There is the possibility (it would be unusual for drives smaller than 4 TB, but it is possible) that the disk (or the USB disk enclosure) expose 4096 bytes/sector instead of the usual 512 bytes sector.
 
Try, on normal Windows (10) to run the command:
fsutil fsinfo sectorinfo <drive letter> 
https://docs.microso...s/fsutil-fsinfo
Compare also with:
https://superuser.co...nal-hard-drive 

Check if LogicalBytesPerSector is 512.

4096 bytes sector disk are AFAIK non-bootable in MBR/BIOS.

:duff:
Wonko



#7 noel

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 06:45 PM

You're nice to me. Thank you

 

My 2To disk is well a 512 bytes per sector. And your question push me to look inside the sector 0 :

     My God ( horreur! enfer et damnation !  in french, it's more longer but more efficace ) : only the MBR table is present but no the code !

I can't understant how i forget that. Perhaps it's not the "initialize disk" step that puts the code in sector 0 of a disk. Perhaps in the past i put the code with "bootsec /nt60".

So, now, i push the code in sector 0 with "bootsec /nt60". And now the compmuter boots on the disk but BCD is not good ( i can't understand why) and i get an error screen : title = Windows Boot Manager " text = ... a recent hardware or software change ..." Status = 0xc000000e

I make a pause ...very disappointed and disappointed by my lack of rigor



#8 noel

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 09:24 PM

So now my disk 2Go... sorry.... my Disk 2To boots but it boots only on the  boot.wim declared in the BCD. And no screen to select one of the five winpe ( vhd) contained in the disk.

With my absence of rigor, i see bootmgr file is present on the new disk 2To. I always want to be "uptodate".

And i compare with my old 500Go disk.

Not the same version. oh my god, i'm really not rigorist.

 

Old Disk 500Go which contains winpe on VHD : "version"  bootmgr = 381Ko 18/05/2012 !!!

new disk 2To with the same winpe on VHD       : "version"  bootmgr = 401Ko 18/05/2019 !!!

 

I put the old files Bootmgr in the new Disk 2To : all things are ok and boot is OK !

 

So with the OLD "Bootmgr" file, the Windows Boot Manager menu displays the screen of choice OS, i see all my winpe in VHD and boot is ok.

With the NEW "Bootmgr" file, the Windows Boot Manager menu doesn't displaysthe screen of choice OS, i  can't see all my winpe in VHD

 

I find  here (01/24/2018)  but i'm not sure i well understand. VHD can't be used in "Native Boot", only VHDX.

And only since "new" version ( i don't know whitch one).

 

So i'm an happy papy and i can boot on my disk of 2Go...sorry 2To.

 

A new time, without the good question of Wonko, i never find the first step. So thank you Wonko. 



#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 08:32 AM

Good to know it is solved.

 

Evidently the good MS guys thought that the .vhd format is too (d@mn) simple and works too (§@ç#ing) well, so they removed it from the options in BOOTMGR to force the use of the new, shiny (and totally unneeded) .vhdx format.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#10 alacran

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 09:11 AM

 

Evidently the good MS guys thought that the .vhd format is too (d@mn) simple and works too (§@ç#ing) well, so they removed it from the options in BOOTMGR to force the use of the new, shiny (and totally unneeded) .vhdx format.

 

:duff:

Wonko

 

JFYI, I'm using a botmanager from Win10 dated 2019-10-06 wich is even newer than the one used by noel and I can boot any of my WinPEs and VHDs, I assume he didn't have the right entrances on his BCD for the not found files. NOTE: I always edit the BCD by means of BootIce.

 

But yes MS people is pushing VHDX going so far to say Win 10 only can run on VHDX, wich with no dubt I can confirm is not true, see:

 

 

Native boot for Windows 10 requires the .vhdx format, not the .vhd format.

 Source: https://docs.microso...o-the-boot-menu

 

But this is really stupid since Azure only support Fixed size VHDs and DO NOT accept VHDX.

 

 

Before you upload a Windows virtual machine (VM) from on-premises to Azure, you must prepare the virtual hard disk (VHD or VHDX). Azure supports both generation 1 and generation 2 VMs that are in VHD file format and that have a fixed-size disk. The maximum size allowed for the VHD is 2 TB.

In a generation 1 VM, you can convert a VHDX file system to VHD. You can also convert a dynamically expanding disk to a fixed-size disk. But you can't change a VM's generation. For more information, see Should I create a generation 1 or 2 VM in Hyper-V? and Azure support for generation 2 VMs (preview).

For information about the support policy for Azure VMs, see Microsoft server software support for Azure VMs.

Source: https://docs.microso...pload-vhd-image

 

alacran



#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 09:32 AM

JFYI, I'm using a botmanager from Win10 dated 2019-10-06 wich is even newer than the one used by noel and I can boot any of my WinPEs and VHDs, I assume he didn't have the right entrances on his BCD for the not found files. NOTE: I always edit the BCD by means of BootIce.

 

But yes MS people is pushing VHDX going so far to say Win 10 only can run on VHDX, wich with no dubt I can confirm is not true, see:

 

 Source: https://docs.microso...o-the-boot-menu

 

But this is really stupid since Azure only support Fixed size VHDs and DO NOT accept VHDX.

 

Source: https://docs.microso...pload-vhd-image

 

alacran

So - as often happens - MS documentation is inaccurate, misleading, false or all of these together.

 

Would Noel's experience imply that *something* has chahged in the actual BCD format/settings? :dubbio:

Or - more likely - it is just a "bad" version of BOOTMGR and/or some other simpler isues (like a bad copy)? 

 

:duff:

Wonko



#12 noel

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 09:47 AM

Actually, i change no thing in my bcd file. Only Bootmgr file. And "THE" bcd file is good for ramdisk. So perhaps only part about vhd was wrong but i don't think so.

 

i test now a other time :  change only bootmgr ( 2019)  and no entries for my vhd in WindowsBootManager screen.

 

i open an install.esd file V1903 and i see the presence of BootVhd.dll near bootmgr.

Perhaps this file is needed "now". I don't know if it exist in old builds

 

I build BCD with bcedit since many years. Perhaps some thing wrong. possible because it's not a text file.

 

So, i don't kown.



#13 alacran

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 10:00 AM

@ Wonko

 

Unless noel was using a bootmanager from a test (insider) version of Win10 (wich I never test), or the bootmanager file he used was partially corrupt. There is no reason to prevent booting from VHDs.

 

I have tested all Win 10 final versions upto v1909 on VHD (booting from internal HD and also booting from USB) and can confirm there isn't anything that prevent booting from a VHD or a WinPE WIM file.

 

alacran



#14 alacran

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 10:21 AM

@ noel

 

I'm booting from a MBR/CSM PC, I avoid UEFI/GPT as much as possible.

 

Yes I DO HAVE bootvhd.dll and also boot.sdi (for Rambooting WIM files) into the Boot folder.

 

alacran



#15 noel

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 10:26 AM

@alacran

Where does the bootvhd.dll is localised in your disk? In the root of the disk? or in boot directory ? I never see it before today.

I use bootmgr from B1909 from ADK date 18/03/2019  size 401 Ko (given by explorer)

 

I make a mistake but which one ? GGGRRRRRrrrrrrr



#16 noel

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 10:35 AM

@alacran

 

You got it for me !!!! thank you

 

I put bootvhd.dll in boot directory and bingo ! i get all my vhd in the WBM menu.

 

I never see the new file. I must update my poor knowlegde.

 

An other time, thank you alacran et thank you Wonko ( your questions are always an help )



#17 alacran

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 10:51 AM

It is good to know you found the cause of the issue.

 

Also there are many faulty 10 ADK versions, I stoped making notes of good and bad versions. To create your VHDs just use WinNTSetup and it will add all required files/folders for you, taking them from the install Wim or Esd, I know it can be done also by command line:

 

bcdboot.exe c:\windows /s S:    Source: https://docs.microso...ions-techref-di

 

But since I use WinNTSetup to install it's easier to make everything with it.

 

For making my WinPEs from 7 to 10 sources I use ChrisPE project, you can start from this post with updated info: http://reboot.pro/to...e-2#entry214093

 

Also for Win 10 WinPEs you can use: Win10XPE project:  https://github.com/ChrisRfr/Win10XPE

 

alacran



#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 11:42 AM

So the change is/was that up to a certain point there was no need for bootvhd.dll amd then it was needed?

Or for some reasons Noel never noticed it (maybe system files hidden or similar)?

 

:duff:

Wonko



#19 alacran

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 12:16 AM

To be honest I don't remember if it was a time when bootvhd.dll was not required to boot a VHD.

 

Also it is a little hard to understand noel expressions, he uses Go for GB and To for TB and also he talks of WinPE on VHD,

 

Quote from his post: http://reboot.pro/to...ve/#entry214281

 

Old Disk 500Go which contains winpe on VHD : "version"  bootmgr = 381Ko 18/05/2012 !!!

new disk 2To with the same winpe on VHD       : "version"  bootmgr = 401Ko 18/05/2019 !!!

 

I put the old files Bootmgr in the new Disk 2To : all things are ok and boot is OK !

 

So with the OLD "Bootmgr" file, the Windows Boot Manager menu displays the screen of choice OS, i see all my winpe in VHD and boot is ok.

With the NEW "Bootmgr" file, the Windows Boot Manager menu doesn't displaysthe screen of choice OS, i  can't see all my winpe in VHD

 

Then also boot.sdi is required to boot the boot.wim file located on sources folder of the WinPE.

 

I can't understand what is the point to put a WinPE on a VHD, if it is easier just to boot a WinPE.wim or boot.wim file directly.

 

alacran.



#20 noel

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 08:22 AM

@alacran

Sorry, i'm french and my english is very poor

 

I try here to explain my goal and my method. First some reply to your "questions" even if these questions  are not explicit.

 

 

if it was a time when bootvhd.dll was not required to boot a VHD

 

Yes it was a time where bootvhd.dll was not required to boot into a vhd. My disk 500 GB shows that. But yes, you can't see that. And i understand that you can't believe it. I'm not a guru whose words you can believe. And you are rigth to do so.

 

 

he uses Go for GB and To for TB

In french, Go is for Giga Bytes because Byte = Octet in french. Sorry, now I'll be watching this point

 

 

WinPE on VHD

Because i don't say how to describe the use of a winpe into a vhd; all files of boot.wim are pushed into a vhd with (for sample), "dism /apply.."

 

 

Then also boot.sdi is required to boot the boot.wim file located on sources folder of the WinPE.

 

I don't boot into/on a boot.Wim. I use winpe in Flat Mode

 

 

...or boot.wim file on Ram

 

Because of my poor english, i never understand what is this mode. If you can take time to explain, it will be good for me

 

 

I can't understand what is the point to put a WinPE on a VHD, if it is easier just to boot a WinPE.wim or boot.wim file directly.

 

Yes, i understand you and it's very specific for me. My goal is not to create a winpe with classic tools like winbuilder (good tool)  or WiMBuilder ( by Slore and my prefered tool, faster and "open" ). I built winpe since a very long time, since XP. And i always construct my tools to adapte winpe for the goal needed for my job when i was active in a compagny. And actually i was retired. So i continue to play with winpe and windbg and procmon and other tools. On an other web site ( ...oven), you can see ( if it was on line but this week it was not on line, i hope no relation with corona virus) the result of my work. Actually i can use bluetooth in winpe. Last year, i find how to use WDP - MTP ( in two words KMDF and UMDF drivers in winpe), printers ( with some restricts ). And YES, it's not helpfull. But i like to play with winpe and windbg. So, i prefere a "copy file" and know how to find what i need to copy rather than to use a good tool that stayed finaly a black box for me.

One precision: adding a feature to winpe  is not (for me) adding an application like a partition tool or "opera"  or "vlc". It's add feature present in w10 that MS doesn't add in winpe .

 

About winpe in a Flat mode : for research ( sorry, i don't know and other word for my investigation into winpe for adding new features), this mode is better because modify files and registry is easy and fast. Don't need to rebuild a boot.wim file. Adding symbols for windbg is also easy and possible all the time. This mode is not helpfull for an IT people, i understand and i know.

 

And why putting this winpe "flat mode" in a VHD? because i can use different winpe during investigations. Because i test one hypothesis or an other.

 

I understand that many peoples want to use some effective products. And don't have time to product their tools. And don't need to kown how tools are build. 

 

And yes, it's only because i don't need winpe for my job that i can do this way to play with winpe ( add new  features, use windgb/procmon  ...)

I know how to remain humble in computer science because I'm not at the top of this science.

I absolutely do not want to convince you that my questions and my opinion are relevant.
I should add that I feel honored when wonko or other speakers like you take the time to answer me and also ask questions about what motivates my actions. It allows me to question myself.

 

I hope you better understand my goal and my way.

 

To go faster, I don't always use a translator.
I hope I didn't offend you.
My point is respectful, but because of the language barrier, it may seem uncourteous to you. Rest assured that this is not my will.



#21 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 11:22 AM

 

 

I can't understand what is the point to put a WinPE on a VHD, if it is easier just to boot a WinPE.wim or boot.wim file directly.

 

To sum it up:

1) A PE is essentially (particularly in RAM and/or on WIM) a volatile OS/System, i.e. it is a Pre-installation Environment.

2) A "normal" Windows is definitely "non-volatile" OS/System.

3) A PE on a .vhd (or anyway a "flat" one) is suitable to a number of uses as it is a "semi-volatile" OS/System.

 

For developing/testing/experimenting the latter has a number of advantages.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#22 noel

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 12:17 PM

@Wonko, thank you. Really.

 

If you have a link to Winpe/RAM, I'll have time to try to figure it out during the virus containment. 



#23 alacran

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 06:13 PM

@ noel

 

Hi my friend, in no way I was trying to offend you, but a WinPE on a VHD didn't make sence to me.

 

 

I don't boot into/on a boot.Wim. I use winpe in Flat Mode

 

And why putting this winpe "flat mode" in a VHD? because i can use different winpe during investigations. Because i test one hypothesis or an other.

 

Ok, all is clear to me now, and yes, I have used the flat mode approach sometimes too, usually installed on a partition of a spare USB device to test something, not into a VHD. But since it is not good for espace saving on USB devices I prefer to boot from a WIM image. Now I also understand if you have several flat installs it is a good idea to keep them on a VHD for each one.

 

Attached my BCD as you can see there are 7 and 10 Full OSs installed on partitions, a Win10XPE_x64 WIM image, a full size VHD, several Wimboot VHDs, also it can load grub4dos, Grub2 of AIO Boot and recently I was experimenting with last version of Grub 2 for Windows on it. On the image it is selected booting from Win10XPE_x64.wim named as boot.wim, located on D:\AIO\Files\WinPE\Win10XPE_x64 folder.

 

Also attached the BCD from AIO with a lot of boot.wim files each on its own folder as AIO uses to store them.

 

About my comment.

 

 

To be honest I don't remember if it was a time when bootvhd.dll was not required to boot a VHD.

 

I'm not saying you are not telling the truth, I'm only saying I can't remember if there was or was not a time when bootvhd.dll was not required.

 

What I can remember is opposite, the lack of bootvhd.dll didn't let me boot from VHDs once or twice, but not remember how long ago this happened.

 

It was good you taked the time to clarify my dubts, I appreciate that, thanks a lot.

 

If there is anything I can do to help you make your forced stay at home any better just tell me, I have a lot of free time, since I'm on same boat.

 

alacran

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#24 noel

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 08:57 PM

@alacran

I never thought you would offend me, rest assured.

I'm used to few people understanding my use of winpe.
I play with Winpe to add missing features as I've already said.
For example, I remember a result of my research done in 2017. WinpeSe and ChrisR used the Wind.exe program written by Slore that allowed the desktop to be displayed by, for example, pressing the keys  "windows +D"
At that time, I found a bypass that was picked up by JFX in a program (I forgot the name) used in Winpe. As their site is currently out of service, I can't find his name.
Perhaps you may be using one of my results without knowing it  ;) 
Do you know hello.wimbuilder.world and winxshell.exe de Slore? This can take a moment of freedom.

 

more than 10,000 dead in France, about 13,000 in Spain, and about 15,000 Italy. I hope that in Mexico the virus is less virulent.
See you soon



#25 alacran

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 10:37 PM

JFYI

 

I opened sources\install.wim with 7-zip on Win 7, 8.1 and 10 Isos and only was able to find on Win10 Isos:  Windows\Boot\PCAT\bootvhd.dll

 

Also opened Windows\Boot\PCAT\ and Boot\ folder on Win 7, 8.1 and 10 VHDs and only Win 10 VHDs have bootvhd.dll into both folders, Win 7 and 8.1 don't have that file on any of mentioned folders or anywhere else.

 

As this file do not appear on versions older than Win 10, then it seems bootmanager versions available before Win 10 didn't require it.

 

alacran






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