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Booting Directly to VistaPE's BOOT.WIM


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#1 Polybius

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 06:58 AM

I've used the ImageX utility quite a bit for my job when imaging new systems. After using ImageX to put the contents of BOOT.WIM onto a harddrive, is there a way to make that harddrive bootable? I've tried a few things but nothing seems to work. I think it would be great to have a bootable VistaPE environment that doesn't have to be "loaded" from BOOT.WIM as it does now. That way, any changes made to it, either by files or registry settings, shouldn't be lost. In effect, we would be building our own Vista based OS. I know some APIs and other things are missing from PE to make it fully Vista compatible but I think those things can be added if we could get this to work. I wasn't sure if anybody else had thought of this and I didn't know what to look for. Any suggestions would be excellent!

#2 was_jaclaz

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 04:40 PM

I don't think that VistaPE, or more generally PE 2.0 (Vista based) can be booted through a non-wim process.

But you may be interested in a "Full" Vista booted from USB:
http://www.911cd.net...o...181&st=1707
http://www.911cd.net...o...181&st=1712

jaclaz

#3 paxamime

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 05:03 PM

I don't think that VistaPE, or more generally PE 2.0 (Vista based) can be booted through a non-wim process.

But you may be interested in a "Full" Vista booted from USB:
http://www.911cd.net...o...181&st=1707
http://www.911cd.net...o...181&st=1712

jaclaz



Actually yes it can be done. And without too much difficulty.

@Polybius
Are you using BootSect.exe to change the boot sector to look for Bootmgr? If it was previously a XP or 2k system and you apply a Vista or PE 2.0 wim to it you must chane the boot sector or it will still be looking for NTLDR. Which as a cool little trick you can simply rename BootMgr to NTLDR and it will load PE or Vista correctly.

I actually have a variety of systems with different configurations and methods of booting PE. My favorite for testing is simply a USB hard drive that loads the wim. I use it in place of booting from a disk as it generally boots in about 10-15 seconds. It is not an installation but it works very well for quick testing of a new wim.

#4 was_jaclaz

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 06:57 PM

Actually yes it can be done. And without too much difficulty.


Would you like to post some details?


jaclaz

#5 paxamime

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 07:08 PM

Would you like to post some details?


jaclaz



I will try to post the instructions later when I am not at work ;)

#6 was_jaclaz

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 07:17 PM

I will try to post the instructions later when I am not at work ;)


Sure, NO hurry whatsoever. :thumbup:

jaclaz

#7 Polybius

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 08:17 AM

Soooooo....

I found out how to do this. I'm not sure on the exact details but the program EasyBCD 1.7.2 for Vista allows me to boot directly to the extracted contents of boot.wim AND/OR to boot.wim itself. Only problem is that even booting to the extracted version still won't change the registry. Changes made within Vista by loading the SOFTWARE hive do work however. Hope this helps anybody wishing to do anything like this...

#8 rehtorix

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 12:20 PM

I think you can modify the bcd-file with bcdedit, or use easybcd. You have to change the bootype from ramdisk to normal boot. I have yet to try this as I'm not sure of the benefits. AFAIK this would leave the system more vulnerable if you for example remove the USB-drive accidentaly while running the OS :)

My own solution is that I've changed the userprofile and program paths to my USB drive so stuff like antivirus updates, files saved to desktop etc. are not lost when I reboot the OS on another computer.

#9 Polybius

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 10:29 PM

Hmmmm.... good idea with the userprofile... however, I'm not booting this from USB. I'm booting it from another partition on my HDD. I want to sorta make something equivalent to Asus's ExpressGate for quick internet browsing. How can I change the shell from CMD.EXE?

#10 Polybius

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 08:23 AM

Ok, So I figured out how to change the Shell. You can use winpeshl.ini (in X:\Windows\System32\) to change the shell to something else. Here is an example:

[LaunchApp]
AppPath = %SYSTEMDRIVE%\windows\bb\blackbox.exe
[LaunchApps]
setres h1680 v1050 b32
cmd %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\startnet.cmd

Using setres, I also am able to set my resolution to the native of my LCD screen. I'm not sure if the line after that works properly because I often don't have network access right away. Any thoughts?

#11 MedEvil

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 09:24 PM

In XP it's the /minint parameter that tells the system to load the Hives into memory and never write them back.
Vista has to have a similar switch to enable/disable volatile Registry.
I think rehtorix already told you so, a few posts up.

:)

#12 Polybius

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 06:37 AM

It looks like he tried but never actually mention how to do it. Don't suppose you have that info? :)

#13 MedEvil

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 11:45 AM

rehtorix wrote pretty clear to edit the bcd-file. Which is the Boot.ini of Vista.

I think you can modify the bcd-file with bcdedit, or use easybcd. You have to change the bootype from ramdisk to normal boot.

Unfortunately it is no longer a text file, so you will need a tool to do this. (bcdedit or easybcd)
I'm just not sure about his suggested changes. Maybe he means the right thing and just put it strangly.
But with this, i can't help you. You'll have to look up the available Vista boot options by yourself.

:)

#14 was_jaclaz

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 01:20 PM

Unfortunately it is no longer a text file, so you will need a tool to do this. (bcdedit or easybcd)


OUT OF TOPIC
but if is it true that a BCD store is actually a Registry Hive, does the newish RAW Registry editor work on it? :)
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=4684

(I have not an example BCD to test this)

jaclaz

#15 Nuno Brito

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 01:37 PM

BCD files are used a test hives for the raw editor and work well.

As mentioned, it is a raw editor and not fit with custom options to be user friendly like easybcd.

:)

#16 rehtorix

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:25 PM

Polybius: As I mentioned, I haven't really tried it myself (don't have the time or need to do so) so can't write a tutorial or anything. There are some bcdedit tutorials around the net, try a search for them with google first. I only briefly tested bcdedit myself to enable the vista memorytest app for my boot menu. Noticed there was a ramdisk option in the boot options for PE boot as well. My guess would be that you have to unpack the boot.wim with imagex to root and edit the bcd store with bcdedit to change boot type, might be something else as well, haven't really tried it.. I would think that someone would have already written a tutorial for this .. might be wrong though. :)

#17 Cgman

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 02:24 AM

Wow,

This post is almost exactly what I was looking for!

Background:

I have an HP/compaq/whatever they are called. I ended up deleting the partition on my backup drive, due to the HP recovery disc wanted to install to the IDE drive instead of the default Sata drive. This gave me some motivation to avoid the HP junk the next time i need to re/install vista.

Current Scenario:

I have been able to extract the entire contents of the sequential .wim files to a hard drive, as winpe would do and hopefully without the HP junk. Now all I should need to do is make the contents bootable, but it does not have the NTLDR or anything that would make the root directory boot.

I already have the WAIK installed, but I don't get the "answer file" or where to even find it. For that matter, I have no clue on how to use the WAIK to my satisfaction to do away with the HP portion of the recovery disc.

Do any of you know how I would get these extracted contents to boot as if it were actually "installed" on to the HDD?
I want to rid myself of this restore disc once and for all.

Thanks,

Cgman




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